100 Days Without Trump on Twitter: A Nation Scrolls More Calmly
But how significant is the noise? Many Republicans still seem to be hanging on Mr. Trumpâs every word. But others say that without Twitter or indeed the presidency, his voice has been rendered nearly impotent, much the way Alpha, the terrifying Doberman pinscher in the movie âUp,â becomes ridiculous when his electronic voice malfunctions, forcing him to speak with the Mickey Mouse-like voice of someone who has inhaled too much helium.
âHeâs not conducting himself in a logical, disciplined fashion in order to carry out a plan,â the anti-Trump Republican lawyer George Conway said of the former president. âInstead, heâs trying to yell as loudly as he can, but the problem is that heâs in the basement, and so itâs just like a mouse squeaking.â
Not everyone agrees, of course. Even some people who are no fans of Mr. Trumpâs language say that the Twitter ban was plain censorship, depriving the country of an important political voice.
Ronald Johnson, a 63-year-old retailer from Wisconsin who voted for Mr. Trump in November, said that Twitter had, foolishly, turned itself into the villain in the fight.
âWhat itâs doing is making people be more sympathetic to the idea that here is somebody who is being abused by Big Tech,â Mr. Johnson said. Although he doesnât miss the former presidentâs outrageous language, he said, it was a mistake to deprive his supporters of the chance to hear what he has to say.
And many Trump fans miss him desperately, in part because their identity is so closely tied to his.
Last month, a plaintive tweet by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, that bemoaned Mr. Trumpâs absence from the platform was âlikedâ more than 66,000 times. It also inspired a return to the sort of brawl that Mr. Trump used to provoke on Twitter, as outraged anti-Trumpers waded in to inform Mr. Giuliani exactly what he could do with his opinion.
It is exactly that sort of thing â the punch-counterpunch between the right and left, the quick escalation (or devolution) into name-calling and outrage so often touched off by Mr. Trump â that caused Mr. Cavalli, a former sportswriter and associate athletic director at Stanford University, to leave Twitter right before the election. He had been spending an hour or two a day on the platform, often working himself up into a frenzy of posting sarcastic responses to the presidentâs tweets.