Yesterday, a man running for Congress drew the ire of conservatives online after he called First Lady Melania Trump a “hoebag.”
Mark Roberts is running for Congress as an independent in Oregon’s 2nd district and—in response to a tweet by conservative pundit Charlie Kirk, about how Melania Trump’s White House staff was much smaller than that of previous First Lady Michelle Obama—he said “Did you know the First Lady works by the hour? #thinkdirty #hoebag”
Now, if you want to run for Congress on a platform of lobbing tweets laden with sexual innuendo (and shaming sex workers) in the general direction of the first lady, that’s your prerogative. It may not be right, but you are certainly free to do it.
It’s also the right of anyone else to call you out for that language.
But in a climate where conservatives have felt they’ve been restricted on Twitter, they had one thought: Imagine if a conservative had done this. Imagine if a conservative had made a sexually explicit joke about a first lady. Wouldn’t Twitter shadowban the shit outta them?
Leading the charge was Donald Trump Jr.
Imagine if a conservative tweeted this. Imagine if anyone said this horrific statement about Michelle Obama. Their life would ruined and account deactivated. Twitter is becoming a platform for hate against conservatives @jack https://t.co/7Qr0TT1jjH— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 1, 2018
The only problem with that sentiment about “imagine if a conservative tweeted this thing” is that while Roberts is running as an independent, he identifies as conservative.
Trump Jr.’s bold and inaccurate proclamation was swiftly noticed, inducing the kind of online glee that only comes around when, well, whenever the president’s son owns himself on Twitter.
Yes, imagine if a conservative had tweeted this. Just … imagine. pic.twitter.com/j1cgMGZtrr— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) August 1, 2018
Other conservatives, too, called for Twitter to punish Roberts for using language like this.
Conservatives have spent almost all of July shouting that they are being unfairly restricted on social media platforms, thanks to a left-leaning bias in Silicon Valley. And now, with a conservative exhibiting behavior they finally think merits punishment… maybe they’ll finally get it?