What does a Twitter-driven politics look like?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is the final bit:

But what does this new, more intense celebrity culture mean for actual outcomes? The more power and influence that individual communicators wield over public opinion, the harder it will be for a sitting president to get things done. (The best option, see above, will be to make your case and engage your adversaries on social media.) The harder it will be for an aspirant party to put forward a coherent, predictable and actionable political program.

Finally, the issues that are easier to express on social media will become the more important ones. Technocratic dreams will fade, and fiery rhetoric and identity politics will rule the day. And if you think this is the political world we’re already living in, rest assured: It’s just barely gotten started.


Does this increase or decrease the case for term limits?

Obviously the entire thing leads to dystopia ;-(

Tyler is essentially saying the Russians and Kochs should control our politics. He stomps off in the celebrity direction, but the real danger is that maleficient actors can BUY elections aka TRUMP.

Instead of rioting and impeachment, Democrat Party reads angry tweets from Russian trolls and they get mollified. Remember, everything you read on the Internet that’s not from the NYTimes or MSNBC is Russian.

Ocasio-Cortez should push a internet fairness doctrine: no internet outlet accessible to Americans should have any information not preapproved by a panel of Harvard Sociology Professors.

Trump was massively outspent by Hillary.


Does that leave out Russian GRU spending? Fozzy Bear budget? Wikileaks?

How about Saudi spending on the election? Israeli spending ? North Korean spending?

The plutocrats and despots bought enough racist white votes to install the Orangian Candidate.

Deal with it. Your President is a paid for Moscow asset. How many more “no note” meetings do you need?

Well either all that is significant and meaningful .... or you're a crazy guy on the internet.

Big talk for a self admitted rat stuck in Putin’s maze.



Reagan's and Trump's countenances should be added on Mt. Rushmore.

Thank God that drunken, incompetent harridan not to get her turn at the White House.

Trump 2020!

After Trump's re-election in 2020, he should enact a law requiring Democrats to wear a red letter 'D' so they can be easily aimed at....oops I mean identified. If they don't like it they can emigrate to Venezuela to see what their AOC socialist paradise looks like.

#MAGA2020 #2ndAmendmentSolution

Reagan gave amnesty to millions of illegals. That makes him a far better POTUS than Orange Chicken.

"but the real danger is that maleficient actors can BUY elections aka TRUMP."

I'm confused. Was Trump's election engineered by wealthy robber-barons seeking to corner the railroad-tie market in the Southwest Territories, or by all those toothless, inbred deplorables who left their trailers long enough to register to vote?

Seriously, I'm enjoying watching this circular firing squad on the Left. Of course, after we've imported more Muslims then Rep. Omar won't have to apologize the next time she vents about Jewish influence in American foreign policy.

You all been took in. The redirection is pretty clever actually. Maybe this "anonymous" speaks with a Russian accent.

(Tyler is right about the surface trend, and we won't know until the primaries if it carries through to common folk.)

The "look, the left is becoming as bad as the right" subtext should also be noted, especially by those who still think it's right to be right.

Don’t worry the left is winning the “who is worse for America” race by a large margin.

Last I checked milo, trump, Coulter, Koch brothers etc. have about 1/100th of the policy ambitions of the new left in this country.

Maybe the wall is horrific policy and MAGA hats are in poor taste, but, they’re not exactly high stakes policy plays if you ask me.

By the way, another better question:

All these recent controversies involve Republicans attacking-back freshman Democrats. The President himself is now at war with freshman Democrats.

This might actually serve the interests of older established moderate Democrats.

Back to adults in the room.

No, the most significant and salient current controversy actually involves a freshman Muslim Democratic congresswoman who has straight out written about “benjamins” and “AIPAC”. We will undoubtedly soon begin to plunge to the depths of the UK, where the anti-semitism is so open that Corbyn can appear on stage with anti-semites and support Hamas. And not be contrite or repentant.

Some American Jews are offering the nuanced view, which you may take or leave. Basically, support for specific policies by the nation of Israel, or specific funding mechanisms for the American Congress, are separable from the issue of (anti)semitism.

May Allah open the world’s eyes to the Jew hypnosis about Trump!

They laugh and count their benjamins while pulling the Orange strings!

We gonna impeach the motherfuckah!

See, that is what it's actually interesting. This guy trolls to remove nuance, and to kill moderation.

I read the deleted tweets and I'm sorry but I can't get worked up over it. It's not antisemetic to point out that AIPAC is a lobbying firm with some amount of money. No group is above criticism and no one should be silenced for exercising their right to free speech.

+1, It's a stretch to call those tweets anti-semitic.

It's a parody of anonymous aka polar bear, the guy who posts incessantly about Trump.

Why would anybody pay attention to the greatest plague upon our Nation!

Do over: it is a little late for sure the guy's an idiot, but what could possibly go wrong?

Twitter, as any social media platform, can be safely scrapped, abolished, shut down, without one threat to Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech. (If the commercial service in fact poses threats to Constitutional democracy, banish it all the sooner, before another election.)

In the meanwhile Twitter devotees might ask themselves--once or twice a day or week--what explains their speech commitments to a commercial social medium (it's no socialist social media platform exactly, any of Commissar AOC's representations to the contrary).

If they'd like their "free speech" freed, Twitter addicts can close their own accounts and get off their commercially sponsored cognitive treadmill.

Au contraire. Humans have the capacity to adapt. That's why humans have survived. And humans can adapt to social media. That means becoming less sensitive about what's posted on social media. I don't use social media because they aren't used to make arguments but to argue. Now I am a student of Rene Girard, so I appreciate that humans are mostly copyists. But humans have learned not to repeat behavior that is self-destructive, and that includes spending time on social media. There's hope for the future, even if the value of the future can't be determined with a zero discount rate because there are propagandists out there profiting off the misery of others.

If issues that are hard to express on social media fade in the public consciousness, can't that potentially mean greater ease when trying to handle them technocratically?

This seems to be an overblown issue. Her tweets could be considered vaguely anti-semitic. Or they could just as easily be considered as someone making political complaints about an opposition group.

Frankly, the article I read that explained why these tweets should be considered anti-semitic just sounded like the typical dog whistle crap. They necessarily involve motive interpretation and reading someones mind.

The above addresses Tyler's comments about Rep. Omar. I think his post is on much firmer ground regarding Rep. O-Cortez or President Trump.

Just try anything that's vaguely anti-black, especially if you don't have leftist credentials.

I absolutely understand that the Left has a double standard. But I don't.

I think Obama was a pioneer in this way on social media, too. Good for Obama, not so hot for his party.

"Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great."

- Obama

Trump isn't the only one who should be criticized for not looking before he tweets.

but was he? He seems from a bygone stage-managed age, politely saying the right things, with a team managing his social media accounts. It's all nice and all phony. Trump is the real deal, even his detractors believe he's letting you know what he really thinks.

At least it's not the iron cage of bureaucracy, where "no summer bloom lies ahead of us, but rather a polar night of icy darkness."

That's not going away, either.

How can we say that a useless president is bad? The charts tells us different, the less a president does the better we are.

Yep. One of Obama's few wins in the White House was when he was golfing.

Actually, President Captain Bolsonaro has imposed Twitter-centric policies, and they work. Brazil is establishing a direct democracy like Athens'. As an old Brazilian anthem says, "let us be Greek in our glory, but Roman in our virtue".

Athens was defeated by Sparta. Direct democracy sucks.

It is not that simple. Athens was the culminating point of Classical Antiquity. Zeno, Socrates, Demosthenes, Pericles, etc. Evidently, Civilization is a fragile flower as the conquests of the Soviets, Nazis and Red China have shown us all.

However, there is a place for restrained admiration for the institutions of Sparta. Famous French philosopher Auguste Comte has famously included Lycurgus, the father of Sparta's institutions, among the noble men he honored with his Positivist Calendar. Brazil is the world where Positivism has reached its greatest influence. In a certain, Brazil is a mora heir to Sparta. Suffices to say that, when hundreds of Paraguayans surrounded Brazilian soldiers in the surprise attack which started the Paraguayan War, our soldiers refused to surrender. How can one not be reminded of the old poem about Leonidas and his soldiers, who also fought to death against a cowardly invader?

"Go, tell the Spartans, stranger passing by
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie."

Astute analysis.

Not sure about Omar, but I get the idea AOC is in this for the long haul. She is quite poised and impressive and a breath of fresh air.

Of course, if she is in this for the long haul, she has A LOT to learn. Class is in session, and Nancy is drumming the ruler on her desk.

It's almost sad to see idealistic youth grind up against the reality of DC politics, but it can't be helped. Enjoy the Honeymoon!

"She is quite poised and impressive and a breath of fresh air."

These are true, and if she were a Hollywood starlet it would be enough.

However, her Green New Deal is sheer idiocy. And she's proclaimed it public policy.

It goes far beyond anything Trump was brash and/or stupid enough to push. Frankly, nothing in her GND is anywhere near as mundane or as logical as a border wall or tariffs with other countries.

"The bill calls for a "10-year national mobilizations" toward accomplishing a series of goals that the resolution lays out."

* "upgrading all existing buildings" in the country for energy efficiency;

* working with farmers "to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions ... as much as is technologically feasible"

* "Overhauling transportation systems" to reduce emissions — including expanding electric car manufacturing, building "charging stations everywhere," and expanding high-speed rail to "a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary"

* A guaranteed job "with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security" for every American;

* "High-quality health care" for all Americans.


Hey, but maybe NPR is just trying to make her look like a raging loon.

Or maybe Rep O-Cortez is just putting this out to fool the Leftwing idiots and will drop it in the near future? Perhaps she is playing high level Chess and this is all a maneuver to discredit Rep. Pelosi to the base and allow her and the new guard to take over?

I ain't even gonna read any of that.

Look, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both admitted they governed to the right of where they would have preferred, and these guys were way to the right of AOC and her ilk.

AOC may by some miracle give the progs the upper hand within the Democratic Party, but that's as far as it goes. McGovern '72 is the result.

If Dems want the White House, they need to conform to the Obama/Clinton mold. Because of people like me. Sorry.

7 Senators and 67 House Democrats have signed on to it. You should at least read it so you aren't living in a bubble of your own making.

And, most amusingly, Mitch McConnell is preparing to force a vote on the GND in the Senate.

Yes AOC puts forth a well thought out, detailed, academic approved plan to save the world.

Republicans blame immigrants and shut down the government to build the Great Wall of the Confederacy.

I guess if Putin is the last man standing over the smoking crater that was the Earth Republicans will be happy. Rapture and all that.

Putin, check.
Wall, check.
Confederacy, check.

Solid stuff.

I'm aware of the existence of the green dream or whatever they call it, so no bubble here.

I bet I could even take a decent stab at what it contains. But why bother? The numbers you cite above demonstrate that this isn't going anywhere.

There isn't even a bill yet, just a grandstanding resolution.

Like the mills of the gods, the wheels of legislation grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine.

Fair points. I don't think it will go far either, but it's clearly more than a small fringe. So, I pay attention. Maybe too much, to your point.

"She is quite poised and impressive and a breath of fresh air."

"I wanna bang her".


Grow up Art.

Quit saying fatuous things and I'll quit laughing at you.

Offering me something with zero utility? On an economics blog?


I'm guessing that by this he means "well-dressed" because he sure as hell doesn't mean "never says anything deeply stupid."


This is awfully vague. It certainly isn't about her presentation of any facts or policy; it has to be about physical presence. This can be safely interpreted as "you can tell she used to be cute in college."

>A breath of fresh air

And this you can say about literally anyone young.

TTTPillory is 100% correct in his analysis.

"It's almost sad to see idealistic youth grind up against the reality of DC politics, but it can't be helped. Enjoy the Honeymoon!"

That's a joke, right?

Or, is your point that this generation doesn't reach maturity until age 39?

No joke. I feel like I'm still learning quite a bit myself at 54, let alone 29.

Well said, but get the memo to Beto!

She might go with the Bernie angle rather than the Pelosi angle. For anyone who hates establishment politics which is admittedly a lot of people these days, that might be the ticket considering Bernie's lasting popularity even in these polarizing times.

On a general basis, how often are the people who end up doing things in the long haul the people who are look shiniest up front?

With AOC we must remember that she is the one that got through on a slate that "Justice Democrats" (social justice warrior wing) were putting through. So she's the target of a lot of focus and aspiration right now. That'll get diluted with time, and not much evidence she will be particularly competent or skilled in the long haul.

(Have noticed putting her down for her youth and gender, rather than foolish tweets and bad political ideas, is one of the worst trends in this comment section atm).

Good column, Tyler. The optimist might say that filling congressional seats based on Twitter snark and ****-stirring will in fact merely be a move toward the adversarial style of British parliamentary debate, but that would be dumb.

People on twitter tend to grossly exaggerate the importance of twitter in their minds. Unsurprisingly this includes most of the media who simply love having their biases confirmed by their peer group.

The result is an endless stream of self styled elites telling us how important Twitter is and an increasingly disinterested populace.

Yeah, that's a good point. People in the media constantly overrate their own importance, regardless of the media in question.

+1 to both of you

I think you guys are missing the point: Twitter gives an independent platform to an edgy, controversial young member of Congress. After two years as a gadfly in Congress building up her base, she's all set. She has an independent platform that doubles as a career.

In the past, I'm sure you could leverage a stint in Congress for something, but this?

In some ways, it's similar to the platform that guys like Jordan Peterson have. People want to shut him up or ignore him, but millions are listening. A headlock on MSM ain't what it used to be.

In the same way, someone using a Congressional seat as a launching pad can thumb their nose at the party establishment, because they aren't playing the "go along to get along" game that anybody that actually wants to accomplish something in government is forced to play.

+1, "A headlock on MSM ain't what it used to be. ...can thumb their nose at the party establishment,"

IE Alexandria O-Cortez can, to some degree, thumb her nose at Pelosi. And the old tactic of retaliating, by putting her on a boring committee without much opportunity for media exposure, is pretty obsolete.

'People want to shut him up or ignore him'

Or hand him really lucrative book deals - 'Right now, University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson is the world’s most-read Canadian author. Given that he also narrates his own audiobooks, it’s possible he may currently be buzzing through more earbuds than any other Canadian voice.

Although he first rose to international prominence as an opponent of gender-neutral pronouns, Peterson’s new book, 12 Rules for Life, is largely his take on what is most “valuable” in life. And it is tearing up the charts, with Penguin Random House already deeming it one of their top performers.' https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/could-jordan-peterson-become-the-best-selling-canadian-author-of-all-time

One really shouldn't need to point this out on a web site with a devotion to public choice economics, but follow the money, not the hype.

Yes yes yes, the longest of cons... 30 years as obscure professor, patiently laying the groundwork for a springing empire.

Considering that the world's most visible tweeter is the President of the United States (~5-6 tweets/day), the importance of Twitter is not overstated. Twitter is also a nice hack around the mainstream media to get your message out without needless spin.

A bit like FDR's fireside chats. A go around the media.

TC: "Technocratic dreams will fade" - good observation. So sadly no hope for patent reform.

I'm beginning to sympathize with those who just felt like they needed to blow up the whole system. Only, they didn't blow it up at all, they just reinforced the same partisan dynamic that we've been living with for decades. The Democrats are even more left wing than ever and the Republican party looks even stupider and more racist and bigoted than ever, leaving moderates with no choice but to vote for the even more socialist Democrats. They thought they were blowing up the system but they were actually shooting themselves in the face.

"leaving moderates with no choice but to vote for the even more socialist Democrats. "

Trump and Hillary were the two worst candidates of my life time. So, I just voted for the Libertarian candidate. If you want to vote for a socialist, you don't need to make an excuse to anybody.

It's kind of ridiculous to claim: "leaving moderates with no choice "

@RIPM - good point, but I out thought you, I did not even vote. Thinking like a chess player that I am and reducing to the endgame. I am working on my third citizenship as well.

I voted for Johnson too, but I'm not under the illusion that average Americans are going to start voting Libertarian in the near future. Johnson couldn't even break 5% against Hillary and Trump.

Democratic Socialists should be happy with the election of Trump. Dear Leader is tops at getting a record number of socialists elected into office and has made socialism more popular than the supposedly Kenyan Muslim Marxist ever did.

He's also been excellent at tearing down the post-war "neoliberal" consensus on trade.
Latin American Marxists should admire him.

Who will buy Twitter then?

I don't really know who plays the "anonymous left of anonymous," but I think it perhaps accidentally shows how firmly many of you believe moderation to be a front for socialism or something.

Maybe actually think through what you're reading.

Do you think high-handedly scolding and lecturing these dopes is going to help your case? Your schtick is "only I am the adult and you all need to do the following things I tell you to do". Good luck with that.

You could have done better than "when pushed I will admit the president is a fool, but only when pushed, so I can appear 'normal.'"

But of course that is still better than the MR norm of sullen silence and passive aggression.

Not that I really care, history will route around this local outage. Writ large, the Twitter skirmishes Tyler cites are already full repudiation of Trumpism. Trump was so bad, that people are considering a 180 degree reverse. "Socialism" has gone from epithet to badge.

Then again, some of you who still think of yourselves as good conservatives or good centrists might consider what you might have done.

You might have campaigned for an intelligent and moral conservatism, or centrism, and not left the field ripe to be taken by the likes of AOC.

LOL the schoolmarm can't stop scolding. And still getting it mostly wrong to boot. Never change, guy.

That's funny, because your answer is pure hall monitor, and zero political economy.

The fact remains that none of you have been about creating that center to right alternative to Trump.

You've been anti-anti-Trump, while ceding all moral leadership.

Note that this applies to Tyler's Bloomberg essays as well. Dropping a one line criticism of Trump in a 200 line piece is fine, touching bases, but neither did it create a viable right wing alternative to Trumpism.

You say that literally while Howard Schultz is doing a CNN Live Town Hall event on TV.

Looks like there's an actual moderate (centrist) in the race. We'll see how long it takes for you to go on daily rants about how Schultz is the devil incarnate.

I give it 24 hours.

Are you the "anonymous" troll? Because that is just the kind of misrepresentation he makes.

My actual comment was:

'My prevailing thought is that Schultz should try to come up through one of the two main parties and their primaries. He would both get his ideas out there and have his chance to move the center of opinion where it matters. Maybe I would vote for him that way.'


And again we see theme. Attack and distort moderation to defend the status quo.

Assuming this comment wasn’t your alter ego, you also insinuated he’s running as a spoiler candidate to keep his tax cut in the exact same thread.

We have a centrist in the race running as an independent, I thoroughly expect you to keep attacking him throughout the cycle. Nothing says moderation like losing one’s mind over an independent moderate running without a party.

You put one toe in to the rational argument and then jump away again.

It very much matters what Schultz' net impact on the election will be. That *is* the rational discussion.

In fact, if we see is a bunch of polls (and there have been a few) that say his impact on the election will be not to win but to aid Donald Trump, then we must conclude that is his intention.

An emotional "but he's a moderate!" Is not a rational counter argument.

you're thinking too much, fella

If more people had thought this way we would not have a guy who will surely go down as the worst president in the last hundred years sitting in the White House.

Oh, and this morning's headline is:

"Howard Schultz won't say whether he'll drop out of 2020 race if it looks like he'll help Trump"


"First off, the issue of being a spoiler, how can you spoil a system that is already broken?" he said. "It's just not working."

That sounds like something I might have to oppose, for very rational and pragmatic reasons.

"I give it 24 hours."

It didn't take nearly that long.

And don't get me started on this guy. His sort of sullen tribalism has become the default behavior for the Republican party.

All he can do is attack what might have been a better, more rational, more moral conservatism.

I can't do any better than msgkings sublime reply above:

"LOL the schoolmarm can't stop scolding. And still getting it mostly wrong to boot. Never change, guy."

Don't centrists just support whoever happens to be holding the institutions at the time? I don't really see how it's anything but slavish authoritarianism.

I'm kind of done with this page, but let's note the missing argument. Do you know what no one said? No one said "yeah, we love this moderate Howard Schultz so much that we should run him as the Republican candidate and replacement for Donald Trump."

That would have been some right-wing rationalism that I could get behind.

But if you only want him as a spoiler I must conclude that you only want him as a spoiler.


Hey I wanted a night-watchman State. Then the government would be so small that it really wouldn't matter who's in charge of it. I was told that was pure Tea Party, racist, crackpottery. Okay, so I'll vote for the strongman who hates my enemies. It's the future you chose.


That's good to hear. Your constant hectoring about how you are the lone voice of reason get's pretty boring.

You’ve been plastering pixel after pixel about moderation and civility for months. There’s finally a civil moderate in the race....

And you throw a temper tantrum that he’s not polling well enough, 21 months before the election, to justify his running as an independent.

Of course for all of us who would prefer not to vote for either Warren or Trump (though the debates will be comedy gold), we should just shut up and vote Warren.

Somehow I don’t think you’re the moderate you claim to be.

Exactly! The harder it will be for an aspirant party to put forward a coherent, (https://www.dubaiburj.ae/) predictable and actionable political program.

Isn't this all about ethnic-driven politics?

>identity politics will rule the day.

That was obvious to anyone with a brain after the 2008 election.

"Fortnite's Marshmello Concert is the Future of the Metaverse" - Wired.com.

Will there be a virtual candidate rally this cycle? A virtual debate? Will it happen inside a game?

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