This weekend news broke that the Trump campaign, in the waning days of its losing 2020 campaign, found the snazziest, most creative way to separate Donald Trump's idiot fans — many of them old people on fixed incomes and the like — from their money. In the simplest terms possible, it was a scheme whereby the campaign, on donation pages powered by for-profit company WinRed (it's like ActBlue, if you couldn't trust ActBlue not to drain your checking account), would pre-check boxes that said "make this a recurring donation," and if you didn't see the pre-checked boxes, then surprise! Your money would come out today, and also next week, and the week after that, and the week after that, and the week after that, and sometimes there'd even be a special pre-checked box for you to make a SPECIAL donation!
Rinse, repeat, until you ain't got no dollars in your checking account!
Here, have a visual aid, provided by the New York Times:
See all that word salad arglebargle bullshit before the teeny tiny print at the bottom, where it's like "LOL we are stealing all your money if you don't uncheck this box" or whatever it says? (We are not sure, they make the print so very small to read for elderly eyes!)
In just the last two and a half months of 2020, "the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts issued more than 530,000 refunds worth $64.3 million to online donors," per the New York Times. Overall they had to return $122 million.
Point is, this is not a great week for us to all see a fundraising pitch from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) that looks like this, pre-checked box and all:
Oh no! They are going to find out they lost you to the Radical Left, Grandma Myrtle! If you UNCHECK this box, Uncle Cousin Gomer Lou, they're TELLIN' TRUMP you're a DEFECTOR who sided with the Dems! CHECK THE BOX, Aunt Lurlene Sue Beth, and we can MAKE TRUMP STOP CRYIN' SO MUCH AGAIN!
(Some conditions apply, this is a monthly recurring donation and also some men are coming over to remove your kidneys later, yes both of your kidneys.)
Apparently this has been going all week. Tim Miller from the Bulwark got this text from the NRCC on Tuesday:
YOU WILL NO LONGER GET TO BE DONALD TRUMP'S FRIEND ON HIS NEW SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORK THAT TOTALLY EXISTS IF YOU DON'T RESPOND TO THIS TEXT MESSAGE IN THE NEXT 10 MINUTES! ALSO, A KITTEN MIGHT DIE!
Miller ticks through all the reasons this is bullshit. Does Trump have a new social media site? No, that would require work on his part. Would the NRCC be part of that if he did? No. Is the NRCC trying to bilk people out of their money by offering an exclusive opportunity to be part of something that doesn't even exist and they wouldn't be part of it even if it did? Magic 8 Ball says looks like it, idiot!
Here's what you get if you click on that link:
Yay, that sounds very exciting, a new social media site from Trump, and we get to be the first to join! LET'S GIVE IT ALL OUR MONEYS!
As Miller explains, next up you see this:
If you want Trump to run again CHECK THIS BOX. If you HATE TRUMP and want him to CRY SOME MORE, uncheck this box! (Whisper whisper make it a monthly!)
YOU ARE MISSING! Your Trump Patriot Status is EXPIRED! We are very disappointed you ABANDONED YOUR DEAR LEADER! If you don't give us money RIGHT NOW, you will be REJECTED BY YOUR LORD FOR ALL ETERNITY! (An extra $50 would help appease his spirits.)
And all that goes along with the fundraising page about how they are going to TELL TRUMP you are a DEFECTOR!
Again, this isn't even the Trump campaign. This is the NRCC fundraising off Trump's name using a fake social media site as bait, and using the same scammy tactics to confuse old white people out of their money for weeks and months on end.
I'm sure there's some formal legal difference between the NRCC tricking someone into signing up for a nonexistent social media site—and then having a default box opting them in to both double their pledged amount and make it recurring—and the criminal advance-fee scams made famous by the imaginary Nigerian princes.
But as a moral matter, the difference is awfully hard to suss out.
Shane Goldmacher, who broke the original story about the Trump campaign's scam, has more at the New York Times. If you don't CLICK THIS LINK and go READ IT, something VERY BAD will happen, something that UPSETS LIBERALS, like maybe there will be no ARUGULA at the STORE next time you GO THERE.
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