It has now been over a year since the tyrants at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat shamefully banned former President Donald Trump, depriving him of reaching an audience of roughly 150 million people.
But that is about to change on Presidents’ Day when the Trump Media & Technology Group launches Truth Social, marking Trump’s much-anticipated return to social media.
Even before they banned him, Big Tech unsuccessfully tried to delegitimize and undermine Trump for years.
When former President Barack Obama’s campaign famously used Facebook to reach a younger audience, his data scientist gurus were considered geniuses, but when Trump masterfully used social media to speak directly to his supporters, it was suddenly evidence of Russian collusion and a grave threat to our democracy.
Although Trump first created a Twitter account in 2009, he did not begin tweeting regularly until 2012. He subsequently sent out more than 57,000 tweets. On some days, he sent out as many as 200 tweets or retweets, as he did on June 5, 2020. During the second half of 2020, he averaged 34.8 tweets per day.
When Trump announced via Twitter that he and the former first lady tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2, 2020, the tweet received more than 394,000 retweets, 483,000 quote tweets, and 1.6 million likes. It was his most retweeted post.
Sure, not all of his followers were wishing him a speedy recovery, but his massive audience should not be understated. Very few people in human history have been more adept at the art of self-promotion than Trump, and very few politicians have been more skilled at communicating with their base.
Which is why the dishonest and corrupt propagandists in the ruling class spent five-plus years peddling lies, false smears, and conspiracy theories in an attempt to disrupt Trump’s popularity.
But instead, it probably had the opposite effect, and brought his followers closer to him. The American people were able to see right through it.
So Big Tech tried something different.
In the summer of 2020, so-called “fact-checkers,” who were nothing more than Democrat operatives, started flagging virtually all of Trump’s tweets when he raised perfectly legitimate concerns about the opportunity for fraudulent votes to be cast in the 2020 presidential election, such as implementing unconstitutional last-minute rule changes, including universal mail-in voting and ballot harvesting.
On Jan. 8, Trump tweeted: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Next, Trump said, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” It was the last tweet he would ever send.
Apparently, thanking 75 million everyday Americans for their support and love of country was very threatening to the spineless Big Tech hypocrites, and so Twitter banned him permanently, while Facebook suspended him for at least two years.
But with Trump set to return to social media in the coming weeks, it appears that the right to free speech is still in vogue.
Many on the right have said that Trump was his own worst enemy and that his tweets were his kryptonite.
Was it amusing when he referred to Stormy Daniels as “horseface,” or when he said that Mika Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a face-lift”? Yes. Did he have to say those things? Probably not.
Much of that misses the point.
If you had access to 88 million followers on Twitter, and the entire corrupt legacy media spent day after day viciously attacking you, by erroneously saying that you were only in the White House because you were a stooge of Vladimir Putin, or that a harmless phone call with the president of Ukraine was an impeachable offense, or that the pre-COVID Trump economy wasn’t actually a success, or that you were sending in “storm troopers” to quell violent BLM/Antifa rioters in Democrat-run cities, wouldn’t you want to defend yourself against those lies and conspiracy theories?
Only time will tell if Trump will be able to regain his massive following on his own platform, which will also include a subscription streaming service, news programming, and podcasts.
But one thing is certain if past precedent is any indicator: it’s never wise to bet against Trump.
The art of the Trump comeback is only just beginning.
David Keltz is the author of The Campaign of His Life and Media Bias in the Trump Presidency and the Extinction of the Conservative Millennial. His writing has been published in The American Spectator, The Federalist, American Greatness, RealClearPolitics, the American Thinker, and the New York Daily News, among others. Follow him on Twitter @David_Keltz.