(“Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?” – Promoted by Colorado Pols)
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) made an appearance at the Fremont County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner last Saturday, and delivered her rehearsed and flippant quip to the friendly crowd:
“I’m having the time of my life there [in Congress], because every single day I get to troll liberals.”
Apparently, she read the room fairly well. Her message resonated somewhat, as her audience chortled and snickered after the briefest delay in responding to Boebert’s cue, a pause to wait for the laughter.
It was a very “meta” moment, since her glib comment about trolling liberals could effectively serve to actually troll liberals.
Trolling can be defined as commentary which is designed to stir contention and emotional response for fun or entertainment, and which doesn’t propose or promote specific platform ideas or positions.
Fact checking Boebert’s statement to the Fremont County Republicans, it appears that on Twitter — arguably the most popular social media platform for trolls — her statement can be rated as “mostly true.”
In an anecdotal survey, scrolling through the past week of tweets from Boebert’s two Twitter accounts — @laurenboebert and @RepBoebert — it was determined that, using narrow criteria to identify trolling tweets*, Boebert averaged nearly 2 per day, or about 1/3 of all her tweets.
But with more liberal criteria (pardon the expression), Boebert’s trolling tweets could account for half or a slight majority of her posts.
Political content rates among the highest of categories in terms of where trolling is observed.
With the rise of divisive and oppositional partisan politics, 24-hour cable infotainment channels, and a broadening of the social media landscape, trolling in the political realm has become a popular device to engage audiences and fortify a base of followers who are ideological allies. But its efficacy as an electoral strategy of persuasion and coalition building is harder to calculate.
Boebert’s propensity for trolling was obvious even before she launched her campaign for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat, representing southern and western parts of the state, when she drove from Rifle to Denver with her Glock strapped to her hip to troll Beto O’Rourke on the campaign trail.
And she hasn’t slowed down since.
Is Boebert a capable troll? Liberals will have to judge.
Since arriving in Washington D.C., Boebert has demonstrated an aptitude for leveraging her social media presence and garnering spots on conservative cable “news” shows to fuel her notoriety.
Among all freshman legislators, Boebert’s name recognition, public profile, and visibility are indisputably ranked in the top 3 or 4, accompanied by Marjorie Taylor Greene, another noted troll and provocateur with Republican affiliation.
Boebert and Greene’s association with QAnon and conspiracy theorists significantly elevates their troll rating, building their audiences on the foundation of unsubstantiated innuendo and rumor while targeting established political institutions and public individuals, predominantly Democrats.
Certainly, Boebert’s legislative record is not contributing to her elevated public profile, since none “of her sponsored or cosponsored bills have even passed the House, let alone become law.” She generally focuses her commentary on criticizing her opposition.
The problem posed by Boebert’s trolling, though, is important to acknowledge. In governing, constructive collaboration and compromise ultimately determine success in enacting policy. Divisive bomb-throwing and baiting emotional reactions undermine that. Plus, the metastasis of misinformation is often a direct byproduct of trolling.
And how do we know if Boebert really believes her hateful mean tweets, or whether they’re simply a device to garner more attention and notoriety? As with all trolling, it can appear to be simple hate speech even when it’s sarcastic or a joke. The consumer is left to interpret the authenticity of the troll’s comments and their intended meaning. And sometimes, “it is hate speech and will lead to the same consequences.“
*narrow criteria used to identify liberal-trolling tweets by Boebert: 1) antagonistic, baiting, emotionally triggering, AND; 2) does not promote a position or idea, AND; 3) explicitly names, “liberals,” “libs,” “progressives,” “proggies,” “the left,” “lefties,” “leftists,” “Dems,” “Democrats,” “DemonRats (and all variations),” “socialists,” “communists,” etc.
Give her a break. Trolling (poorly) is her niche. It certainly not making policy.
Trolling is literally all Pew Pew does. Anyone in CD-3 who voted for her should be asking themselves what did they elect her to do, but they won't.
They voted for her because a) she had R after her name, and b) she's a trumpie.
Results don't figure into it.
No problem. Her distraction takes attention away from the unbelievable amounts of cash being dumped on the Ownership Class in the form of Employee Retention Credits. Perfect.
Someone who knows Congressional history: Surely this is not the 1st troll to sit in the halls of Congress – maybe the first to have such media reach that the entire world gets to read her inane tweets a minute after she's posted them.
But surely not the first to spend most of their time "trolling the libs".
Depending on your point of view, some may offer several members of the Freedom Caucus as mainly concerned with having little interest in actually impacting policy and spending large amounts of time poking opponents to highlight opposition and express disdain.
Some troll as a minor part of their activity, like Sen. Proxmire of Wisconsin and his "Golden Fleece" award. Others have an eccentric ideology and pursue it vigorously, with some elements of "trolling" as part of their activity, such as Rep. Ron Paul. Boebert, along with MTGreene, Paul Gosar, and a few others, seems to focus on the trolling to the exclusion of nearly everything else. .
An empty vessel best pitied.
Turns out when you take the illegal immigrant, brown-skinned, non-English speaking, social justice warrior Jesus and turn him into a fire-breathing, money-grubbing white man only about 6% of Americans buy your bullshit.
Only 6% of Americans have a ‘biblical worldview,’ research from George Barna finds
Bible? Psah . . .
. . . Move over — there’s a new divine revelation on the block.
. . . Qesus H. Ttump . . .
You never disappoint, Dio!!
You never met my ex . . .