Because Jezebel reposted my piece on Rick Perry Twitter-blocking me (and a bunch of other people! Hello, cohort!), my Twitter feed exploded yesterday with new Twitter followers, new Twitter haters, and a lot of really interesting arguments in favor of Rick Perry’s right to block constituents from using a popular and effective communication platform to speak to him. These are some of my favorites.
From @DeputyDog73: “its his account, his choice and his right. Just because u do not like it does not make him un-American.” That’s true. Just because I don’t like something does not make it un-American. Interestingly, that’s not the argument I made. The argument I made was that elected officials breaking the political contract of democracy by refusing to engage with constituents who disagree with them is un-American.
From @JohnnyBlaze360: “What did you say to get blocked? Being a “feminist” in Deep Ellum one can only imagine the trash you spewed.” I’m not sure if I’m meant to take this as Deep Ellum feminists are particularly block-worthy, or if it’s the combination of living in Deep Ellum and being a feminist that Rick Perry was supposed to see as a red flag. Discuss in comments. I’ll also add that a number of folks who were blocked, like me, didn’t know why they were blocked. A lot of them are just regular journalists. Some of them aren’t even particularly liberal. While certainly the trend is toward blocking liberal and progressive writers and activists, it’s not the only way to get blocked by Rick Perry. I can’t decide if that’s comforting or disturbing.
From @TexasMag: “so are you paying for promoted attack tweets now? LOL” I can’t figure out if this tweet is a joke, an insult, a compliment, or some combination of all three. It’s from a conservative tweeter, so I assume insult? Another one to discuss in the comments.
And three from @vjmfilms, in an apparently one-sided conversation with a communications guy at the conservative, ALEC-buddied Texas Public Policy Foundation: “@jstrevino know what would be fun … if others were to join @GovernorPerry and block @andreagrimes without specific personal reason #youin?” then “@jstrevino see also @GovernorPerry and the editorial boards … why bother pretending a dialog with certain people is possible @andreagrimes“ and lastly “@jstrevino one beautiful thing about @governorperry is his utter lack of pretense about dealing with those who hate him like @andreagrimes.” Which nails the Conservative Criticism Trifecta: throw group tantrum based on willful misunderstanding of premise, refuse to engage with the press, put fingers in ears.
From @Normative: “That argument’s pretty weird, actually. Why does @andreagrimes thinks a Twitter block is different from telling staff to screen calls?” Well, mainly because telling staff to screen calls means an individual person is answering a phone somewhere. Instead of Twitter blocking, which is the effective equivalent of never picking up. Because our elected officials are obligated to pick up the phone when we call (Well, unless you’re @DeputyDog73 up there, who believes elected officials can do whatever they want if it’s their choice), they can’t block us on Twitter because we disagree with them.
I’ll be sure to update the post as the day goes on if I get any more good responses. Thanks to all for reading.
EDIT: Someone asked me to clarify the difference between “not following” and “blocking.” Here it is: “Not following” is when someone doesn’t follow you. “Blocking” is when someone prevents your tweets from reaching them.