100 Days Without Trump on Twitter: A Nation Scrolls More Calmly

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But how significant is the noise? Many Republicans still seem to be hanging on Mr. Trump’s 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 “Up,” 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.

“He’s not conducting himself in a logical, disciplined fashion in order to carry out a plan,” the anti-Trump Republican lawyer George Conway said of the former president. “Instead, he’s trying to yell as loudly as he can, but the problem is that he’s in the basement, and so it’s just like a mouse squeaking.”

Not everyone agrees, of course. Even some people who are no fans of Mr. Trump’s 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.

“What it’s doing is making people be more sympathetic to the idea that here is somebody who is being abused by Big Tech,” Mr. Johnson said. Although he doesn’t miss the former president’s 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. Trump’s absence from the platform was “liked” 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 — 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 — 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 president’s tweets.



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