The more I read about the Green Party– especially its values and platform- the more I am impressed. As a sort of litmus test on how it uses social media, I examined its use of Twitter during the US federal government shutdown, looking especially to see if it was as snarky and vitriolic as the Democrats and Republicans. I was surprised by two findings- 1) how little they used Twitter and 2) civility.
First, during the shutdown, which lasted Oct 1-16, the US Green Party Tweeted only fifteen times. Of those Tweets, at least eight linked to their Facebook page, on which the reader would find an image with a brief message. Of those eight, five addressed some aspect of either the shutdown or health care, one urged supporters to buy a t-shirt, another was a screen shot of a tv show, and one was a Global Greens shoutout to a Green Party in New Zealand. The rest of the Tweets linked to articles or information on Getting out the Vote. The overall message was quite clear- the Green Party wanted Medicare for all and saw itself as an alternative to business as usual with the two main political parties.
Going in to this little experiment, I thought that the Green Party would have Tweeted a lot more during the shutdown, explaining why it was a good alternative and informing others of its 10 Key Values. On some days it did not even Tweet, which really took me by surprise. Its last Tweet of the period (from Oct 15) linked to a Gallup poll in which 60% of the respondents said that a third party is needed. The shutdown was a perfect opportunity for the Green Party to capitalize on the shenanigans of the Democrats and Republicans and convince the American electorate that it is the third party that is needed. Similar to my previous post about supporting the Green Party, if the Greens want Americans to believe in their message, they have to first spread the message.
The other surprise I found in their Tweets was civility, something the Democrats and Republicans clearly lack. The Greens stated their case, albeit briefly, and did so in a civil manner. I could not find a single vitriolic or immature message from the Party (supporters on the other hand were not as mature, but parties cannot control what their supporters say on social media). This is what I have been looking for in politics, and this is why I want to support the WI Green Party.
To help spread the values of both the WI and US Greens, I have taken it upon myself to Tweet at least 2-3 times each day a reason to support them. Since the WI Green Party does not have a Twitter account, I created a Hashtag- #WIGreenParty. For each Tweet, whether for the WI or the US party, I also try to include a hashtag of the Key Value I am referencing. Am I overstepping some sort of boundaries in doing so, or is this an acceptable form of support?
Thanks for reading.