Can a person really vote by text? If it’s about voting in the upcoming presidential election, then the answer is no.
But that’s not stopping ads such as the one in the photo above from making rounds on social media outlets such as Twitter. The fake ads were apparently made by conservative Twitter users, who proceeded to share them as legitimate, perhaps so left-wing bloggers can take it at face value and re-tweet it.
Traditional media outlets have discovered that this is going on, and they went ballistic. One example would be this article on The Washington Post.
Twitter typically doesn’t intervene unless what is posted is illegal, and lying about the process of voting is not illegal. However, Twitter eventually intervened anyway, which I think just about anyone could have seen coming. You know, what with leftists making up a huge chunk of their Safety Council.
It’s easy to see why the left-leaning media didn’t like this very much. It’s not just the fact that it’s right-wing shenanigans, which they’d jump all over to try to convince you to change your vote to Democrat. Generally, politicians and the politically-involved tend to see the majority of the population as morons. So when they saw this hoax pop up, they suspected that people could fall for it. Personally, in the case of liberals, I see these concerns as much more well-founded.
I know that the image of the typical left-leaner as presented in the media is as some coastal technocrats that are connected and abreast of the trends of the digital age, while those on the right are portrayed as southern yokels who are too heavily invested in traditional values to come to the present age. However, when you spend some time on the ground, you see that this isn’t really the case. From my own experience, the typical left-leaners are low-income city-dwellers who believe that they are actively being suppressed, and that the odds are against them. They typically vote Democrat because they receive government assistance of some kind, and are convinced that if Republicans got their way, their benefits would be taken away from them, and they would be left to starve. This is in contrast to the typical conservative, who are usually skilled workers who see the world as unfair, but love the free market because it still offers a positive correlation between the effort that one puts forward, and the reward they get for it.
Fake ads like the one shown above, which has also been produced in Spanish, are perfect for pulling one over on the left-leaning. Many of them would see something like voting by text as something that could reasonably be implemented in the year 2016. They might even see the use of material such as the official logo for the Clinton campaign, as well as the disclaimer, and think it’s legit. So they’d fire their text messages off on their cheap pay-as-you-go Obamaphones while thinking that they’re bringing about change (by voting for the establishment candidate, go figure), and Election Day can come and go and they’d be none the wiser.
The fact that a similar ad was produced in Spanish is especially insidious. We know that the reason why immigrants (legal or otherwise) vote Democrat is because Democrats are generally weaker on immigration. We know that the reason why Democrats want illegal immigrants to vote is that illegal immigrants would mostly vote Democrat, and these days, when elections are usually tight, even a slight shift in one party’s favor can win that party the election. That Democrats desire to secure the votes of immigrants doesn’t have to do with sharing their values (because they don’t), they see them as a resource to exploit for political advantage.
The problem is, illegal immigrants don’t understand the American election process very well. This isn’t surprising, considering that Americans don’t understand the election process very well. So when someone new to America sees an official-looking ad say (in their own language) that they can vote for a candidate by text, they are likely to take it at face value, and not bother to register or vote or even show up on election day, and they’d be likely to pass this false information on to their friends and family.
The internet has proven to be a double-edged sword. While it’s true that it can be used to send information instantaneously around the world, the same could happen with false information, and that false information can get quite a bit of traction. It’s tempting to save time by taking someone else’s word for it so one can get back to wasting it with some vapid Facebook game. However, if a person doesn’t do their research, they’re going to be much easier for someone else to take advantage of.