Why Donald Trump doesn’t need Facebook – Mother Jones
Last week Donald Trump received another slap in the face: Facebook announced it was extending its ban for two years. In early 2023, the company, which kicked off Trump after instigating the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, will reassess whether it should allow him to return to its platform and Instagram. As many commentators have observed, the move will blunt Trump’s ability to lose weight on social media in the next campaign. “Facebook’s action means it will be cut off from mainstream platforms for at least the 2022 midterm election cycle,” the New York Times Noted. This news, especially following Trump’s disconnection from an unsuccessful blog he had started weeks earlier, seemed to suggest a decline in Trumpian power. But even without access to mainstream social media, Trump will still occupy an oversized role in Republican and American politics due to two important factors: money and fear.
Let’s start with the bottom line. No one in the GOP can raise money like Trump. Even in defeat (or maybe because of it). It can often be difficult to come up with full political fundraising figures, but in the weeks following the 2020 election, Trump collected a large amount of campaign money, mostly in the form of small donations from his devout followers. From November 24 until the end of the year, its Make America Great Again political action committee brought together $ 62.6 million, as Trump pushed the Big Lie that the election was rigged against him. During this period, the Republican National Committee, with the assistance of Trump, has $ 18.8 million. That’s over $ 80 million in five weeks, suggesting that the total payoff for Trump and Republicans for the post-election period last year likely exceeded $ 100 million.
And Trump’s fundraising has not declined. In April, it was reported that his Save America PAC, another Trump campaign money-catcher, had $ 85 million in the bankâten times the amount of campaign funds he had four years ago. This indicated that Trump had raised tens of millions of dollars in the first months of 2021. (This PAC reported $ 31 million cash on hand at the end of 2020.) The cash train didn’t stop with Trump out of the office. Its fundraising operation is relentless and presumably operates on mailing lists comprising millions, if not tens of millions, of names.
This fortune shows that Trump remains the center of gravity of the GOP. He has a hold on the (paranoid) imaginations of his followersâtwo-thirds of Republicans believe his big lie and reject President Joe Biden’s legitimacy and the party’s most precious resource: money. With those funds, he can prevent other Republicans from participating in the 2024 race (if he wants to try to win back the White House). And his demonstrated ability to be the party’s number one ATM will deter many Republicans from distancing themselves from Trump. They need him and his fundraising ability.
Plus, Trump can fund any political agenda he seeks to pursue, especially the acts of revenge he has sworn against the few Republicans who voted to impeach him in January for his role in the assault on him. Capitol. On Monday, he accused Senator Lisa Murkowski, who was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, of betraying his state of Alaska and said: “I think that she will be greeted very hard by Alaska voters in 15 months, and I’ll be there to campaign against her! And with this mountain of money growing, Trump can do a lot to influence the Republican primary contests in which a Trumpy R defies a not so Trumpy R. He might not be able to deliver angry messages to his followers through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (where he also remains banned), but with that big bundle of money he can fund to melts efforts that target his enemies and reward his followers. Perhaps this won’t be as satisfying to Trump as ranting and letting off steam in short, syntactically challenged messages. But it could be more effective.
This makes us fear. The Republican leadership remains damn scared of Trump because he continues to have the party base in his grip. Although the Republican Party is at an all-time low in terms of people who identify as Rsâonly 23 percent, according to a recent poll by Pew Research, the Rs who are still in the party are overwhelmingly Trumpers. This preserves enormous influence for Trump. The Republicans who confront him do so at the risk of suffering a backlash from the party’s most loyal voters. Watch how Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Kevin McCarthy, the two main Republicans in Congress, initially denounced Trump for the Jan.6 raid and quickly turned around, dropping their criticism of him and even opposing the formation of an independent bipartite commission to investigate. this horrible attack. They saw that Trump, even removed from office, was still adopted by Republican voters and remained the dark soul of their party.
The past weekend provided a sharp reminder. At the Georgia GOP convention, Gov. Brian Kemp, a Tory who has led GOP voter suppression efforts in the state, was hooted and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was censored. These are two GOP officials Trump assaulted for failing to overturn the 2020 Georgia election results. This display of pro-Trump mania came as Trump endorsed a main opponent of Raffensperger who defended Trump’s false claims about the election. Trump was also encouraging-or urging-local Republican officials in several states to hold politically charged audits of last year’s election tally, and some are taking up that cause. And here’s another local sign of the party’s frightening obedience to Trump: George P. Bush, the Texas State Land Commissioner and heir to the Bush family’s political dynasty, announced his main challenge to Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton with a video that slavish devotion to Trump. A Bush bent the knee. (Remember Trump routinely ransacked George P. Bush’s father Jeb Bush during the 2016 campaign, and insult his mother Colomba.)
Trump runs on revenge and grudge and likes to settle scores. The Republican Party got this message. And anyone in his ranks who dared to cross him would meet his wrath and, more importantly, that of GOP voters. (See Liz Cheney.) Trump’s dominance is now at the heart of the party’s operating code.
Certainly, Trump would have an easier time intimidating his fellow Republicans and spreading his lies if he had access to Twitter and Facebook and was not primarily relegated to the world of conservative media and the right-wing echosphere (including Fox News, OAN, Parler, and other points of sale). But tweets and messages are not essential for him to control the party and, through this control, to shape and pervert the political discourse of the nation. Money and fear do a lot in politics. And on the GOP side, Trump maintains a monopoly on both.