Getting down to basics. When Elon Musk unbanned Donald Trump from Twitter, he offered Trump an extremely valuable in kind donation to Trump’s 2024 primary battle against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. It’s a big deal. DeSantis won big in the Nov. 8 mid-terms beating his Democratic rival Charlie Crist by almost 20% and leading Florida Republicans to a thorough beatdown of Democratic candidates in the Sunshine State. Given that Trump-backed candidates (outside J.D. Vance) mostly lost their races, DeSantis has been looking like a winner while Trump is beginning to look more like a has-been, and is now trailing DeSantis in polling for the 2024 GOP nomination. With Musk unbanning Trump from Twitter, Trump now has access to a giant Twitter platform that also commands attention from the mainstream news media and would multiply his ability to dominate media coverage and get his thoughts and image out before the Republican base.
But Trump has already announced that he won’t go back to twitter and there are complications that Musk will have to deal with if he actually wants Trump back. The main complication is that Trump’s return could be a big financial boost for Musk as the owner of the twitter platform. If Trump resumed his previous twitter activity, that would increase traffic on the platform, possibly attract advertising from conservative and Christian businesses, and help Musk in his efforts to convert twitter “users” to twitter “subscribers.” By inviting Trump back, Musk isn’t just supporting “free speech” and undoing the “injustice” of Trump’s original ban. He’s trying to stabilize his investment in twitter, make twitter more profitable, and enhance his own wealth and reputation.
And Trump hates that.
Part of Trump lore is his distaste of other people making money off the Trump name and Musk profiting from Trump’s prolific tweeting would likely be an unwelcome prospect.
Other things may be eating at Trump as well.
When Musk initially made the twitter deal on April 25, he promised to immediately revoke the ban on Trump but failed to do so. Musk completed the twitter takeover on Oct. 27 but didn’t revoke Trump’s ban for more than 3 weeks on Nov. 19. Even then, Musk only revoked the ban after a b.s. online poll (and I’m sure Trump had stronger words than that).
No respect for Trump.
Moreover, Musk has never supported Trump politically. He supported HILLARY! over Trump in 2016 and resigned from a couple government boards over Trump withdrawing from the Paris climate treaty. Of course, Musk would eventually withdraw from the Democratic Party over California covid restrictions, but still supported Andrew Yang during the Democratic primaries
In other words, he wasn’t supporting Trump.
Trump likes people who are “nice,” views people not supporting Trump as not being “nice,” and hates being nice to people who aren’t nice to him.
Elon Musk has never been “nice” to Trump.
Queried about who he would support in the 2024 GOP primary now that hes a ‘Republican,
Trump doesn’t like puckish people. They’re “wise guys.”
And he doesn’t like people supporting DeSantis for President. People who support DeSantis aren’t being nice to him.
Remembering the likelihood of Musk benefitting from Trump being on Twitter, what does Musk do? I would suggest several things–
Send Trump an engraved invitation. He’ll like that
A couple testimonials to Trump’s contributions to Making American Great Again. Be sure to use the slogan.
A telephone call with an apology for not unbanning Trump sooner.
Also a BIG contribution to Trump’s PAC.
But that might not get it done.
It’s worth remembering that Donald Trump has a huge sociopath’s ego.
So, if Musk wants Trump on twitter, he might have to endorse Trump’s candidacy for president in 2024as well as admit that he was wrong about Trump in the past.
Getting on his knees and begging to Trump might also help.