The other day I did a double take when I noticed my Twitter account had lost some 40 followers in a single day. It took a while for the penny to drop, but I finally realised what had happened. They weren’t leaving me, they were leaving Twitter. Elon Musk’s hostile takeover attempt inspired them to abandon ship.
Some of them may have been under the mistaken impression that the takeover is complete. It’s not. The deal won’t be final until it’s put to a shareholder vote. Should the shareholders approve the Musk acquisition I suppose I’ll lose even more followers.
It will come as no surprise to most of you that the vast majority of my Twitter followers are liberals. To many of them the Elon Musk takeover can mean only one thing: Donald Trump’s account will soon be restored to Twitter. They would rather not be around to see that happen.
It will probably come as a surprise to most of you to learn that my feelings on the topic are mixed. On the one hand, Trump on Twitter is extremely dangerous. His almost daily hate-tweets directed at innocent people he attacked by name frequently put their lives in danger. His lies and propaganda are dangerous and destructive to democracy.
On the other hand, Trump has a penchant for confessing out loud to crimes he has committed because he’s stupid. Tweets, even deleted tweets, can be a brilliant way to document those confessions.
Another reason I wouldn’t mind seeing Trump come back to Twitter is because I loved watching him get trolled by some truly brilliant people. It was hilarious and satisfying watching his stupid tweets getting deftly and savagely owned by people like Jeff Tiedrich.
But it would be satisfying above all to watch him put his criminal foot in his lying mouth and confess to a crime in the manner of Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men.” Not many things would please me more than to hear a juror in an interview after Trump’s criminal trial say something like, “It was that tweet that convinced us to vote him guilty. I’ll bet he regrets returning to Twitter now.” Donald Trump certainly can’t handle the truth without shooting himself in the foot with it.
Of course, Trump claims he won’t return to Twitter if he’s restored to it. I’m in the habit of never believing anything that man says, and this is no exception. I think he will return to Twitter if he can. His giant ego will make him. And I think he’ll live to regret it. I certainly hope so, anyway. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.