Apparently being a social influencer isn’t necessarily everything. As it turns out you also need more than a brand, you need the right platform. With Twitter and Facebook, Donald Trump was a force to be reckoned with. Without those twin colossi of social media, Trump’s new blog, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” is, in one case anyway, just another TLDR.
What is TLDR, you ask? It’s internet geek speak for “Too Long, Didn’t Read.” It’s what people sometimes write in reply to social media posts that are long and tedious. So what went wrong for Trump? One of Twitter’s most frequently decried restrictions, its 280 character limit, may have turned out to be Trump’s greatest asset. Brevity, as they say, is the soul of wit, and if nothing else Twitter kept Trump brief in lieu of that which he could never be, witty.
One of Trump’s recent blog entries (1202 pm, May 19, 2021) is a case in point. On that day and time Trump posted a single paragraph-long screed, and what a paragraph it was! It was 909 words in length. If you don’t have a feel for how long a 909 word article is, the average Palmer Report (from anyone other than yours truly) is about one third that length and is composed of about four or five paragraphs. So Trump crammed the length of three average Palmer Report articles into a single paragraph. And he expected people to actually read it.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that, generally speaking, they didn’t. I was no exception. For one thing, from all initial appearances, Trump wasn’t saying much, and based on what he did say I could readily guess the rest. For another, it was from Donald Trump. Not exactly someone who has merited my, or anyone else’s, attention. I didn’t want to give him even that much respect. The mental midgets who love him, on the other hand, probably stopped reading because their lips got tired. Either way, Trump’s blog is turning out to be a colossal failure.
Most of Trump’s other posts aren’t all that long. Long or short they are all organized into single paragraphs. Apparently Trump doesn’t know what a paragraph is. But another dynamic at work against him might be that Donald Trump really is nothing by himself. He’s not entertaining as an individual in isolation, he needs someone or something to belittle. The people Trump used to defame on Twitter would find out he’d attacked them sooner or later, and they were always free to respond.
Sometimes they’d find out immediately through a Twitter alert. His blog, on the other hand, is just the ravings of a decrepit man who will be 75 years old next month, jobless, running out of friends, running out of time, tucked away on a website that few bother to visit. Far fewer people take it seriously than they did his tweets. Far fewer people ever bother to read it.
In fact, on the day Trump launched his blog, The Washington Post logged 159,000 social media interactions. Impressive, but a far cry from his Twitter audience. The following day, interactions dropped to 30,000 and have yet to surpass 15,000 per day since. That’s a shockingly small audience for a man as famous (and infamous) as Donald Trump.
Each visit to Trump’s blog page is accompanied by a cloying, desperate landing page, where the visitor is asked for their name, email address and phone number. It’s a pitiful request every time the page is reloaded, the cyber equivalent of someone saying, “won’t anyone be my friend?” I’d almost feel sorry for him were it not for the fact that he is a monster who murdered half a million Americans, committed rape, committed treason, suborned insurrection and attempted a hostile takeover of American democracy for the greed of personal gain, ego gratification and compensation for his personal inadequacy.
It seems Donald Trump really is losing his mojo. Congressional Republicans who still treat him as if he is their personal god apparently haven’t got the memo. Let’s deliver them one in November of 2022, shall we? 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.