Senator John McCain recently learned that a tweet can spectacularly backfire through the power of the platform’s “ratio” effect, but at least in McCain’s case, he was simply pleading for more Twitter followers, so he received a lighthearted dose of comeuppance. Whereas Senator Marco Rubio, who has spent the past two weeks under fire for being “so easy to buy” by the NRA, issued a tone-deaf tweet — on the same day that Stoneman Douglas High School students return to class in Parkland, Florida — to complain about the gun-control debate.
Perhaps Rubio’s lashing out in response to a new Quinnipiac University poll, which sees the Florida senator’s approval rating hit an all-time low (38%) in his state. That’s an 8% drop from July 2016 and a significant difference from his August 2015 high of 57%. Whatever the reason, Rubio declared that Americans “don’t really like each other very much.” He then accused angry citizens of being hypocritical and finished by adding, “[W]orst of all we have infected the next generation with the same disease.”
As of this writing, Rubio’s received 12,000 replies in comparison to 2,700 retweets and 10,000 likes. Most replies are not friendly and some zero in, as with author Lawrence O’Donnell, on Rubio’s poor choice of words with “infected the next generation.” That is, Rubio sounds like he’s accusing students of being arrogant while exercising free speech after seeing classmates killed by a gun that Rubio hasn’t wanted to outlaw.
This led to a plethora of tweets defending Stoneman Douglas students and acknowledging the tough road they face, today and in the future.
People also called out Rubio for hiding behind political donations and using religion as “both a political weapon and a shield.”
At times like these, it’s really better not to tweet, and it’s safe to say that a Rubio 2024 presidential campaign won’t be happening.