“Twitter isn’t real life,” it’s said. (Twitter isn’t even Twitter anymore, technically.) Social media is a funhouse mirror of reality where conscientious political activists get to pretend that the average voter feels more passionately about their pet cause than he or she does about, say, the budding romance between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.
But social media can be useful for detecting political riptides before they’ve risen to the surface. The Trumpmania of late 2015 is an example: If you were on Twitter at the time, you knew better than to doubt the staying power—and unsavoriness—of his base of support. The influence of progressive identity politics over Democratic policy is another. Any American alarmed by the seemingly sudden mainstreaming of “woke” beliefs must not have spent much time tweeting over the past decade.
So no, Twitter isn’t real life, but it can give you a hint of where real life might be going. It’s a clearinghouse for expressions of people’s political id. And today’s id may become tomorrow’s dogma, which is how we ended up with the leader of one of the two major parties ranting about rooting out communist “vermin.”
Do you want to see what the political id of the left and right fringes looks like at this moment?
Maybe you don’t. I spent most of Wednesday gazing into the abyss and regret it in hindsight.
But it’s my solemn duty with this newsletter to leave you despairing for the future of Western civilization. And it’s my moral duty to warn American Jews, their friends and allies, and supporters of Israel that the two tips of the proverbial ideological horseshoe are starting to look like a pincer.
The first thing to know about TikTok Democrats is that there are a lot of them. And as you’d guess, they skew young.