A strong social media presence was going to be a major part of the publicity strategy Jacob Lupfer, a political consultant, intended for his latest client, Pro-life Democratic Candidate PAC. The political action committee hopes to persuade a pro-life Democrat to join the party’s crowded presidential field this year. According to its mission statement, Pro-life Democratic Candidate PAC’s organizers believe that fielding a pro-life candidate would remind Democrats of the large bloc of potential voters who are turned off by the party’s “ever more extreme position on abortion.”
According to its mission statement, Democrats are “on the verge of handing another winnable election to Donald Trump” because of the party’s unwillingness to tolerate pro-life views.
Obviously the social media platform Twitter figured strongly in Mr. Lupfer’s plans, so it came as an unpleasant surprise to find out that the @prolifedem2020 account had been suspended by Twitter soon after he had created it. Coming so soon after the kerfuffle over the suspension of the Twitter account for the anti-abortion film “Unplanned,” the suspension raised some eyebrows in the Twitterverse. For Mr. Lupfer the suspension was especially concerning since Pro-life Democratic Candidate PAC is starting out with few resources and at least initially hoped to rely on “social sharing” to get its message out.
In a conversation using, appropriately enough, Twitter’s direct messaging system, Mr. Lupfer said about the suspension: “No tweets sent out. I doubt anyone reported it or complained because no one would have known about it.”
Fordham University ethicist Charles Camosy, who endorsed the idea of a pro-life Democratic candidate for 2020 in a recent article for The Federalist, was among the Twitterati who tweeted aloud about the suspension.
Mr. Lupfer’s appeals to Twitter only produced automated responses explaining that the account was under review. Queries from America about the suspension were forwarded to Twitter’s media staff this morning, April 26, and the account was reactivated in the early afternoon. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on the suspension because of account privacy concerns, but according to the email Mr. Lupfer received, Twitter staff explained that the account had been auto-suspended because of “spamlike activity,” with apologies for “any inconvenience.”
Some may be tempted to see the suspension as more evidence of bias operating inside Twitter, but Mr. Lupfer is ready to give the social media giant the benefit of the doubt. “I’m thinking it might have just gotten caught up in some kind of cycle of approving and checking the legitimacy of political accounts,” he said.
Rather than stoke the fires of yet another Twitter outrage fest, he prefers to refocus on Pro-life Democratic Candidate PAC’s message. “Millions of pro-life voters are rightly skeptical of Trump,” Pro-life Democratic Candidate says, “but have nowhere to go because of [the Democratic] party’s extremism on this issue. The pro-life movement is in the horrible position of embracing Trump—with all his indecency, corruption, and lies—because our presidential politics have failed to produce [an] honorable champion for the unborn.
“With increasing intensity in recent years,” the mission statement continues, “Democratic Party elites have been telling us to shut up and sit down. Mostly we have listened, though many of us have felt pushed out the door.
Democrats are “on the verge of handing another winnable election to Donald Trump” because of the party’s unwillingness to tolerate pro-life views.
“We will not be silent…. We are here to force a debate that needs to happen in our party, in the media, in the pro-life movement, and all around this country: Is there a better way forward for pro-lifers than embracing Trumpism? Is defending unborn babies a progressive value? Can Democrats tolerate a politics of human dignity that includes life in the womb? If that kind of politics were available, how many Americans would support it?”
Those questions and more will no doubt be explored in greater detail at the now unsuspended @prolifedem2020.
Correction (April 26, 2019; 7:08 p.m.): In an earlier version of this article the full name for Pro-life Democratic Candidate PAC was not used.