We’re still a year and a half away from the 2016 presidential election, and early poll results are already rolling in. Yesterday, USA Today found that Donald Trump was, distressingly, leading the Republican field. In a preview of the general election, the paper also pit Hillary Clinton head-to-head against seven Republican candidates; she beat them all.
But how are things looking on Twitter?
Hmm. Now, Lil B is a seeker. He reaches out. He tries to be as informed as he can, like any thoughtful voter. So in addition to Hillary Clinton, he also follows a number of Republicans running for president: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum. None of them follow him back—not a single, sorry one.
But there is one wise presidential candidate who does follow Lil B. His name is Bernie Sanders, and like Lil B he is establishing himself as a true man of the people. Sanders' core issue is income inequality, which he intends to fight with higher taxes on the wealthy, a $15/hr minimum wage, public health care for everyone, and other expanded social services. His biggest donors are not banks but labor unions. He wants to overturn Citizens United, which infamously treats election donations from corporations like they’re coming from people. Fifty years ago, he marched on Washington with Dr. King. He's an ex-hippie who wants to legalize marijuana. And of the 999 people he currently follows on Twitter, one of them is Lil B.
Following Lil B on Twitter hasn’t historically been the most reliable metric for predicting election success. While Lil B follows President Barack Obama, Obama does not follow Lil B. But this in not the same America as it was in 2008, back before Chelsea Manning, before the Arab Spring, and before we could fully understand the role so many bank billionaires played in the recession. Nor is the same America as 2012, before the revelations of Edward Snowden, or the turmoil in Greece.
And perhaps most importantly, here, one of the biggest changes over the past eight years is that social media is probably more influential than ever. Who better than a pioneer of following back—who better than a leader in encouraging the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and social justice—who better than a man who has made some mistakes, sure, but owned up to them and evolved his positions—yes, who better than a rapper with gold teeth, who loves you, and, lest we forget, loves the 1.25 million people following him on Twitter, to take the reigns of this important election, speak right into the ears of the influencers, and steer it in the direction of equality, justice, and a mutually respectful happiness on earth? Who but Lil B?
Bernie Sanders photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images.