Thursday was a strange day to be a citizen of the Internet. People got into intense arguments about the colors of a dress, a pair of escaped llamas became an instant meme and the Conservative Political Action Committee put out an open call for questions on Twitter.
— CPAC (@CPACnews) February 26, 2015
The request for questions accompanied this week’s kickoff of the group’s annual conference, and the intent was seemingly to get Twitter users involved in a dialogue with speakers. Instead, almost every use of the #CPACQ hashtag Thursday was a joke or a harsh criticism of conservative politics.
Did you guys stop saying “What Would Jesus Do?” because you hated the answer? #CPACQ
— Kendall (@KendallMcK) February 26, 2015
#CPACQ How, exactly, does ensuring all people have access to affordable health care go against the teachings of Jesus?
— Nefarious Newt (@NefariousNewt) February 26, 2015
— heath brown (@heathbrown) February 26, 2015
#CPACQ Which represents “freedom” more to you: the inability to make a living wage, or the inability to purchase affordable health care?
— skullsinthestars (@drskyskull) February 26, 2015
What color is the dress? #CPACQ
— Andrew Patrick (@Andrew_Patrick) February 27, 2015
Even the Democratic Party’s official account got in on the sniping:
Criminal investigations, gutted university budgets, slashed health care – how will you pick 1 leader from this incredible 2016 field? #CPACQ
— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) February 26, 2015
Of course, that drew some criticism of Democrats as well.
@TheDemocrats I don’t think you want to talk about criminal investigations or cuts to healthcare, guys.
— Travesham (@Travesham) February 26, 2015
The lesson of #CPACQ is the same as that of #myNYPD and J.P. Morgan’s #AskJPM. If your organization is already the focus of considerable online criticism, it’s best not to invite more in the name of open dialogue.