Sunday, October 23, 2016
No Longer “Secretly Waiting”: ELECTION SPAM (or why the Postal Service Is Grateful for Social Media)
After I found a parking spot in my neighborhood this past Wednesday, I noticed that the mail truck was one car behind mine. I hailed the postal worker and asked why she was still delivering mail so late in the day. “Did you have to cover another route today, too?” “Oh, no, it’s the election. I’ll be delivering mail til at least 7:00 p.m.”
As I walked to my rented residence, I thought of how workers at the Post Office must be grateful that social media has played an increasingly prominent role in recent elections. The Citizens United decision enabled even more money to flow into advertising revenue streams, and without social media the average postal delivery person would probably need a moving van to contain each day’s shipment of propaganda.
With barely more than a fortnight to go before the 2016 general election, the likelihood of Donald J. Trump becoming the next president has become a long-shot proposition. For the moment, a potential catastrophe has been averted, but it is only a temporary respite. Anyone who believes that Trump’s supporters will simply fade away and lose interest in politics is kidding themselves. One judicious reminder of the Trump Effect can be found in Adam Kirsch’s recent review of Volker Ullrich’s “Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939” (translated by Jefferson Chase; Alfred A. Knopf). Kirsch’s final sentences seem to be equally directed at the current political turbulence in the United States, in which one candidate openly decries his obligation to acknowledge the legitimacy of any process that does not result in his election.
“(I)n the end Germany decided to see Hitler just as he saw himself; the country matched his psychosis with its own. What is truly frightening, and monitory, in Ullrich’s book is not that a Hitler could exist, but that so many people seemed to be secretly waiting for him.”
One aspect of social media that will help future historians recount a parallel development in the United States is how it reveals the transition between those who are “secretly waiting” and the open allegiance of public fanaticism. The first challenge, though, will be to preserve this material, since the electronic basis of these communications makes this material easily disposable. In the interests of preserving for future records one example of this election spam, I am posting an example of the appeals that are circulating within the ranks of those who are no longer “secretly waiting.” They are utterly unlikely to go back into hiding.
“Dear Fellow Lover of America,
“I am writing you because I trust you love this country as much as I do, and yearn for our government to restore the dignity of the Constitution. All Constitutions are not created equal, and the original Constitution of the United States is the best Constitution ever written. Unfortunately, over the past several decades, this original Constitution has suffered the equivalent of hacking by agents directed by the International Banking System. These setbacks, however, will soon stop, should we all come together and recognize the Hero in our midst. Donald J. Trump alone can save our Country, but it is up to us to anoint him. This is why I am asking you to join me in accepting his offer to become a Trump cardholder. On a personal level, I have to admit that this is what I have waited for ever since the mailman, in 1956, delivered my first “Magic Kingdom” card from the Mickey Mouse Club.
“That, however, was just a childhood fantasy. Now I have the chance to be part of a TRUE, GENUINE, ACTUAL “Magic Kingdom.” The TRUMP Black Card…. I’m …. I’m …. I’m at a loss for words. I am so grateful that our leader in the crusade against Crooked Hillary is never at a loss for words. Great words, in fact. Words so big and huge and chock-full of winning that all I have to do is to put this card in my wallet and I, too, discover…. well, in truth, I am not sure what will happen next, but I am sure it will be great.
“We just have to stand firm against the Liberal Media. Because they are the enablers. They have already rigged the election. It was rigged against Bernie Sanders. It was rigged against George McGovern. Real American heroes. They spoke out against the War, just like Trump did. And let me tell you, Trump is going to destroy ISIS. He is going to send them scurrying like rats to Aleppo. Which we know has already fallen. It’s toast. Like Crooked Hillary’s campaign to be president. And speaking of rats, we will take care of Paul Ryan afterwards.
“Forgive me for being so brief in praising our nation’s great fortune in having Trump as our next President. But it will take work. That’s why you need to join me in knocking on doors for the next two weeks and telling all those people with Hillary Clinton signs on their front lawns that they need to wake up and realize that they are voting for a LOSER. I can’t believe how many of these signs are popping up now. Where did all the Trump placards go? We know the answer to that question. Crooked Hillary has hired people (illegally here, of course) to steal our signs. Hey, they go low, we go lower. Let’s start by questioning the intelligence of the average Clinton voter. As I said, go lower.”
Lower and out,
Mike Rinse (Name changed to protect actual sender’s identity: any living person with this name is not to be confused with the author or disseminator of this message, which was not formally approved in any manner by the Donald J. Trump for President campaign.)