Ordinarily, a former president deciding to take up blogging wouldn’t exactly be news, or it might be as an addendum to an announcement of an outreach strategy coinciding with a new foundation or some other meaningful form of post-presidential statesmanship.
Of course, Trump was never much of a statesman and his long-promised media network has now started to materialize in the form of a completely generic web page styled to look like a 2009-era also-ran social network, if it were designed by a fresh-faced Liberty University grad. Ever since Trump was neutered by Facebook, Twitter, et al there’s been an ongoing guess as to what his outlet of choice might look like, whether it would be working himself up into a soaked lather with the My Pillow guy on OANN or joining his fellow racists over at Gab. Paying his failed campaign manager millions of dollars for the equivalent of a Wordpress theme built by fiverr is, like so many things Trump, shocking but not surprising. Hilariously, and also not surprisingly, are the nearly two months of pathetic id-posting already seeded to the site. (One can’t help but wonder if anyone actually told the big guy the site wasn’t yet public when he started proto-tweeting back in March).
Trump’s blog is, one’s gotta admit, a platonic ideal for such a soulless creature, a gaping maw for his unedited bile that ends, naturally, with a call to sign up to once again get scammed, shamelessly.
For a while now, there’s been a meme about the dynamics of the Republican party orienting itself towards “an audience of one” — whether it’s supplicants praising dear leader on Fox News or the state of Arizona’s pathetic recount efforts. The entire goal, it seemed, was to be granted the gift of a single tweet that could change fortunes and make — or destroy — political careers. It’s a testament to many things (a plurality of Americans’ commitment to white supremacy among them), primarily Trump’s limitless ego and constitutional lack of shame.
For wrangling the internet in ways they never could, the media anointed Trump as some kind of savant, but his real power was much more atavistic. Less wunderkind than carnival shrieker, Trump used social networks to create a funhouse mirror that reflected back on himself.
The tech companies that comprise social media, after helping to put him in the White House and spread his dangerous and hateful lies for years, finally took away his ability to manipulate the endless panopticon of obsequious asskissers vying to play to that singular audience; now the reward isn’t a tweet that will be breathlessly reported on but a memo DICTATED BUT NOT READ, texted to the loyal faithful. He’s back in the only way he could be.