Former United States President Donald Trump has been effectively exiled from the media since leaving office and has effectively disappeared from headline news. But why? What happened to Trump and how did he go from being the most powerful man on Earth to relative anonymity in a matter of months?
Well… it was actually a matter of weeks. Ever since the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill and Trump’s Twitter ban that was announced 48 hours later, he has been kept under wraps (largely because his scatterbrain and unfiltered utterances served as a threat to his impeachment trial) and just a few days later, Joe Biden was sworn into office and Trump no longer had the media platform that comes with being in the Oval Office.
Without his Twitter account, which once upon a time would have so much influence that covfefe dominated the news cycle for days, without his presidential press, and without airtime on in the mainstream media, Trump now gets as much exposure in the media as he did before he announced that he was running for president. In fact, coverage of Trump had dropped by 95% between January and May.
The really hard part for him to stomach, however, will be that, despite his huge brand (politically and commercially), he can’t escape the media blackout, despite the far reach that online platforms can have. His recently launched blog, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” lasted for just more than three “Scaramuccis” –just 29 days – before it was taken down at the start of the month.
However, that hasn’t changed Trump’s loyal supporters’ political allegiances. He remains the frontrunner to be the GOP presidential candidate for the 2024 elections and has still been calling prominent leaders (such as the most powerful elected Republican Mitch McConnell) “a dumb son of a bitch”. He isn’t going anywhere it seems. Not if the establishment gets its way…
Trump’s “digital exile” and total media blackout may seem like good news. His bigoted, anti-democratic (small D), anti-intellectual, pro-corporate, narcissism should not be platformed… probably.
But what if this is all just a cruel trick to formulate a new status quo where anyone can be completely deplatformed and removed from the conversation? Free speech is a fickle friend. One could argue that Trump incited violence, and that contravenes what has long since been the conventional limits of free speech. However, there was no legal proceeding or trial of any variation. Jack Dorsey and his Twitter team were able to remove him from their platform without any recourse.
What happens when the Twitter and Facebook overlords decide that Bernie Sanders’ ideas are too radical? What happens when pro-Palestinian support is arbitrarily considered to be a pro-terrorist position? What happens when online platforms and media outlets decide that any political development anywhere doesn’t fit their narrative or align with their ideology?
The mere fact that Trump’s every last vapid thought was able to reach millions, if not billions of people just one year ago and now he can’t even string together much more than 2,000 shares on Facebook for his blog that was once hailed by fans as his triumphant return to the internet, is a concern.
Between Big Tech and corporate media, we have a judge, jury and executioner that can unilaterally decide whether your brand of politics is acceptable to them. And, at the end of the day, the left always loses with this battle. We ALWAYS lose. It’s great not to see Trump dominating headlines anymore… but the cost of doing so could prove to be absolutely fatal one day.