Viewing Trump Back On Twitter From A More Integrative Perspective
by Elliot Benjamin, Ph.D., Ph.D. April, 2022
When I first got wind that Elon Musk was going to buy Twitter, I immediately shuddered at the realization that Donald Trump would soon be back on Twitter. Being a progressive Democrat, this felt to me like another death stroke to democracy in the United States, with the stimulation of enormous increases of hate crimes through the guise of “free speech.” However, I recently came upon a different kind of perspective to Trump being back on Twitter, which argued that this could actually be a good thing for Democrats in that it could galvanize an anti-Trump response that could have significant anti-Republican effects in both the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election . And as I thought about this perspective, it occurred to me that although this may be a long shot for Democrats, it is very likely the Democrats’ “only” shot.
I don’t know how much this is wishful thinking on my part as an alternative to facing the depressingly bleak reality that all kinds of destructive hate speech will soon be back on its way at Twitter, with Trump once again having access to his bitterly hateful polarizing mouthpiece. But this alternative perspective can also be viewed from the lens of a more “integrative” perspective, in the context of how I have described my view of “integrative” as incorporating diverse and contradictory perspectives into an extended viewpoint . I purposefully used the term “integrative” as opposed to “integral” in order to retain the simplicity and core message of “integral” without all of Wilber’s esoteric complications and color schemes that comprise his integral philosophy . Thus I am trying out assimilating the traditional Trump “back on Twitter” disaster perspective with an alternative perspective that views this as perhaps a blessing in disguise for Democrats.
I have previously written about the likelihood of the United States electing a President Trump or President Trumpian in 2024, as well as which of these two very possible scenarios would be worse and which would be more likely . There are arguments both ways in regard to which would be worse and which would be more likely , but I will venture to say that with Trump being back on Twitter it may be more likely than not that he would be the 2024 Republican presidential candidate. However, when it comes to the 2024 presidential election, I can see how his reengaged destructive Twitter mouthpiece could remind Independents and moderate Democrats of how destructive it would be to have Trump in the White House again, and this may be a desperately needed jolt to persuading people to vote for Biden again if he is the Democratic candidate, or else for whoever the Democratic candidate is . And Trump being back on Twitter may also have a similar beneficial effect for Democrats in the 2022 midterms, though it may very well not have enough of an effect to stop the Republicans from taking over the House . But from my view of the alternative perspective to Trump being back on Twitter, right now I believe the Democrats are sunk in regard to maintaining power in 2022 as well as 2024, and from this perspective, in regard to the Democrats retaining their power, there is virtually nothing to lose and only something to gain from Trump being back on Twitter. Biden has been very unpopular for many months, and between inflation and the Russia/Ukraine war and Joe Manchin’s destruction of Biden’s Build Back Better plans, I do not see this changing, certainly not in enough time to help the Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections . So perhaps an unexpected gift of assistance from the perspective that Trump being back on Twitter could be a good thing for Democrats is something that should not be discounted.
However, I am certainly non minimizing the immense negative consequences of Elon Musk buying Twitter and eventually letting Trump back on Twitter, in regard to the escalation of hate speech leading to a dire increase in hate crimes. But I also think that the Republicans regaining power through a 2024 President Trump or President Trumpian would result in an even greater increase in hate crimes, regardless of Trump being back on Twitter or not. And then of course there is the looming global disaster of the environmental destruction of our planet, which, along with Noam Chomsky, I shudder to think about how a President Trump or President Trumpian would escalate through once again drilling for oil all over the world, deleting environmental safety regulations, and removing us from international environmental cooperation groups . And when I think of how fragile the whole world is right now with the horror of a nuclear war/World War III developing out of the present Russia/Ukraine war, the thought of an irrational President Trump or militaristic President Trumpian fills me with utter dread. All it would have taken to escalate us already getting into World War III would have been an ego-driven President Trump or military-driven President Trumpian wiling to take the gamble of challenging Putin through instituting a no-fly zone over Ukraine or sending troops into Ukraine . It was fortunate that North Korea backed down when Trump was president and we didn’t get into a war with them, but this in no way would mean that Putin would do the same if he felt that he was being aggressively attacked by the United States. Perhaps a President Trump or President Trumpian weakening our ties with NATO would appease Putin enough to avoid a nuclear war, assuming that we are somehow able to avoid one in the next two and a half years, but the complexities and implications of weakening our ties with NATO is not something that I want to leave to a President Trump or President Trumpian to decide about.
Thus in conclusion, from my progressive Democratic perspective, I once again think it is of the utmost importance to avoid the scenario of a 2024 President Trump or President Trumpian . And in this regard, perhaps the alternative perspective that Trump being back on Twitter could be a blessing in disguise for the Democrats is worthwhile considering.
Notes and References
1) Evan Hurst (2022), GOP Terrified Trump Might Get Twitter Back Before Midterms, F*ck F*ck F*ck F*ck F*ck! https://www.wonkette.com/-2657216895
2) See a number of my essays on the Integral World website at www.integralworld.net where I describe my integrative perspective.
3) See any of Ken Wilber’s books since 2000 at www.amazon.com
4) See Elliot Benjamin (2022), Is the United States Currently Living in a Pre-Trump or Pre-Trumpian Time Period? An Extended and Updated Report; March, 2022.
5) See Joe Biden’s approval ratings at https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/biden-approval-rating/ and https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-BIDEN/POLL/nmopagnqapa/; and see Sam Kirk (2022) for a description of Joe Manchin’s significant increase in approval ratings in West Virginia, at https://www.wboy.com/news/west-virginia/joe-manchins-approval-rating-sky-rockets-in-west-virginia/
6) See Isaac Chotiner (2020). Noam Chomsky believes Trump is “the worst criminal in human history.” Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/noam-chomsky-believes-trump-is-the-worst-criminal-in-human-history; and Daniel Villarreal (2022). Noam Chomsky Says GOP “Not a political party” but a radical insurgency.” Retrieved from https://www.newsweek.com/noam-chomsky-says-gop-not-political-party-radical-insurgency-1677041
7) Along these lines, see the following two Noam Chomsky videos at
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb7AD49WIlY and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Z5sNAr8qI; see a transcripted version of a third Chomsky interview at https://theintercept.com/2022/04/14/russia-ukraine-noam-chomsky-jeremy-scahill/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Intercept%20Newsletter; and see Ben Burgis (2022), Noam Chomsky Is Right, the U.S. Should Work to Negotiate an End to the War in Ukraine. https://www.thedailybeast.com/noam-chomsky-is-right-us-should-work-to-negotiate-an-end-to-the-war-in-ukraine