Twitter can get you fired and it can get you hired. It can put old friends back in touch and provide fuel for raging ego wars. And it can also put less-than-savvy politicians in the position of having to explain why they are traveling from town to town engaging in unprotected sex.
At least, that’s the impression that followers of Jon Fussle, a Republican candidate for County Commissioner in Kosciusko County, Indiana got when the Fussle tweeted yesterday:
“Barebacking,” you see, has two meanings: Riding a horse without a saddle is probably more common among middle Americans. Riding–or being ridden by–another man, without a condom, is the alternative meaning.
Indiana resident Dan Turkette pointed out Fussle’s faux pas on twitter, asking, “Sure that’s what you want to post?” To which Fussle responded, “Why? Is there some sort of innuendo I’m not aware of? Have you ever ridden a HORSE bareback before? It’s awesome.”
After three minutes of radio silence, Fussle’s twitter feed published a shocked exclamation of ignorance, confusion, and general embarrassment.
As the more prurient definition of “barebacking” does not involve a horse at all, there is a good chance that Fussle still does not understand what happened. And this is why it is dangerous for politicians to use Twitter. Or the Internet.