Things have come fully circle in my relationship with Donald Trump on Twitter.
On July 11, 2017, Trump blocked me on Twitter after I suggested that if he was going to end Obamacare and deny healthcare to 25 million Americans, he shouldn’t be allowed his own healthcare coverage until his own often-touted, never-before-seen plan was enacted.
I was teaching a summertime storytelling workshop to a group of high school students at Miss Porter’s School at the time. We were crossing the quad on the way to lunch when I noticed that I was blocked. As I looked down at my phone and expressed my displeasure, one of my students looked over my shoulder, saw that I was blocked, and cheered. Seconds later, I was surrounded by two dozen young women, chanting my name and cheering me on for poking the President hard enough to make him react.
I was still angry, but not nearly so. Students have a way of putting things in perspective when you cannot.
Later that year, I joined 41 other Twitter users in the Knight Institute’s lawsuit versus Donald Trump, demanding that the President unblock me and give me access to what his press secretary had declared an “official Presidential channel.”
The case went all the way to the Supreme Court.
On August 28, 2018, we won our lawsuit, and Trump was forced to unblock me on Twitter.
One of those Miss Porter’s students with whom I’ve remained close emailed me that day and said, “You sued the President of the United States and won. At the Supreme Court! For some people, that would be the biggest thing to ever happen in their life! Congratulations!”
Students have a way of putting things in perspective when you cannot.
Since August 28, 2018, I have been tweeting at Donald Trump with regularity, telling him in various ways that he is a racist, incompetent, criminally negligent, corrupt ignoramus who needs to leave office. Friends have become legitimately concerned that I might be on Trump’s enemies list because of my constant, relentless attacks. A few have wished that I would stop.
But many, many Americans have reached out to me over the past two years, thanking me for saying the things that they are afraid to say or could not find the words to adequately express.
In that time, Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. have also blocked me on Twitter.
Also Scott Baio and thousands of Trump supporters.
Things have now come full circle. Like that day back in the summer of 2017, I can no longer tweet at Donald Trump again, but this time, it’s because he has been blocked. Twitter has finally banned him from the platform forever “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
As a Twitter shareholder, I have been calling for his permanent ban ever since he began to delegitimize the election back in November.
Finally, Trump has been denied his megaphone.
This, of course, has not stopped him. Trump attempted to tweet via his @POTUS and @TeamTrump accounts last night, but Twitter deleted the tweets from the @POTUS account (one that will be transferred to President-elect Biden at noon on January 20) and blocked the @TeamTrump account altogether.
Facebook and Instagram have also blocked his account for at least as long as he is President.
Apple and Google have warned craven social media platforms like Parlor that they may be pulled from their app stores if they do not clearly define their terms of service.
One of my favorite tweets of the day read:
“Trump asked Melania to use her Twitter account, but her password is Baron’s middle name and birthday, so Trump couldn’t access it.”
Regardless of where he might try to tweet or reach his base via social media, nothing will replace the 88 million followers who he lost last night.
For context, Barack Obama has 128 million followers. Just saying.
But in order to speak to the American people, Trump will need to stand before cameras and talk on live television, just like all of his predecessors.
After the insurrection at the Capitol, even that sounds dangerous.
But with just 11 days to go and discussions in Washington, DC by Democrats and Republicans to remove or impeach the President, perhaps it won’t be 11 days. Maybe he’ll get the boot a little early.
Either way, Twitter’s decision was a good one. It was late in coming, to be sure, but one that will make our nation safer and reduce Trump’s influence going forward.
The less we hear from Donald Trump, the better.