The midterms were a stinging rebuke to Republicans and a rude awakening for Trump …
Call it Trump dot con. As I write the webmaster is preparing a new one. Have you heard? Tomorrow he promises to run again. MAGA 2020 hats and “Brandon-wear” will be out of date- just like the soon-to-be four-time loser himself. If you have some time to waste, and you aren’t afeared of “poli-porn” you, too, can visit the Trump website. At first glance, the site, designed for suckers, flashes drop-down menus that include places where visitors can “CONTRIBUTE” or “SHOP” in all caps:
That should be a clue. The login for access is a credit card and your blind allegiance. His hand is nearing your pocket, but worse, his bullshit is numbing your brain. Click on “about” and the not-so-subtle grift begins. In bulleted nonsensical statements of aboutness the top mentions include patriot pandering, religious jibberish, and a rejiggering of common phrasing into strange conflation:
- “We know that our rights do not come from government, they come from God, and no earthly force can ever take those rights away. That includes the right to religious liberty and the right to Keep and Bear Arms.”
- “We support fair trade, low taxes, and fewer job-killing regulations, and we know that America must always have the most powerful military on the face of the Earth.”
- “We believe in FREE SPEECH and Fair Elections. We must ensure fair, honest, transparent, and secure elections going forward — where every VOTE counts.”
Well, you get the picture. MAGA is about word salads that are both confused and contradictory. The last example above demonstrates how mindless evil thinks. “Free and fair” is generally a modifier for “elections” but here is oddly uncoupled and reattached to similar, but different concepts. The key here is “legal” in all caps. In a Trumpian world, elections should be free and fair only if their candidates win. If they can legislate enough restrictions and install enough technicalities to make voting a hardship for some voters, then elections can be considered legally “fair”- not necessarily “free.”
Select with a click the “News” page a mishmash of juvenile thought-bubbles appears that the shameless promoter and self-proclaimed America-savior concocts in his delirium- that place in his mind insulated from the real world. Here he opines in fractals, tiny bits of Trumpian nonsense:
- If CNN were smart, they’d open up a Conservative network, only have me on…
- Pennsylvania is a very corrupt State with voting, but nobody ever wants to check that. How does Oz (smart guy!) lose to a guy who can’t string together two sentences? (projection?)
The page entitled “President Donald J. Trump’s Unprecedented Success in 2022” is literally a compendium of his daily grifts- where he spoke, whom he endorsed, his PAC’s spending habits which lists an outlay of $16 million in the last 5 weeks of the 2022 election cycle. A closer look gives a different view of his Super Pac’s largesse. The Make America Great Again, Inc. PAC raised $29 million this election cycle and spent $84 million. Much of that was money earned from previous cycles (over $880 million raised in 2020) and spent on himself. Of the money expended this cycle, however, the largest share went to a second Trump PAC, Save America ($54 million), and another Trump leadership PAC ($9 million.) All the money raised and spent came from Trump donors and none was attributed to Trump himself, his family, or his businesses. Another way of looking at the generous depiction of Trump’s gifts to candidates in this cycle is that over 70% of the PAC expenditures went to non-candidate Donald Trump. According to Reuters, the real news that is missing is far more revealing:
Republicans also complained that Trump did not aggressively back up his endorsements with money, despite his fundraising prowess.
Trump’s main money-raising group, Save America, raised more than $138 million through Oct. 19, largely from small donors, according to financial disclosures. Save America contributed close to $30 million to political allies and Republican Party accounts, including $20 million in October to a group that ran television ads supporting Republican Senate candidates in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona and Nevada.
In an oddly centered statement at the bottom of its “Home” page, the webmaster trolls both Huxley and Orwell in euphemistic clap-trap that suggests A Brave New World meets 1984:
The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda. Through civic engagement and public activism, the Office of Donald J. Trump will strive to inform, educate, and inspire Americans from all walks of life as we seek to build a truly great American Future. Through this office, President Trump will remain a tireless champion for the hardworking men and women of our great country — and for their right to live in safety, dignity, prosperity, and peace.
…while the following quote helps make the point that has escaped so many of us for so long. How could we have fallen under this spell for so long? Is it as simple as this?
Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny ‘failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.
— Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Postman’s observation of the dueling dystopias of Huxley and Orwell may be all we need to clarify our current state of discomfort. While the definitions within the MAGA translation wiki seem at once sacred to some and profane to the rest, the truth is that definitions don’t matter at all. They are fabrications and in the end distractions. Like many webpages on the internet, their intent is to entertain and not enlighten. Trump dot con trivializes the most important aspects of our common culture while it MAGAfies our differences. The culture wars were invented for the purposes of distraction so that what really matters- to them- is that we remain divided, angry, and confused.
The webpage is, like its creator, a pastiche of lies, boasts, and political sting sponsored by a guy who has lived a life with his hands in the pocket and knickers of others. The power of a sting is in keeping it alive after the mark is made. The midterm election results have blown Trump’s cover. He is what we all knew and they suspected all along. They thought they were in on it- in on the sting. So they cozied up to the guy with the Chicago bankroll and a New York swagger. They thought they were players too. After Tuesday the bright ones got it, and the others, well, the others can visit the website and buy some more 2024 merch.
But for Donald Trump let’s pray his jig is up. Those who gathered in ballrooms on November 8 awaiting the big red wave- a tsunami they joked- were shocked by the results. These MAGA hustlers learned they were on the wrong side of the hustle. American voters defied the polls that promised hotter winds in the Republican sails. Quietly, America polled its own psyche and determined that enough was enough. Tables were about to be turned.
As Henry Gondorff once told “The Kid” in The Sting, the movie about a rich guy getting screwed:
“You have to keep this con even after you take his money. He can’t know you took him.”
Republicans like Lindsey, Ted, and Kevin needed to believe. Their stake in the scam was their soul. What they didn’t know was that it had been lost long before Trump convinced them that they had one to bargain.
For them, MAGA is enlightening.
Now they know. We all do.