When Ted Cruz tweeted that today’s Dems are the party of the rich, he was hoping that you wouldn’t look too deeply into his household’s sources of income:
Heidi Cruz did her masters in Europe and got her MBA at Harvard, and since 2011 has been the primary breadwinner of the family. This is in line with 40% of U.S. households, but might be concerning to social conservatives and other people who still live in the Bronze Age — in other words, Ted’s base.
Ted probably doesn’t think of his family as rich, since Heidi says she has to put in long hours to support her family, according to a 2018 article in Quartz. That’s because “rich” is a matter of perspective. Their guesstimated just-shy-of-half-a-million pre-tax a year doesn’t put him in the top 1%, so that means middle class, right?
As a managing director at Goldman Sachs, Heidi Cruz likely earns over $300,000 a year—without factoring in an additional bonus. As a senator, Ted Cruz earns an annual salary of $174,000 for his work as a public servant, placing him in the top 3% of American earners.
I will remind you that the U.S. median household income in 2019 was $68,703. I will also remind you that “U.S. median household income” means that if you lined up all the U.S. households in order, from poorest to richest, it’s the household in the dead center of the line.
With Twitter and Facebook adding fact-checking notices to posts on their social networks, and with the recent election not being called in Trump’s favor, you may have noticed some conservative friends and family announcing their joining (or even outright switching to) Parler, a relatively new social media platform that bills itself as an unbiased and “free speech” alternative.
Here’s the opening paragraph from the Wikipedia entry on Parler:
Parler is a United States-based microblogging and social networking service launched in August 2018. Parler has a significant user base of Trump supporters, conservatives, and Saudi nationalists. Posts on the website often contain far-right content, antisemitism,[discuss] and conspiracy theories. The site has been described as an alternative to Twitter, and is popular among people who have been banned from mainstream social networks or oppose their moderation policies. The site markets itself as a “free speech” and unbiased alternative to mainstream social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. However, journalists and users have criticized the service for content policies that are more restrictive than the company portrays, and sometimes more restrictive than those of its competitors. As of November 2020, the site had more than 4 million users.
I maintain accounts on major and minor social media platforms, so I decided to check in on Parler to see if it was really as bad as word on the ’net had described.
Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: Here’s a quick sampling of posts I found, simply by clicking. I didn’t enter any search terms or specifically seek out anything other than election-related hashtags. Within a minute, I was deep in neck-deep in white nationalism.
An election-related hashtag led me to this post, which presented the author’s definition of “real Americans”:
Here’s a post featuring the triple threat of swastikas, MAGA, and QAnon:
There’s one user who’s particularly obsessed with miscegenation…
…and here’s the full image featuring the “propaganda to push race mixing” that had them quite upset:
Here’s the same user, who’s added the #Miscegenationischildabuse hashtag…
…and this is what they’re up in arms about:
And finally, there’s this user or group, who just decided to go full Nazi:
To anyone signing up for Parler because they feel that Facebook and Twitter aren’t serving them well: While they have their problems, Parler has other, bigger problems, some of which are by design.
I’ll close with this observation made by Dr. Jens Foell a couple of years back:
As we say in Germany, if there’s a Nazi at the table and 10 other people sitting there talking to him, you got a table with 11 Nazis.
— Dr. Jens Foell (@fMRI_guy) February 14, 2018
- Kansas City Star, November 8, 2020: Police chief resigns after threatening posts about Democrats, Arkansas mayor says. The very first line of the article reads: “A police chief in Arkansas resigned after he made threatening posts targeting Democrats on social media platform Parler, the mayor said.”
- Media Diversity Institute, October 22, 2020: Parler: The “Unbiased” Social Media Platform Of Conspiracies And Hate
- Business Insider, October 3, 2020: Parler, the social media network of choice for the Proud Boys, says its activity tripled during the debate where Trump mentioned the group
- Washington Post, July 15, 2020: The conservative alternative to Twitter wants to be a place for free speech for all. It turns out, rules still apply.
- The Independent, July 2, 2020: We Signed Up For Parler. Here’s What You’ll Find On The Right’s Latest Social Media Platform
- AV Club, June 26, 2020: Parler, the MAGA sect’s new favorite social media app, is a nightmare
Here’s yet another collection of pictures to help you start your week! Remember, it’s been a great week for these sorts of pictures, and you’ll find more here:
- Pictures aplenty for Friday, November 6, 2020
- Should you worry about the Biden tax plan? (99% probably not)
- Pictures aplenty — 45 of them — for Sunday, November 8, 2020
Once again, you’ll find more pictures here:
Even the National Review, who are slightly to the right of Darth Vader, think that Trump’s claims of voter fraud are baseless. See their article, Why the Voter Fraud Canard?
Also worth checking out: my article, Why is the bad guy from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” perpetuating the “voter fraud” myth?
Thanks to Linda Ristevski for the find!
Don’t miss out on these photo galleries: