Every day, the vile invective, the treacherous threats, the bilious bellowing, the fallacious finger-pointing and the bilge-filled burping.
And then there’s Donald Trump.
Somehow, though, in the great debate between Twitter and the president I don’t see great opposites. I don’t see a girding of armies and a clutching of pearls, policy rules and Bibles.
Instead, here are two lovers who adore the frisson of excitement they bring each other with every encounter.
Theirs isn’t a principled standoff. It’s a lovers tiff.
Trump fears that Twitter is cheating on him. And the president so abhors cheating.
By placing a link to a fact-checking site on the subject of mail-in ballots, Twitter is trying to tell the president that his raging blowhardiness — I’m sorry, I mean passionate cries — can now be heard by the neighbors.
It’s upsetting the, um, community. That’s just not good for the image of a social medium that’s always been characterized by harmonious compassion among humans.
For his part, Trump fears Twitter doesn’t love him anymore. And that hurts.
You see, Twitter has given him what no lover ever has.
It’s always available and so, so easy. It’s perfect for his manly, energetic brand of one-appmanship.
All you need is love. All Trump needs is Twitter.
Facebook is so boring and ugly. The minute the president communes with Twitter, however, the world’s heads turn, just as they do in a fancy New York restaurant when Brad Pitt — or Jeff Bezos’s girlfriend — walks in.
After all, the whole media world sits at Twitter’s table. Journalists wait for the next course, the next installment — like WWE fans waiting for the next bout. They don’t care that it may be fixed. They just want to bathe in the buzz, too. It gives them meat and meaning.
The minute the president expectorates in a few characters, every word is instantly up there in lights, a vast Broadway of drama spilling across the web like a lava of love. And hate. And scorn. And brinkmanship. And manipulation.
For Twitter, cha meets ching.
Could it be though, that Jack Dorsey and his entourage have taken a look at their lover and wondered how to create a little more anti-social distance?
Dorsey insists his company will continue to “fact-check” the president. Well, bits of the president. Well, a few words of the president. Not the ones about a completely non-existent murder, but the ones about the election. Because Twitter has principles, you know.
The president, raising the stakes as he sometimes does before folding, wields his massive weapon. He says he’ll emasculate Twitter by executive (sw)order.
I fear it may not come to that. There will be a renewed — but perhaps silent — meeting of the bosoms, a rapprochement of the raunchy rapscallions.
Even though, on Thursday, the president insisted he’d love to dump Twitter.
At heart, and it’s all about the heart, this is just two lovers screaming at each other across the (Trump) hotel bedroom. It’ll soon be over, as Twitter starts to put little links on tweets emitted by Trump’s enemies.
I was going to describe Trump vs Twitter as a pissing contest, but you’d only think that was a difficult reference to scurrilous and unproven accusations. Which have no part on Twitter at all.
Twitter has risen on the back of Trump. Trump has risen by turning Twitter on its back. There is so much neediness here.
Even in the unlikely event that the president somehow lost the election, he’d still be Twitter’s first love and star attraction. After all, any tweets emitted by a President Biden would be lullabies at best. No lover can survive on those.
No matter what their friends say, there’s no way out of this Trump-Twitter relationship. Save, as I’ve suggested before, shutting down Twitter – and all social media – for weeks before the election.
Just as the Coronavirus has made many sit quietly and rethink the concept of meaning, so a social media moratorium just might persuade citizens to sit quietly and consider what they’ve allowed the body politic to become.
Oh, what am I saying?
More likely, Twitter and Trump, the Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal of our times, will soon embrace each other one more time.
They know that if they quit each other, they’d both lose everything that they are.