On the heels of Hillary Clinton’s personal email quasi-scandal controversy thing, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) revealed that he does not use email at all. During an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press, Graham admitted that he has never had an email address, nor has he ever sent a single email.
Surely even Graham’s predecessor—the literally 100-year-old Strom Thurmond, who once filibustered the Civil Rights Act for more than 24 hours—sent the occasional dick pic to a pretty young staffer from his Lycos account.
Graham described his process for communication to reporter Dave Weigel: “What I do, basically, is that I've got iPads, and I play around,” he said. “I’ve tried not to have a system where I can just say the first dumb thing that comes to my mind. I can get texts, and I call you back…if I think what you asked is worthy enough for me calling you.”
Must be nice!
I don’t know about you, but from my own personal experience as a three-term conservative senator who sits on four powerful committees and is currently considering a presidential run, I’ve never needed to get back to anyone quicker than, say, two hours or, failing that, just whenever I feel like it.
Graham’s imperious attitude toward texting is not the only thing he has in common with a wealthy 16-year-old girl from Beverly Hills: He also has two Twitter accounts, @LindseyGrahamSC and @GrahamBlog. This seems odd for a man who’s never been on the wrong end of an accidental Reply All, but he was kind enough to explain to me via postcard how his tweeting process works:
“Basically, I think of something that I want to say and I write it down in my tweet diary. Then I carry on with the rest of my day: going to meetings; voting on bills; filling a potato sack with nickels and carrying it down to the Chinatown payphone where I conduct my official government business; reading through the thousands of constituent comment cards from the official U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham Suggestion Box; doing press conferences, that kind of stuff. At around 5:30 p.m., I grow weary from the day’s labors, so I eat a simple meal of hard tack and cabbage soup, drink a glass of warm milk and Laudanum, say my prayers, and lay me down to sleep.
“I dream of freedom, heterosexual marriage, and a robust military.
“At dawn’s first light I rise, do my calisthenics, and check my tweet diary. If the thing I wanted to say the day before still seems relevant, pithy, and informative, I have my aide de camp roll off 25 mimeographs, which are then sent by courier to a team of editors and poets who read and revise it for me. While this is happening, I eat a large breakfast of freshly killed bacon and eggs, and read the newspapers. All of them. I read every newspaper in America, and then I personally deliver them to the local landfill because I refuse to recycle. By this point, the last of my tweet’s edits have usually come in, so I have them all copied, collated, and stapled together for the late-morning tweet meeting. There, staffers discuss the proposed changes and compose a new tweet that incorporates the best notes while I play Candy Crush on my iPad. Then we break for lunch.
“Now, I like to take my lunch on an open-air train car that winds lazily around the Potomac River valley. It’s a great way to invigorate the constitution while enjoying the sights and reflecting on how wonderful it is to be one of the most powerful men in America.
“After lunch, we review the new tweet. I make some suggestions, and my staff spends the next two hours revising it. Once approved, the tweet is printed out on a single sheet of triple-ply stationery, placed in an envelope, locked in a small fireproof box, and buried somewhere on Capitol Hill grounds. I retreat to my office and draw an elaborate map, complete with burned-out portions and a series of clues to the box’s location.
“My social media team is then sent out on a treasure hunt to find the box with the tweet inside. This sometimes takes many hours, but they seem to enjoy it.
“Once located, the tweet is unsealed, taken back to our offices, and dictated to my aide de camp, who types it into Twitter. At this point, I am usually napping. When I wake up, I’m informed that the tweet is ‘armed.’ I then change into my old Air Force uniform, knock back two shots of whiskey, and go sit at my desk. There, in a locked drawer, is a box containing a special red button. This button is connected through a series of cables, pulleys, electrical transmissions, and piano hammers, to the ‘Enter’ key on my office computer.
“I hold my finger over that button. I think long and hard about whether or not I really need to send that tweet. I think about all the unborn children in the world who might someday read it. I think about all those sweet, sweet faves and retweets. One time I got retweeted by Sarah Palin! Then I cross myself, push the button, and pray to God that there aren’t any typos.
“That’s it, really.”
Maybe Senator Graham is on to something. Maybe we don’t all need to move so fast. Maybe the world would be a better, more rational place if we all took a little more caution and care before broadcasting our opinions on every available platform.