A Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives withdrew his candidacy within a single day after old tweets in which he shared sarcastic and violent commentary about his potential opponent and quipped about masturbating to a photograph of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem resurfaced.
Yeah, that’s really the content of the offending tweets.
Yet for some completely inexplicable reason, Democrat Ryan Ryder didn’t expect that, in 2022, his social media accounts would be combed through with the precision of an anxious mother inspecting her 7-year-old’s head after a school-wide lice outbreak, but considering the nature of his unguarded comments, he most certainly ought to have done.
Here’s the deal: Ryder, an attorney and Air Force veteran, announced he was running for Congress on Wednesday against incumbent Republican Rep. Dusty Johnson for his seat in the House.
But, as Dakota News Now reported at the time, within hours of his announcement, concerned netizens had taken a gander at his Twitter account, which led to his ultimate — and swift — demise from politics.
The first offending tweet was one he issued in November 2021, during the fallout over a video that Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona had tweeted out which portrayed him “killing” Democratic Congresswoman and socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and attacking President Joe Biden (whose faces were superimposed on anime characters).
While last week, when Ryder announced his candidacy, he said he “respects” Johnson, back in November, he was apparently of the belief that the same had inadequately condemned his colleague’s tasteless tweet and wrote, “Thinking about making an animated video of me killing @RepDustyJohnson’s family, and then saying it was just a joke,” speculating the lawmaker would be “fine with that.”
He expressed what seemed to be more sincere violent thoughts towards Johnson on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill incursion, declaring, “You are a complete and utter fraud. It’s too bad that the Trump rioters that you continue to support didn’t get you that day.”
In another tweet, Johnson quipped about pleasuring himself to a fetching photograph of Noem riding a horse, which has been tweeted out by the governor’s spokesman, Ian Fury, writing “Well I did think @IanTFury and @govkristinoem were liars. But now that he replied to his own tweet with this picture tweet that I can masturbate to, well, sure, I’ll believe any load of c*** he throws my way.”
Even in the cesspool of human degradation and idle verbal smut that is the Twitterverse, these are the kind of comments you’d typically only see from an anonymous troll account with 5 followers that some bitter and most likely severely mentally ill person would create to stalk and harass people with whom they disagree on politics or culture.
This dude has sat back and observed the last five years of vehement, foaming-at-the-mouth cancel culture, witnessed countless public figures shamefully grovel before the masses for, say, once liking a tweet that included a Jordan Peterson quote, or something, and yet he didn’t put two and two together and consider that his violent, sexually-charged comments just might come back to bite him once he decided to throw his hat in the ring for the U.S. House of Representatives?
Well, you know what they say about playing stupid games, like spewing your unguarded and depraved thoughts for all the world to see on the internet, which is of course, forever.
“I am withdrawing my candidacy for U.S. House of Representatives. While tweets I have made in the past were a poor attempt at sarcastic humor, I recognize that they appear to cross a line. I regret that I chose to express myself that way. I apologize specifically to the state party and anyone else for whom these tweets reflected badly,” Ryder said in a statement on March 3, exactly one day after he’d announced his candidacy.
To be clear, he didn’t graciously decide to bow out on his own — he did so at the request of the South Dakota Democratic Party.
Ryan Ryder is dropping out of the race for South Dakota’s lone congressional seat. Here’s a statement: pic.twitter.com/0q68lhd0RY
— Austin Goss (@AustinGossSD) March 3, 2022
“The South Dakota Democratic Party has determined it is not appropriate for Mr. Ryder to continue in this race and requested that he end his candidacy, which he has agreed to,” the party’s Executive Director Berk Ehrmantraut said.
“These statements from Mr. Ryder do not live up to the values of the South Dakota Democratic Party, and we do not support this type of language,” Chair Randy Seiler also said.
At the request of the South Dakota Democratic Party, Ryan Ryder is withdrawing his candidacy for U.S. House of Representatives.https://t.co/XfRa35yxdV
— SD Democratic Party (@SoDakDems) March 3, 2022
It might seem stunning to us that Ryder didn’t consider these tweets could come back to haunt him so soon into his political career, but here’s the really sick part: To many on the left, this kind of language is considered completely acceptable when it’s hurled at the “deplorables” online.
This is what is so incredibly dangerous about the vitriolic rhetoric that cancel culture, with the full support of mainstream media pundits, has fomented throughout society that people on the right or who hold to conservative or even centrist and moderate views are merely “enabling white supremacy/bigotry/misogyny.”
We all know that many Democrats’ consideration for polite, dignified speech ends as soon as they perceive thought crimes conveyed by their ideological opponents, and this seems to be exactly what happened to Ryder, who laid the groundwork for the end of his own political career before it had even begun by spewing vulgar nonsense at people who made him angry online.
Let this be a reminder to all of us to be very mindful of the power of the tongue — or thumbs, as the case may be — when we are expressing or even just responding to unsavory views online.
You just never know who might come across those comments in the future, do you?