Trump's New Trumpet

Mike Minehan
29 October 2021

Those suffering withdrawal symptoms from the absence of the former US president Trump's tweets can now look forward to another round from his newly announced platform, Truth Social.

Truth Social will have a limited launch on Apple's App Store in November 2021, and a full public launch in 2022. In addition, Truth Social is also planning a video-on-demand service that will feature entertainment programming, news and podcasts.

This will be YUUUGE, according to preliminary hype, and also because according to the Washington Post, "conservative voices do well on traditional social media." WaPo also noted that half of Facebook's currently top performing link posts are from conservative media, commentators or politicians.

You may remember that the former president was permanently banned from Twitter and all other major social networks after his supporters stormed the US Capitol on 6 January this year. Simply, the grounds for banning Trump from the social media networks were that he'd be a risk for "further incitement of violence."

The idea of a silenced, or muted, Donald Trump is obviously an oxymoron, and it was only a matter of time before Trump has been able to figure out how to turn up the volume again for the 70 million Americans who voted for him.

But there will also be some advantages for the rest of us, too.

The main one is that now, disinformation and fake news should largely gravitate to this one site, instead of being more dangerously mixed in with more legitimate news sources. This is not an insignificant development, as the Washington Post's Factchecker records that Trump's false or misleading claims numbered the extraordinary total of 30,573 during the four years of his presidency.

That averages out at approximately '21 erroneous claims per day'. Even for a politician, this is a record not likely to be challenged by anyone other than the most bloated narcissist, or even, the former president himself, trying to make a comeback.

The chief WaPo checker offers this commentary:

Is there nothing sacred? Trump even cheats when he plays his favorite game, golf, and blatantly so, as reported by the golf gurus who run the US open and write for the top golf magazines. And even Trump's caddies have coined a nickname for him, 'Pele', in recognition of the number of times he kicks his ball into more advantageous positions closer towards the cup.

Another advantage of Trump's proposed new site is that the more radical of the 70 million Americans who voted for Trump in the last presidential elections will now have a single platform to amplify their QAnon conspiracy theories and white supremacy threats.

White nationalist hate groups in the US increased 55 per cent throughout the Trump era, according to the US Southern Poverty Law Centre. And according to the current US Attorney General, Merrick Garland, domestic violence extremist groups, particuarly white supremacists, now pose a growing threat to the United States.

This accounting is from CBS News:

It's easy to assume, following such history, that extreme-right, working class, blue collar Americans and fundamentalist Christians form a bedrock of Trump support.

But Sky News paints a broader picture and finds that, surprisingly perhaps, Trump supporters include more than those usual suspects.

The other major beneficiary of the new Trump Truth Social will be the Republican Party itself. The GOP has been hard at work rewriting history, and despite the Capitol riot resulting in five fatalities, the GOP Senator Andrew Clyde has claimed that the Capital invasion "appeard to look like a normal tourist visit."

The Late Show takes this claim to its obvious conclusion:

Trump's Truth Social should also be able to provide a convenient echo chamber for GOP party stalwarts to continue their claim, without supporting evidence, that the last presidential election was stolen from them.

And yet, Trump is probably more of a symptom than a cause of what has been happening in America. There are obviously a lot of Americans who feel alienated from the normal processes of government and from hope about the future.

That's probably why populist slogans and simplistic promises hold so much appeal to so many. And that's probably why someone like Trump, who promises to challenge or break the existing system, holds such appeal.

Yes, but a new clone of Twitter just for Trump and his like-miinded associates won't fix any of the problems.

If Trump's previous record is anything to go by, Truth Social will be far more likely to make things worse.

Should we worry? Well, yes. How much? Probably a lot because a multitude of malcontents with a history of violence are gathering their forces. This multitude sees itself as the army of the misunderstood, the marginalized and the maligned who have been the victims of a massive robbery.

And now they can smell the scent of success with Truth Social to empower them.

Not only are more tweet storms coming. More violence is on its way, too.