After almost a year of tweeting at Donald Trump, he finally blocked me from access to his Twitter feed yesterday.
This is mostly bad news.
Admittedly, it has become a badge of honor to get blocked by Trump. Since he has stated unequivocally that he is the only person with access to his personal Twitter account - a statement which appears to be true based upon many of his incredibly offensive and legally damaging tweets - getting blocked means that Trump has at least read your tweets, and they have managed to penetrate his remarkably thin skin.
That is a good thing.
I also join the ranks of folks like writers Stephen King and Bess Kalb, political activists, civic organizers, actors, athletes, organizations like VoteVets (which represents 500,000 veterans and their families) and Andy Signore, creator of the Honest Trailers series on YouTube.
Joining that group is quite an honor.
But this is where the good ends. In truth, I was disappointed - upset, even - to discover that I had been blocked. Over the course of the last year, I was tweeting at Donald Trump regularly in response to many of the things he wrote. His supporters (and perhaps Trump himself) would refer to me as a troll, but in truth, I was tweeting at Trump because it amused me. It made me happy to spend a few minutes a day giving him a piece of my mind. It felt good to speak truth to power. I took great pleasure in the knowledge that Trump reads his Twitter feed, and that perhaps there were days when my words might have penetrated the White House bubble.
Apparently they did.
My tweets have been getting a lot of attention by the thousands of people who hate-follow Trump (and many of his supporters, too). Many of my tweets were receiving hundreds and thousands of likes and retweets. Apparently enough was enough, and the thin skinned, petulant, would-be child King decided to silence me.
This doesn't mean I can't see his tweets. There are work-arounds to gain access to his Twitter feed, including a new Twitter account, the use of a different Web browser, the use of Google's Incognito mode, and more, but it's going to be clunky, time consuming, and no matter what I do, @MatthewDicks, the Twitter account that represents me, can no longer comment on what Trump tweets.
There is a lawsuit making its way through the courts on behalf of blocked users, arguing that since Trump has stated that his personal account represents the "official statements of the President," it is a violation of my First Amendment rights to be denied access to his feed.
This makes sense to me. Americans have a right to access official statements from our government officials. I'll be following it closely.
I still have access to his @POTUS Twitter account, but he rarely uses this account and is clearly not the one tweeting from it. The material is inoffensive and benign.
Not exactly Trump's way of communicating.
Mostly, I'm just sad that the few joyful minutes I spent each day, speaking truth to power and retorting Trump's offensive, racist, misogynistic statements and blatant lies, have now been denied to me.
People like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Sean Spicer, Steve Bannon, Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway, and even Donald Tump Jr. are all worthy targets of my Twitter scorn, but none will be nearly as fun as that large, white bag of lies, ignorance, and indiscretion.
Let us hope that the courts decide in my favor and the First Amendment wins the day.