Fractured in the aftermath of Trump’s defeat and a riot the president helped incite at the Capitol, the GOP found a unifying foil in the social media platform’s erasure of the president — elevating Big Tech‘s status in the culture wars from an annoying foe to archvillain.

For institutionalist Republicans weary of litigating Trump’s role in the insurrection, the ban — and the sudden silencing of Trump’s bullhorn — served as a diversion. And for the base of the party, it offered a rallying point for broader grievances about “cancel culture” and perceived attempts to censor conservative viewpoints. Less than 24 hours after the ban, Republicans were preparing to seize on the issue for the midterm elections and in 2024…

“This is the battle of our time,” the talk show host Dave Rubin said on Fox. “There is a war on reality. We are in an information war.”

Tacitly acknowledging the resonance of the controversy across an otherwise fractured party, Rubin said that regardless of what people think of Trump, “The fact that big tech oligarchs can decide who can speak … everyone should be absolutely outraged right now.”