Rep. Eric “Nuke ’em All” Swalwell has been pushing for gun control for a while now. In particular, he wants an “assault weapon ban” and a buyback to take them all off the streets because that will somehow make all gun violence disappear.
No, he’s not a smart man.
Further evidence of this comes from his decision to post a Twitter poll regarding his gun control plan.
Assault weapons have become the firearm of choice in too many mass shootings. We don’t have to live this way — those guns only belong on battlefields. Do you support a ban AND buy-back of every weapon of war in America?
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) July 2, 2019
Now, let’s just ignore the disingenuous phrasing of the answers for a moment. Not for long, I promise.
So, what happened?
First, there are a lot of pro-gun people who flocked to this poll, because they know how important it is for their voices be heard. While it’s unlikely that Swalwell will change his mind on anything, it does cause others to question whether it’s a good idea to push for measures like this.
Plus, as noted at SF Gate:
Twitter polls — especially political ones — can easily be hijacked by other accounts to backfire on the creator. Then, there are the contributions of trolls, who love to skew poll results on social media. Swalwell’s campaign probably should have seen this one coming after an ill-fated tweet involving potato chips in April.
While Swalwell was trying to clear the DNC’s fundraising requirements to qualify for the first debates in June, the candidate’s personal Twitter account urged voters to donate to his campaign.
“$1 could buy you half a bag of chips OR it could save us from a crumbling government,” the account tweeted. “How will you spend yours?”
Over 18,000 people replied — and let’s just say they wanted chips.
Yeah. Good times.
Now, about that phrasing Swalwell’s social media people used.
Let’s understand how that works. The idea was to create a situation that would pressure people to make the “right” selection. No one, even us pro-gun people, will say guns are somehow more important than children. Where we diverge is that we feel that guns are important because we value our children’s lives.
Swalwell and company, however, don’t get that. Instead, they directed people toward a particular answer. In this case, “Yes!” The results likely would have then been used by the campaign to justify Swalwell’s policy proposals.
It was a ham-handed attempt to manipulate the outcome, and twitter users saw through it.
Respondents give different answers on push polls because they don’t want the person on the other end to think they’re a monster. On the internet, though, no one really cares. So, in this case, people answered how they truly wanted to, despite Swalwell’s attempt to pressure them into choosing a particular answer.
And it was hilarious.
Honestly, as things are shaping up so far, the presidential campaign of Rep. Eric Swalwell is likely to be taught to future campaign workers as a prime example of what not to do. After all, he’s polling just a smidge ahead of a houseplant at this point, and then his team trips over their own feet with stunts like this? Hell, he’s a single-issue candidate who is being out-maneuvered on his single issue.
Right now, I’m just eagerly awaiting whatever foul-up his campaign can concoct next.