Once upon a time not so long ago in a place not to far away, there was man who had a law practice and loved to ride and race his bikes. We’ll call him Steve. Steve was happy, his business was good, he spent a lot of time with his family and rode his bike 100 miles a week. Then one day, Steve got a text from the Mayor who wanted to have lunch. The Mayor (and Steve’s old campaign team from his 2014 State House run) thought it would be a smashing idea if Steve ran for city council the next year. The current councilman was terming out and Steve was a lot like him, a Centrist Dem with a small business and a family.
Steve jumped in with both feet, announced his candidacy, and started fundraising. 4 days a week were spent calling donors and asking for campaign contributions. Steve was strong on the environment, public transportation and affordable housing. Steve didn’t scare local Republican business people because he seemed like he would listen to everyone. Steve also made his manners to other local politicians and went to local party meetings and made speeches and connected with people. Steve was endorsed by the Mayor and many other politicians in both parties. Steve raised over $30,000 for his campaign and was considered a shoo in, until ……
Steve had been on Twitter for ten years and had tweeted, retweeted and replied over 30,000 times. Steve had used words like “Fuck” and “Blowjob”. Steve made a joke about lesbian arm tattoos (his wife’s twin sister is gay and has an arm tattoo). Steve tweeted once about a porn star. Steve even made fun of Trump, a lot and once tweeted about the word “poontang”. A new opponent entered the race and revealed 18 “offensive” tweets to the local media. Steve’s campaign team (who solidly paid themselves $15000 of the $30,000 yet failed to scrub his Twitter account before he announced) bailed immediately. Steve as advised to apologize so he did, on Facebook. Steve and his tweets were on the front page of the local paper, on Sunday. The local political website ran 2 stories a day about how Steve was a racist, homophobic, misogynistic bully. There were editorials by this same website lecturing Steve on morals. Steve didn’t want to leave his house, was afraid to look at the internet and there were even stories on the TV news. Steve had never felt so humiliated in his adult life.
Just as Twittergate, (yes Steve got his own fucking ‘Gate) died down, the same political website called Steve and said hey, your name is on the Ashley Madison database. At first Steve denied it because he had forgot that he once went on the site in 2013 to do some oppo research on a case. The website called back, they had his credit card info and GPS coordinates, all illegal information. Steve said, “if I drop out , will it stop?” And the website said yes, so Steve dropped out.
Steve doesn’t tweet much anymore on his old account about politics and jokes. He is still followed on that account by all the old political people including a bunch that called him a racist, homophobic and misogynistic bully. Now Steve is happy again. He rides his bike, he surfs, he spends time with his sons and he loves practicing law. Steve has also started trying to be helpful to some folks, mostly women trying to help themselves and other women, with legal advice and a small donation here and there. Steve also started tweeting again, but under a different name. He is enjoying himself and he feels like he has a new twitter family. Say hi to Steve if you run across him on Twitter, he really is a good guy.