If you think major media has little influence on voters and elections, then turn off your television and keep reading. If Fox News hadn’t been on the air in 2000, according to a recent study, George W. Bush would have received 1.6 percent fewer votes in that year’s presidential race.
This election year, Lindsey Graham has the weakest foothold of all Republican incumbents in the U.S. Senate, according to results of a poll released on Sept. 7. The 2014 “Battleground Tracker,” conducted by YouGov.com on behalf of the New York Times and CBS News, finds the South Carolina senator to have confirmed support from only 37 percent of voters in the state. Another five percent say they are currently leaning toward the incumbent, but can’t confirm their votes for Graham.
They go right into his very own pockets -
Millions use Twitter to communicate, pontificate and extrapolate, and so do political campaigns simply for its provision of a cost-free stump to stand on and speak to voters. And so does Thomas Ravenel, the newly-declared candidate for U.S. Senate in the race to unseat Lindsey Graham, with his @ThomasRavenel account.
But sometimes, though, those uncensored Twitter accounts can be used to issue strange comments and offer questionable links. And that’s what it appears the already-confirmed-to-be-questionable T-Rav did just the other day from his.
On the evening of July 10, Ravenel (or someone using his account) quickly submitted 12 tweets in rapid succession. Each of the tweets went to three different persons, and each message offered a link of a URL-shortening and redirecting format.
We’ve all heard of politician’s children who become politicians themselves; just take the two generations of presidencies in the Adams and Bush families as examples. We know of entertainers becoming politicians, too (like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger), and even of politicians becoming entertainers (such as Fred Thompson and “Morning Joe” Scarborough). We’re also much too familiar with politicians who later become convicts (including, but far from limited to, Spiro Agnew and “airport men’s room” Larry Craig).
And to top it off, there might be one new candidate for U.S. Senate who actually combines all of these transitional phases: meet Thomas Ravenel, the one and only politician’s son-to-politician-to-convicted felon-to-entertainer-and now back to politician. Known locally in South Carolina as “T-Rav,” he recently confirmed rumors that he wants to challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham as an independent candidate.
Each of his five phases is a tad bit filthy, though, and not just the “convicted felon” part of it. Apparently, the well-off 51-year-old who made a fortune in real estate hopes that South Carolina voters will overlook his history of hazards. But T-Rav is still standing too deep in dirt to make any progress in the race (if he actually enters it), no matter how much money he or his historical family has. And with his spoiled-brat attitude, he’ll probably piss off too many voters to get very far.