Years ago I was at a Halloween party in Dublin and there was a guy there in an amazing outfit. He was dressed in full Nazi Desert Warfare uniform complete with a decommissioned WW2 Luger pistol. I got chatting with him and asked him where he hired the outfit? He looked a bit sheepish then admitted it was his own. He was a history nerd and he had collected bits and pieces over the years on eBay. One of the more curious things about WW2 reenactments is that dramatically more people like to dress up as the Nazis – make of that what you will.
I was thinking about the Halloween incident when I saw Paula Bradshaw’s tweet last night.
I imagine my reaction to the tweet was the same as most people – I laughed. In fact, it was one of the best laughs I have had in months – it still makes me smile writing this.
To be honest I am not sure why she drew attention to it. I have checked Twitter, Facebook and Reddit and I can’t find the photos anywhere. I imagine the reality will be a disappointment compared to our imagination.
While the episode is pretty funny there is a deeper issue at stake here. It chimes into our modern obsession of cancel culture and social media mobs descending on people for the most minor infractions or perceived slight.
The modern politician must be an automaton with no emotions or desires. They should have the banalest careers possible, preferably no career and instead have worked ‘for the party.’
This is a serious issue as it further discourages people from getting involved in politics – it is no exaggeration to say it is a major threat to democracy. Why would any sensible person subject themselves to the potential of Nolan on one side and the Twitter mob on the other?
I never thought I would say this, but my advice to politicians would be to be more like a certain representative for North Antrim, tell them all to f*ck off. Politicians dramatically overestimate the importance of social media. Social media is not your constituency. I would go one further and advise politicians not to do social media at all. Save your sanity and get off it.
Ignore the mob, they will soon move on to their next victim. The only thing you should concern yourself with is your constituents, not the anonymous trolls on Twitter.
I help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff.