Michelle Obama tweeted a photo Wednesday with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, a gesture of solidarity with the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.
There was some debate over whether this is the best way for the White House to affect the world. But imagine if we had this powerful tool in the 1980s:
And what if we'd had hashtags throughout all of U.S. history?
Rosalynn Carter could have showed Iran.
Pat Nixon could have ended Vietnam before it really got going.
Neil Armstrong's words could have gone viral.
Mamie Eisenhower could have gently supported the covert U.S. overthrow of the prime minister of Iran.
Wartime propaganda as meme.
And campaign slogans, like the Republican one from the Herbert Hoover days.
Speak softly and carry large signs with hashtags on them.
The gold standard could have gone even earlier, based on William Jennings Bryan's firm grasp of the hashtag-length concept.
Various events in history, like the sinking of the USS Maine, could have been commemorated, with hashtags.
Mary Todd Lincoln could have helped defuse tensions.
The Polks could have really driven home the point about the proper border of the Oregon territory.
The War of 1812 might not have even started.
Things like the Lewis and Clark expedition could have been branded.
The Whiskey Rebellion might not have come to blows.
Every last founding document could have had a suggested hashtag.
Every single one.
All the great moments, branded.
And the lesser ones, like the Salem witch trials.
Really, all history could have been portrayed as it was meant to be.
Katherine Miller is the political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Katherine Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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