It’s now been a full week since Donald Trump’s fourth arrest. At this rate he might consider himself lucky that there hasn’t been a fifth one already. But it’s also been a full week since something else: Trump’s one and only tweet since leaving office.
Back when Trump was reinstated to Twitter, the owner of the platform publicly begged Trump to return. But it never did happen. Instead Trump continued to spend all day every day pandering to his niche base on his own niche social network. The ferocity with which Trump rants and raves on Truth Social, basically talking to no one, suggests that he’d love to be back on Twitter and have a real audience. But even his one tweet last week is now very much looking like a one-off.
We’ve heard all kinds of speculation about how Trump might have an exclusive contract with Truth Social. But even if so, that doesn’t come within a million miles of adequately explaining why he never returned to Twitter. Deals like that are made to be renegotiated or worked around. And really, what is Truth Social going to do to Trump in retaliation for returning to Twitter? Ban him from his own platform? Truth Social is such a niche failure that there would be no platform without Trump.
Instead, Trump’s failure to return to Twitter is probably the biggest giveaway that he’s not really running for anything. Twitter is a huge marketing and outreach opportunity for any political candidate. Trump in particular has shown an affinity, almost an addiction, to tweeting. It allowed him to speak directly to the general public in real time. And by declining to tweet, he’s throwing away that opportunity.
Is this because Trump is so senile? His incoherently embarrassing rambling on Truth Social is at least mitigated by the fact that so few people are on there reading it. If he were posting these same screeds on Twitter, the general public would see that his brain is now a bag of cats, and his faux-campaign would probably be closer to finished. So are Trump’s handlers trying to protect him from himself by giving him flimsy and misleading excuses about why he shouldn’t tweet?
If you think about it, the only two things Trump ever seemed to enjoy about politics were rallies and tweeting, and now his babysitters have managed to convince him to very rarely do either one of them. Instead they have him tucked away rambling on a failed social media platform that no one uses. Trump’s handlers seem to view him as being so far gone, they have to keep him in a box. And Trump, for his part, seems to be so far gone that his handlers can convince him of anything. Whatever reasons they’ve fed him for why he should do very few rallies and stay off Twitter, he’s swallowed it.
The kicker is that even if you view his 2024 “campaign” strictly as a fundraising vehicle to cover his legal fees, he should still be tweeting daily and holding rallies every few days. Those are both easy moneymaking opportunities for a candidate – and yet Trump isn’t bothering to do either one.
You keep asking yourself why the 2024 Republican “frontrunner” is practically in hiding. You keep wondering why he’s passing up all these opportunities to put himself out there and, if nothing else, line his pockets. Then you hear him speak. And you realize he’s now so far gone that he sounds like a bad imitation of Donald Trump. The guy was never exactly on the ball. But these days his social media posts are often along the lines of “Why Are People So Mean?” Yes, that was an actual Truth Social post he made. No wonder his handlers have convinced him to stay off Twitter. If the general public sees that he’s that far gone, his entire 2024 con game could fall apart rather fast.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report