Donald Trump’s absence from Twitter has had an even bigger impact on the American psyche than I might have imagined. It is often true of toxic relationships that you don’t realize just how dysfunctional they were until you can extricate yourself from the situation. I’m sleeping better. Food tastes better. Colors are more vibrant. But enough about me.
Trump’s absence has been conspicuous. Take, for example, Wednesday’s inaugural. It was calm and peaceful and refreshing. Now imagine the inaugural with Trump live-tweeting his running narration. It would have cast a pall on what turned out to be a pretty special day. We have one president at a time (“TOTAL LOSER Sleepy Joe got sworn-in twelve minutes early!?!”), but the outgoing president’s split-screen commentary could have easily been reality.
And that’s just one day. Imagine how good it will feel to string together a few months with no chaotic tweets. Twitter removed Trump from the platform to prevent him from using it to incite violence. But his absence has calmed things down to the point where it’s pretty obvious that this should have been done long ago, and for other valuable reasons.