In the Federalist Papers in 1788, Alexander Hamilton forecast a grim future for former presidents stymied by term limits. Would they, now robbed of their presidential prospects, still be incentivized to “undertake extensive and arduous enterprises for the public benefit, requiring considerable time to mature and perfect them”? No—more likely they would loom around “wandering among the people like discontented ghosts, and sighing for a place which they were destined never more to possess.”
In the case of Donald J. Trump, his post-term hobby of choice is, allegedly, writing out “insults and observations,” and instructing other, not-yet-banned individuals to post them to Twitter. The Daily Beast reported on Monday:
But due to Twitter’s banning of the @realDonaldTrump account following the Capitol riot that Trump instigated, he has not been able to personally trash [Republican Representative Liz] Cheney via his once widely read tweets. He has written out insults and observations, several of them about Cheney, but with no ability to tweet them himself, he has resorted to suggesting put-downs for others to use or post to their own Twitter, according to a person with direct knowledge of this new habit.
You know the guy has reams of material on Cheney and the nine other Republican representatives who voted in favor of impeaching him; he’s got an encyclopedia of viciously demented racist conspiracy theories on tap courtesy of “star” ally Marjorie Taylor Greene.
It’s dubious whether Trump has ever tried to undertake, or believed himself to be engaged in, “arduous enterprises for the public benefit” before or during his stay in the Oval. Rather than the office of the president, there’s an argument to be made that Hamilton might instead have been describing the plight of the banned.
It’s probably for the best that half the world isn’t forced to care what pops into his head 30 times a day, though.
But if you were wondering, that’s what he’s up to: scrawling curses at Liz Cheney on Burger King wrappers, blowing through secret service members’ burner accounts, sitting in the Big Chair behind a recreated Resolute Desk with a GHOSTWRITER FOR HIRE!!!! sign taped to it.
Gizmodo has reached out to Trump’s team for further details on what he’s been up to and will update the post if we hear back.