Marking #ForceTheVote’s First Anniversary

The image taken was from the website

Saturday, December 11, 2021, marks the first anniversary of the #ForceTheVote discussion that broke out online but was much discussed in leftist circles. What is it about, and is it still relevant today? This post serves to answer the first part of the question, but the answer to the second part of the question is a resounding yes.

I have written this post because this topic has been on my mind for an entire year. Also, establishing a universal health care system for the United States has been my goal for much longer. That said, I want to recount a bit of history. Even if what I discuss might not sound all that important, people’s motivations are. And what I have seen in this discussion points to a major problem in Western politicians and our society at large.

I was there for most of the Twitter drama surrounding #ForceTheVote. At the time, I decided to grab as many screenshots of tweets as I could. Unfortunately, I lost them all because my stupid computer hard drive crashed in the middle of January 2021. I had to purchase another PC and take only the most relevant screenshots.

There is a lot to discuss since much has happened in a year, and the discussion about #ForceTheVote has not gone away. I am going to break this up into a few posts and use this one to give you some background Information on #ForceTheVote.

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‘You Should Stick to Sports’: Has ESPN Become Too Political?

ESPN, too political, Jemele Hill, Donald Trump, Twitter
Bob Ley is one of the least controversial hosts on ESPN. He might deal with heavy topics on Outside the Lines, but the acclaimed show isn’t seen as being too political. The same isn’t said about ESPN overall. Ley left for a six-month sabbatical in September 2018, but he has been the host of OTL since May 1990.

Since 2013, ESPN has made a series of layoffs. Many of the layoffs are connected to the loss of viewership and subscriptions, but there are other factors at play. Some people will argue that ESPN has lost viewers because of the political direction the 24-hour sports network has taken this decade, but that’s a reductive statement often made by people with an agenda.

That said, is ESPN (too) political nowadays? From what I’ve seen, I don’t think so. However, I feel that there are times when it is nearly impossible for sports networks like ESPN to ignore politics, especially when it is intertwined with sports.

In order for me to explain this, I will need to go back to a series of incidents that happened well over a year ago. When I first started this series, it had been two weeks after Jemele kicked off a controversy that put her employer in a precarious position. Yet I feel that the topic is still relevant because the complaints about sports mixing with politics have not abated. Ultimately, this topic ties into the issue of protest in sports, among other things.

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Progressives: Don’t Turn on Each Other Because of Alex Jones (Part 3)

progressives, Alex Jones, online censorship, Jimmy Dore, free speech, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google
Alex Jones (on the left) crashed an interview that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida, on the right) was giving reporters on September 5, 2018. Taken from a screenshot (video).

In Part 2 of this series, I talked about the incidents that happened since Alex Jones was banned from various platforms. I also talked about how I felt about Jones being targeted. Additionally, since I found out that the U.S. government (and the European Union) was involved, it made me think deeper about the issue of online censorship.

Now, it’s been over a month since I last visited this series, but a lot more has happened on this front. Before I can get into the nitty-gritty, I will need to talk about a few of these developments.

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Progressives: Don’t Turn on Each Other Because of Alex Jones (Part 2)

progressives, social media, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, online censorship, government involvement, free-speech issue
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently talked to NBC News’ Lester Holt about Twitter’s decision to put Alex Jones in a week-long timeout. Twitter’s movements in this arena will have long-term implications, and most of them will be bad for progressives.

In Part 1 of this series, I talked about the fallout from Alex Jones’ dismissal from certain platforms and the effect it has had on progressives. In particular, a fight has been raging about the concept of free speech and whether or not there are limits to it. As a result, a number of progressives have turned on each other, at least in this arena. As the title of these posts suggests, I have a problem with that because progressives need to stick together.

I am also troubled by the way people are going about this argument. While both sides in this debate have valid points, one side has stronger ones, but even people on that side have made a series of argumentative missteps. In sniping at each other, progressives in this fight have subverted their own arguments to a degree.

Now, one is certain: Alex Jones’ banishment is the start of a widescale sweep and things will get worse before they get better. That said, I would like to revisit my thoughts on his banishment and talk about the effect it can have on many others.

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The Press Is Using Sarah Huckabee Sanders As a Prop

Michelle Wolf, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Twitter, White House Correspondents Dinner, hypocrisy, projection, the press, Mika Brzezinski, Maggie Haberman, Andrea Mitchell, Sean Spicer
Comedienne Michelle Wolf at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. This image was taken via a screenshot.

On Sunday, April 29, 2018, comedian Michelle Wolf received a backlash for her set at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner the previous night. During a nearly 20-minute set, Wolf took aim at the Washington, D.C. crowd, which included politicians and the establishment press. Most of the complaints focused on what Wolf said about White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but that was a cover — and a lot of conservatives are going along with it because they want to score political points.

Let’s be honest here. Michelle Wolf went after a lot of people in her 19-minute set, including herself. All told, this is who she went after:

  • Donald Trump and his campaign
  • Hilton (“It’s not nice”)
  • C-SPAN (“No one watches that”)
  • The White House Correspondents’ Association (“The mung fish was fine”)
  • Congress
  • Roy Moore
  • Reince Priebus
  • Jake Tapper
  • Hillary Clinton’s campaign
  • Men who don’t pull out
  • Harvey Weinstein
  • Trump’s grown children (except Tiffany)
  • Teachers
  • Mike Pence
  • Anderson Cooper
  • Anti-abortionists
  • Bear Stearns
  • Al Franken
  • Ted Kennedy
  • Starbucks
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Paul Ryan
  • Chris Christie
  • The Republicans
  • The Democrats
  • Kellyanne Conway
  • Scott Pruitt
  • Anne Coulter
  • CNN
  • Fox News
  • Sean Hannity
  • Rachel Maddow
  • The press collectively
  • The anti-immigrant crowd
  • Flint, Michigan

Yet we are talking about one person and projecting things onto that comedy set. It says more about us and the press that’s pushing this narrative.

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Roger Stone: That Escalated Quickly

Roger Stone, Twitter, Trump, Russia probe
Former (and current?) Trump adviser Roger Stone has been bannedededed from the Twitters. Image taken via screenshot.

Um … It looks like Roger Stone has been permanently suspended from Twitter after having a meltdown following a crucial announcement in the Russia probe. Apparently, Stone went on the war path against Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, Ana Navarro, Charles Blow, and Bill Kristol. These guys all work for CNN in some capacity.

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News Roundup (Week of Nov. 13-19, 2016)

news roundup, current events

Hello, Readers! Today, I am debuting a weekly news roundup. It may or may not become a permanent feature.

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Ruh-Roh … I Have to Create a Social Media Schedule?

#bloggingbranding, social media schedule, Facebook, Twitter

With 2 more assignments to go in the Blogging: Branding and Growth and course, the eighth assignment I am tasked with creating a social media schedule. Yikes!

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Extending My Brand on Social Media

social media, social media strategy, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Google Plus

For the sixth assignment for Blogging: Branding and Growth, I had to consider linking this website to social media.

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I Really Suck at Twitter (WAW)

For this Write Anything Wednesday (screw you, Greenwich Mean Time!), I thought I would talk about one problem I have online.

As the title says, I really such at Twitter, bros. It’s true. I’m horrible at it.

While I do have an online presence in plenty of other avenues, Twitter is the one I’m most uncomfortable with. And I’ve tried my best to avoid it for the longest time.

I was aware of Twitter’s presence since 2009, as even Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) — a Democratic Senator from Missouri — was seen using it to post during the State of the Union address. While this might help people like her get in touch with constituents and other U.S. citizens with the touch of a finger, I felt no need to get involved. I got a new computer a year later but felt no need to join Twitter. And I went 5 more years and another computer later but never felt the need to join.

I scoffed at Twitter. When I heard that it was a platform where users could use up to 140 characters, I scoffed at the notion. “Only 140 characters?! That’s not enough for me. Surely only inconsequential thoughts could come from strictly limited characters.”

I scoffed at Sen. McCaskill using Twitter during that State of the Union Address. “Why don’t you pay attention to your president, instead of tweeting? You were there!”

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