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(43,268 posts)
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 12:14 PM Feb 2016

I think people are discounting a major reason for Trump's popularity. And it's very simple.

That is, the susceptibility of a significant portion of the population to being conned and scammed.

As evidence, I'll point where I'll always point: Facebook. Because sad as it seems, Facebook is our best means today to see normal human interaction and human reaction to stimuli over a diverse group of people you either know or people who know the people that you know.

Over the past year or so, I've seen essentially the same scam come up every month or two, in a variety of incarnations. It's called "Like Farming". A Facebook page will appear, purporting to be the page of a major US company. Most frequently it's Disney World. Sometimes it will be an airline or a retailer. They'll post a generic picture, and then claim that they are holding a contest. They'll claim they are giving away an all expenses paid 5 day vacation for 4. And not only that, they'll also give you $2,000 in spending money. Sounds great, doesn't it? So exactly does one have to do to win this sensational prize? Why, it's very simply. Just "Like" the page and type "Thanks" in the comment section.

And just like that, tens of thousands of people will do just as they say, thinking they're in the running for a vacation worth several thousand dollars. Of course, the problem is, they're not actually liking the real Disney World (or whatever company they think is running the contest) page. They're liking the page for "Dizney World" or "Disney World." (with a inconspicuous period behind it.) Meanwhile, the people who've created the dummy page get access to whatever information on your own Facebook page that is available to friends that isn't available to the general public. It should be obvious given that the dummy page has no other markings that an official page would have (no verified check mark, no posting on any other topics than this one contest). But you'll see tens of thousands of likes, and comments such as "I can't believe I have a chance to win this vacation!". Because sadly, despite all the obvious signs, there are plenty of people who think they are genuinely in the running for an official Disney World vacation. And it breaks my heart to see such gullibility on display.

Or sometimes there will be a blurry picture, and the message above will say, "Like this page and type 'Like!' in the comments and see what happens!". And again, thousands of people will fall prey, thinking that the simple act of liking a picture will magically change a static .jpg's digital properties.

I've also seen people fall victim to MLM scams on Facebook. I saw one friend posting about her "Essential Oil" business, and claimed--without any sense of irony or sarcasm--that these Essential Oils helped claim--among other things--Parkinson's, Autism and Cancer. No. Really. Apparently, the key to ever major disease out there is flax seed oil.

So now, we have this bombastic, in your face, presidential candidate who's made his living hawking himself in front of television cameras. He's had exactly two specific proposals in the 7 months he's been running for president: First, he's going to build a wall along the Mexican border and claims he'll have Mexico pay for it. Secondly, he's going to deny admittance to the US on the basis of religion, namely to Muslims. Other than these two ridiculously impractical and offensive proposals, the rest of his campaign has been shrouded in vaguery and smoke and mirrors. He'll talk about all the polls he's leading, about how he's going to win, all the people he knows, how he'll "Make America Great Again", how he has hats that say "Make America Great Again", and lots and lots of tearing into enemies and perceived enemies under the guise of "I'm not politically correct."

He hasn't said anything. He hasn't said a thing. He's gone on and on and on blabbering his mouth, but has yet to offer a single realistic, viable proposal or vision of how he wishes to lead the most powerful country on earth and help its citizens. All he talks about is himself. It's one of the most frustrating things I've happened upon in the news in recent memory, about how someone so obviously vapid and doing something only to selfishly feed his own pathologically festered ego can be so successful at the hands of gullible people.

But people eat it up. They think "Make America Great Again" is an actual policy, or that his "I'm not politically correct" validates their own internal bigotries. Just like "Like Farming" and MLM scams, we're seeing another great con being played on the American people, and far too many of them are falling victim.

38 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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I think people are discounting a major reason for Trump's popularity. And it's very simple. (Original Post) Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 OP
Americans love slogans. They always have. yeoman6987 Feb 2016 #1
Dude you have to condense your thoughts... Anti-Establishment Feb 2016 #2
Trump is playing them Rebkeh Feb 2016 #7
Why, thank you. nt Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 #12
Trump knows that those "who can be fooled all the time" Hortensis Feb 2016 #27
K&R! beac Feb 2016 #3
actually, unlike the other Republican candidates, ghostsinthemachine Feb 2016 #4
He has said a few things GummyBearz Feb 2016 #16
Just about any politician will be right on some issues. Even the most repugnant ones. Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 #18
In other words, too many people are too stupid. nt valerief Feb 2016 #5
That's the true problem. tabasco Feb 2016 #8
"Most voters don't have opinions on policies, they have feelings about issues" phantom power Feb 2016 #6
But more than half the eligible voters don't vote leftstreet Feb 2016 #14
I think you're absolutely right about the mechanism he uses. COLGATE4 Feb 2016 #9
The irony of it is that those same people..... Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 #23
Exactly. Hortensis Feb 2016 #28
Because he has been given hours and hours of free TV coverage, the average uninformed patricia92243 Feb 2016 #10
From my conversations - the issues are - trade policy - jobs - and fear SoLeftIAmRight Feb 2016 #11
From a conversation with my girlfriend: Populist_Prole Feb 2016 #13
That's why politics are great The2ndWheel Feb 2016 #15
But this is an extraordinary case. Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 #17
Well said. k&r DesertRat Feb 2016 #19
he has also proposed massive tax cuts hfojvt Feb 2016 #20
Sure, all politicians engage in sloganing. Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 #22
I have not been watching much TV hfojvt Feb 2016 #29
You're seriously comparing Trump's rhetoric to Obama's? Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 #30
listen to Obama's speech hfojvt Feb 2016 #31
It was remisencent of most primary speeches. Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 #32
I probably have not watched any TV in the last 7 months hfojvt Feb 2016 #33
Trump is a symptom, not the disease LittleBlue Feb 2016 #21
Right marions ghost Feb 2016 #25
There are over 300 million people in this country. Simple probability ... 11 Bravo Feb 2016 #24
As Much As RobinA Feb 2016 #26
Not necessarily scamming in terms of money... Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 #35
I don't know if anyone if discounting that reason. Zing Zing Zingbah Feb 2016 #34
Love it or hate it, Facebook does serve a certain purpose. Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2016 #36
True, Facebook is probably the best tool Zing Zing Zingbah Feb 2016 #37
or perhaps there are 40% of republicans who are hateful, misogynistic racists....? spanone Feb 2016 #38


(2,450 posts)
7. Trump is playing them
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 12:33 PM
Feb 2016

Like a dummy facebook page with minimal information gets gullible people to give access to their information, Trump has a horde gullible supporters based on two things he's proposed: 1. Building a wall 2. Keeping Muslims out. And that's it, not a sinlge policy or anything else. The rest is noise.


(58,785 posts)
27. Trump knows that those "who can be fooled all the time"
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 04:22 PM
Feb 2016

are actually those who insist on only being told what they want to hear. So he tells them what they want to hear, including that he will fix everything, no effort from them needed, no irritating details that would reduce the power of simplicity offered.


(3,569 posts)
4. actually, unlike the other Republican candidates,
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 12:26 PM
Feb 2016

Trump is right on some issues. the others are afraid to speak anything that would give them a black/white paradigm.
not all the time, or even part of the time, but he has said things i agree with at times.



(2,931 posts)
16. He has said a few things
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 02:03 PM
Feb 2016

that lead to my conspiracy theory that he is a stealth democrat running as a republican just to get elected... which would make him the greatest troll the world has ever seen


(43,268 posts)
18. Just about any politician will be right on some issues. Even the most repugnant ones.
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:04 PM
Feb 2016

It's the whole broken clock rule.

You'll never find anyone who you'll agree with 100% of the time or disagree with 100% of the time. That's just human nature.

That's completely apart from what Trump is about. The problem isn't that he's wrong on all the issues. It's that he's mostly devoid of substance on most of the issues, that where he should be talking about the issues, he's instead substituting his personality and ego instead.

And when politics becomes so personality and ego driven, it becomes a very dangerous thing.



(22,974 posts)
8. That's the true problem.
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 12:34 PM
Feb 2016

Too many stupid, gullible humans. Susceptible to nonstop corporate propaganda on TV and radio.


(36,128 posts)
14. But more than half the eligible voters don't vote
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 01:59 PM
Feb 2016

So maybe, just maybe, if politicians focused on policies...


(14,739 posts)
9. I think you're absolutely right about the mechanism he uses.
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 12:35 PM
Feb 2016

As to the root cause of his appeal, I believe it's because he represents the authority figure many of our more simple-minded fellow citizens crave, the blusterer with the very simple solutions to all the very complex problems that baffle other, mere mortals. Afraid of losing your job? Don't worry - he'll make us win some many things that you'll get tired of winning! Afraid of TERRA!!!? Not to worry - he'll deny entry to the US to anyone except good red-blooded American Xians (like himself). Nervous about all the little brown people hanging around Walmart begging for a day job? No prob -he's going to send them all back to Mexico and then lock the door with a million-foot wall which he will make the damned MEXICANZ pay for!

Easy peasy. Don't worry- just vote for T Rump and make 'Murka Grate Again.


(43,268 posts)
23. The irony of it is that those same people.....
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:56 PM
Feb 2016

....will go apeshit if President Obama issues a single Executive Order, which is something every President in history has done. And they'll label him a dictator.

Authoritarianism is good, so long as it is their authoritarianism.


(12,626 posts)
10. Because he has been given hours and hours of free TV coverage, the average uninformed
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 12:44 PM
Feb 2016

person thinks he must be ok - because he is on television.


(5,364 posts)
13. From a conversation with my girlfriend:
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 01:33 PM
Feb 2016

Immigration. She told me of being in a store and when they made an announcement on the speakers, they did so in English and Spanish. That's what pushed her to Trump.

I said that I used to be a republican years ago, but that over the years ( decades ) if you peel back the stupid and relatively unimportant BS they try to hook us on....god/guns, abortion, flag-waving....that they hold people of our socieo-economic status in very very low regard and constantly seek to put downward pressure on our incomes. She paused, "hmmmm"-ed", and said: "Well I've always gone more with the republicans than the democrats. My ( late ) father did".


(7,947 posts)
15. That's why politics are great
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 02:01 PM
Feb 2016

The other side of the side that you happen to be on is always the stupid side. Ask a Republican or a Democrat, and the Democrat or Republican in the answer will always be on the wrong side. They'll always be the ones who can't think for themselves. Easily lead. Nobody on any side can ever have gotten there on their own. Unless you're on that side, in which case it's the right side. It's the smart side. Nobody on the side you're on would be making dumb choices, because that would mean you might be dumb yourself, and nobody ever thinks they're the dumb one.

It helps to get their vote though, but nobody can ever seem to get the vote of the easily led idiot. Or at least the easily led idiots on the other side. If people are so smart on either side, it really shouldn't be that difficult. Just promise them whatever they want to be promised. That's how each side got their people anyway, at least according to the people on the other side. I don't know if that lack of support says more about the easily led idiots, or the people asking them to vote for them instead of the person on the other side.


(43,268 posts)
17. But this is an extraordinary case.
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:00 PM
Feb 2016

It's easy to get caught up in an ideology, even a bad one.

But with Trump, it's not about ideology as much as it personality. There's little ideology to grasp.

He'll Make America Great Again, win, and bring in all the best minds. That's his message summed up in a nutshell, covered up in a sweet coating of protofascism and xenophobia.


(37,573 posts)
20. he has also proposed massive tax cuts
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:18 PM
Feb 2016

The media does not talk about that though. The media hates substance anyway - it is boring. Plus, they don't understand all that much about issues either.

I watched Trump's victory speech last night and it seemed to me he talked about a lot of things. A lot of things that a lot of Republicans, and other Americans would agree with.

I mean when you talk about "actual policy". Okay, go back to Obama. Was "hope and change" actual policy? Was "yes we can" actual policy? That was what a lot of his campaign was based on. According to Clinton supporters, he was being followed by a bunch of "Obamabots" and even after the election too. Sloganeering is often how our elections are done.

My thoughts about his speech http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=7598322


(43,268 posts)
22. Sure, all politicians engage in sloganing.
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:52 PM
Feb 2016

All the way back to FDR and "Happy Days are Here Again". And back before even that.

And you might say "Hope and Change" and "Yes We Can" are no different than "Make America Great Again". And perhaps you're right about that. They are slogans, and that's that.

But show me how Barack Obama on the campaign trail gave meandering speeches where he droned on and on about his poll numbers. Or what famous people he knows. Or talking about how his opponents or critics are "failures". Or talking about how he's "not politically correct."

That's 90% of a Donald Trump campaign speech right there. I'm not exaggerating.

Other than the whole wall thing, there's not an issue where Donald Trump has spoken at any sort of depth. He'll briefly identify a problem--jobs or education. And then he'll say that he will "bring the best minds to it." And that's it. That's his big talk on policy and solutions. And after that, he'll go right back to rattling off his poll numbers or calling people "losers."

There's absolutely no substance to him. That's what makes him different than the others.

But hey, if you want to argue that the media's somehow giving Donald Trump a raw deal, please proceed, Governor.


(37,573 posts)
29. I have not been watching much TV
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 04:39 PM
Feb 2016

I watched his victory speech from New Hampshire.

It was not like you describe.

Trump is hitting the right note by complaining about "political correctness" to Republican voters, and even a lot of other Americans.

Here's Obama's victory speech after Iowa

"change is coming to America"
same message as Trump about the lobbyists
same crowd chanting USA as Trump had
a President who harnesses the ingenuity of farmers, and scientists and entrepeneurs

yeah, get the best minds. Gonna free us from oil.

he spends a lot of time talking about how he is gonna win


(37,573 posts)
31. listen to Obama's speech
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 05:02 PM
Feb 2016

and tell me it was NOT a whole bunch of empty sloganeering.

Impossible promises too. Yeah, for some reason he has not gotten us off of oil. Did you listen to the speech? Show me where there was substance. Show me where he displayed some in-depth knowledge.

Dang, if I keep talking like that, I am gonna have to move to Missouri.


(43,268 posts)
32. It was remisencent of most primary speeches.
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 05:31 PM
Feb 2016

What you hear out of Trump is not normal, though. Not normal in the least.

Have you been under a rock for the past 7 months, perhaps?


(37,573 posts)
33. I probably have not watched any TV in the last 7 months
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 06:20 PM
Feb 2016

I don't think that has harmed me.

I have not watched any of the Republican "debates". Why should I? I am not gonna be voting in the Republican primary (although there ARE some Democrats who say they do that, support the worst candidate in the Republican primary in the hopes that he/she will be easier to beat in the fall)

I watched Trump's New Hampshire speech on YT last night.

To me, it sounded a) typically Republican and b) also like it would appeal to a lot of moderate voters. Having given some campaign speeches myself, I have to give him some credit. He's a pretty polished speaker. I would probably not have been able to hit that many bases in a speech myself and tie it all together and keep it flowing.

I get a sense of deja vu here, like we do this every four years. George W. Bush was the worst person alive for about nine years. Then it was Palin. Then it was Romney. Now it is Trump. Or Cruz. Or Rubio. Or Kasich.

Meanwhile my conservative friends on FB. They don't just want to elect some other candidate. They want Obama and Clinton to goto prison. I don't subscribe to this kind of partisan rancor. I am more into a rational discussion of policies.



(10,362 posts)
21. Trump is a symptom, not the disease
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 03:23 PM
Feb 2016

The disease is an ossified political elite that doesn't respond to popular will, all fed by super PACs backed by billionaires. They ignore the populace to advance the interests of their paymasters.

Given the choice, apparently voters would rather have the actual paymaster over his puppets.

11 Bravo

(23,952 posts)
24. There are over 300 million people in this country. Simple probability ...
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 04:09 PM
Feb 2016

would indictate that therefore we have millions of American douchebags of voting age.
Why would they not align politically with a kindred spirit?


(9,961 posts)
26. As Much As
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 04:18 PM
Feb 2016

I don't like Trump or think he should be President, I don't view him as a scammer or running a con. At least no more than any other politician up there, maybe less. He hasn't said anything because he hasn't had to. That's not a scam.


(43,268 posts)
35. Not necessarily scamming in terms of money...
Thu Feb 11, 2016, 10:22 AM
Feb 2016

....but certainly scamming in terms of getting undue attention and potentially power.

So yeah, I'd still classify him as a scam and a con, in a different sense.

The only thing that's different between him and your normal con artist is that most con artists are charming. Trump's the exact opposite. He substitutes charm with bluntness, and I guess there's an audience that just eats that all up. They conflate bluntness with wisdom.

Zing Zing Zingbah

(6,496 posts)
34. I don't know if anyone if discounting that reason.
Wed Feb 10, 2016, 08:42 PM
Feb 2016

I agree people are being duped. That's because they are gullible and stupid, pretty much. It comes down to being stupid.

And facebook = normal human interaction... that's just plain sad. I stay away from facebook. I hate that site. I have an account, but use it only for instant messaging and I keep photos there. I can't stand the newsfeed and the annoying shit people post there. These are people that I otherwise like in reality. They are annoying as hell online.


(43,268 posts)
36. Love it or hate it, Facebook does serve a certain purpose.
Thu Feb 11, 2016, 10:33 AM
Feb 2016

I don't know if there's a better tool today that is able to gauge a personal cross section of society for the ordinary person, whether it's people one immediately knows, or the entire Facebook universe in general.

You have specialized message boards like this one, but nothing that gives a broader section.

So when you see someone claiming that clicking "like" on a picture will automatically make them eligible for a vacation worth thousands of dollars, you'll see exactly who falls for it and who doesn't.

And you'll also see who falls for Trump's rhetoric and image, and who doesn't.

Zing Zing Zingbah

(6,496 posts)
37. True, Facebook is probably the best tool
Thu Feb 11, 2016, 07:56 PM
Feb 2016

because so many people use it. I just have a hard time tolerating it. I feel things were better when I didn't get the play by play on everyone's life. It is plain weird. I found a filtering tool that I use so I can deal with it now. I find I still need it because some people I know just want to communicate with the facebook instant messages and I have few friends that set up events every so often too. I think one of the things that bothered me the most is people would post something political, but they didn't want to actually have a political discussion. I think if you didn't want to have a discussion, why the hell did you bother to post it in the first place? Yeah, they just want likes. They only want to be validated by people that think like them. They don't want to hear from anyone that thinks differently then they do. I've never been the type of person that needs that kind of thing. I have always been OK with being the lone person that thinks or feels the way I do if that's the way it has to be. I don't need to have a chorus singing my praises to know when I'm right about something. I guess it bothers me to see so many people are that insecure. I suppose I should have known that, but I just never thought about until facebook came along.

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