The Power of the Hashtag

Submitted by Jake Verdi, Intern, Government Affairs (GAO)

Social Media has become many Americans go-to platform to speak about their beliefs and ideas, especially about politics in America. It gives people the ability to voice their opinions.  The ability for citizens to give their input about legislation that affects them and millions of others is the foundation of democracy.

Recently, a small group of Republican U.S. Senators, reportedly only 12 people, have been drafting a bill in secret that has been rumored to cut 25% of Medicaid funding.  They will press for a vote without a public hearing. This cut would be detrimental to millions of low-income and disabled people who rely on Medicaid to receive necessary medical care.

In the United States, citizens of each state vote for two U.S. Senators to represent them and their interests in the federal government. The idea that 12 people have silenced the other 88 elected senators on the matter gives the American people much less representation on an issue that is key to our ideas of government and society.  Not only are they not including the other elected Senators of the United States, but due to the secrecy, no one can at this time confirm whether they are actually representing the ideas of the people who actually put them into office.

It has become time to fight back, and social media can play a key part in the strategy. This lack of a hearing is a pressing issue among all Americans today, and it has caused multiple movements to be created on social media. One of the movements that has been used by many, including senators, is the hashtag campaign, #nohearingnovote. As it states, the movement and those supporting it call for there to be a hearing for the bill so that everyone is able to give their thoughts before a full vote occurs, through the representatives that they elect. Supporting the movement can be as easy as sending a tweet with the “#nohearingnovote” in the message.

Through using social media, our go-to platform to discuss so many topics, we can create as much buzz as possible to stop this bill until a hearing can be held and the voices of all Americans can be represented. Support the movement! #nohearingnovote