Elon Musk Inviting Trump Back To Twitter To Promote Next Violent Insurrection, We Guess
Elon Musk announced Tuesday that if his Twitter takeover goes through, he’d swiftly restore Donald Trump’s Twitter account. We all saw this coming, but now it’s official and potentially life-threatening.
Musk dropped the news during remarks at the Financial Times's Future of the Car conference. You’ll recall that Musk makes frequently recalled vehicles in addition to his future work turning Twitter into a free-range troll farm.
"I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump, I think that was a mistake," Musk said. "I would reverse the perma-ban. ... But my opinion, and Jack Dorsey, I want to be clear, shares this opinion, is that we should not have perma-bans.”
Musk called Trump’s Twitter ban a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.” He doesn’t think Twitter should ban users permanently, but instead should consider temporary suspensions or timeouts. Of course, rightwing trolls like Trump will still cry censorship over both, and since they’re incapable of modifying their behavior, they’ll either face regular suspension (a de facto ban) or Twitter will just throw up its hands and let them smear crap over the cyber walls. It’s not a mystery where this is headed.
Let’s take a quick trip back to the distant past of last year. Twitter was always more lenient with Trump’s tweets than it was with the average user. Facebook and Twitter generally allowed world leaders a wide berth to break most but not all of their rules. Vox explains that they cited “the public interest and newsworthiness of almost anything world leaders had to say.” The obvious problem here is that LoserBoy298 sharing racist memes and conspiracy theories to an audience of 100 people is far less dangerous than the literal president of the United States doing the same but to audience of millions.
PREVIOUSLY: Elon Musk Can Buy Twitter And Turn It Into A Troll Site, But He Can't Force Anyone To Stay
Trump spread gross lies about a dead woman who once worked for Joe Scarborough. Her widower begged Twitter to remove the tweets, but Twitter refused. Trump raised lynch mobs on Twitter against congressional women of color, and spent the months after his 2020 election loss tweeting increasingly unhinged outright lies about the election. There’s a direct line between this and the January 6 insurrection.
Twitter finally banned Trump on January 8, stating that recent tweets had violated its policy against glorification of violence. There’s no evidence Trump or his faithful MAGA cult have cooled down. The threat persists.
Trump has infamously used Twitter to smear women. In 2017, he tweeted, "Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”
But it wasn’t all fun and gross sexual harassment games. Trump also got into dick-waving contests with equally unhinged world leaders, where the winner gets to end human civilization. For instance, this charmer:
"North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"
Trump was especially dangerous during his (we hope) last year in office. He tweeted “LIBERATE VIRGINIA!” and “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and “LIBERATE MINNESOTA” during the early days of pandemic shutdowns. We were barely a month into a global health crisis and Trump was already encouraging revolt within Democratic-controlled states.
PREVIOUSLY: President Lazyass Livetweeting Fox, Inciting Armed Insurrection A Tiny. TYPICAL FRIDAY!
Trump casually threatened extrajudicial violence against citizens during the unrest after Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd: "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the city under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right … these THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control, but when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
(Any correct punctuation above is probably a typo on my part. Sorry.)
After Trump lost the election, he went over the edge with an endless barrage of lies that eventually incited an insurrection against the US government. Laundering money for the mob is a more respectable vocation than providing a platform for Donald Trump and his MAGA cult.
Musk insists that “banning Trump from Twitter didn’t end Trump’s voice. It will amplify it among the right. And this is why it was morally wrong and flat-out stupid.” Unfortunately, he’s not entirely off the mark here: Once Trump was banned, his spokesperson started tweeting out whatever he scribbled in crayon on nearby bathroom tissue, effectively bypassing the ban. So-called journalists like Maggie Haberman would share his screeds in full (that ain’t “reporting,” Sally). So, in a way, it’s like he never left.
However, Musk thinks Trump won’t return to Twitter even after the ban is lifted. He’s got his own cool new platform, Truth Social, that he struggles to correctly name. Trump is equal parts evil, lazy, and unfaithful. We’re sure he’ll slink back to Twitter with much fascist fanfare.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."