Introducing Ron Freeman, Minnesota's imaginary congressman

Until recently, he represented Minnesota's 9th congressional district on Twitter.

Until recently, he represented Minnesota's 9th congressional district on Twitter. Twitter

Looking at Congressman Ron Freemen’s Twitter account is like looking at a “spot the difference” puzzle -- one of those ludicrously easy ones found on a kids menu at Applebee’s.

If you squint, it looks like a normal Minnesota congressman’s Twitter profile. There’s a photo of a smiling white guy over 50. His blandly positive bio says he’s “representing the great people of Minnesota’s 9th congressional district,” and that he’s a Republican.

Then it occurs to you: There is no 9th district in Minnesota. There hasn’t been since 1963.

Rep. Ron Freemen is the rep of exactly nothing.

That’s the thread that starts to unravel the whole thing. With a little digging, you’ll find out the smiling white guy in the photo is actually former Rep. Tom Allen, who on top of not having been in the House since 2008, is also a Maine Democrat.

And then there’s the cherry on top of this imaginary sundae: Freemen wrote “Go Badgers!” in his bio.

Based on his tweets, the alleged Freemen is a Trump-boosting, gun-toting, anti-Semitic, white supremacist #MAGA conservative. Pinned right to the top: “I’m sponsoring a bill authorizing the National Guard and Border Patrol to use deadly force and shoot to kill anyone found to be sneaking across the US border.”

Some more gems further down: “Is it time for public #schools all across the country to start #teaching “#White #history” & help counter all the #antiWhite #propaganda in #media today?”

Politics in the 9th district seem kind of extreme.

But the thing is, as impossible as this fake rep from a fake district is, a lot of Twitter users reacted to his content as if it were from a real legislator. Some of his 1,500 followers were outraged and repulsed.

But some were way on board.

And at a certain point, it started to get a little sad.

Not everyone was fooled. Some followed the breadcrumb trail to the conclusion that Freemen is the congressional equivalent of Slenderman, and they did it way before Twitter finally got the message and suspended his account.

But it all seemed so trite, so obvious. The holes in Freemen’s facade were big enough to drive a pickup truck painted with Confederate colors through them. People started to speculate about whether this was a genuine attempt to deceive, or some kooky form of performance art.

Maybe this was a conservative person trying to troll liberals, or a liberal trying troll conservatives by tricking them into agreeing with the vilest imaginary congressman they could conceive.

But one thing people seemed to agree on: If this was all a big joke, it wasn’t actually that funny.