It’s no secret that the left loves to resort to grand symbolic gestures that get attention but accomplish nothing. One of their favorite tactics in the social media age is what I like to call “hashtag activism.” Social media users will latch on to a particular hashtag as if it will actually accomplish anything.
Remember the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag? Thousands of people used the hashtag and retweeted Michelle Obama’s photo of herself holding up the hashtag on a sheet of paper and looking all serious and sad as though Boko Haram would see it and say, “They’re using a hashtag. They must really mean it. And look at Michelle Obama! We need to release those girls right now before they lob more hashtags at us.”
#BringBackOurGirls didn’t work, and it even became the target of parody. Now the hashtag activists are going after President Donald Trump.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) decided to unfollow the president after his recent spate of tweets condemning specific Democrats.
Murphy has spawned a new hashtag: #UnfollowTrump. He took to MSNBC to crow about unfollowing President Trump:
“Yesterday morning, I just decided I had had enough of starting my days with this kind of racist, hateful, demeaning negativity,” Murphy explained. “Obviously I’m in this business and I’m in the United States Senate to try and stop his hateful agenda from moving into law.”
The senator said that he gets “trapped” in a cycle of feeling like he needs to immediately respond to the president’s tweets.
The tweet and ensuing hashtag has turned into red meat for Trump critics and haters, and no doubt many of them will unfollow the president. But will the #UnfollowTrump movement accomplish anything?
Sure, Trump will likely see a decrease in his follower count. Plenty of people will use the hashtag to gin up controversy and outrage as well.
At the end of the day, I can almost guarantee that a mass unfollowing by critics of the president isn’t going to change a thing about the way he engages on Twitter. Trump is who he is, and hardly anything will lead him to behave differently.
Look, I cringe at his tweets. I hate seeing some of the things he expresses on Twitter. But I can look past a lot of it and even laugh at it, because I’m an adult and don’t let him live rent-free in my head like far too many people who love and hate him allow him to do.
As much as the left like to think they can influence Trump by unfollowing him, it ain’t gonna happens – and all the hashtags in the world won’t help. Hashtag activism is like most anything the left likes to do: it feels good but doesn’t accomplish a thing.