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Sunday, May 19, 2019

How Trump Won (And How He Will Win Again)


How Trump Won (And How He Will Win Again)

Love him or hate him, Trump is the president. But how? How did this shitty, half-baked, movie plot become a reality? Well, take a moment and hear me out - and more importantly tune out the impeachment machine that will continue into his second term - and I will explain how Trump won the election and how he will win again...

Trump's Twitter Hate Machine

It all begins on Twitter. That's right, the social media equivalent of the writing on a bathroom stall is what decides elections nowadays. No wonder we are so insistent on pointing fingers at the Russians - god forbid this nation show a little introspection. So how is this chatty avian to blame? It isn't. You can't blame the bathroom stall for its content. I mean, have you ever actually found a 'good time' at the end of any phone number you found scratched into an aluminum barrier?
Trump has one talent; he can spot a weakness and exploit it, or rather, hire the right people to exploit if for him. In the case of Twitter, it was obvious - exploit the algorithm that declares content as 'trending'.

What Is 'Trending'?

A trend on Twitter refers to a hashtag-driven topic that is immediately popular at a particular time. -Vanessa Doctor of Hashtags.org
Seems pretty straight forward - the more times a hashtag is posted in a short period of time the more 'trendy' the associated content. But is that the only way to trend on Twitter? After all, Trump doesn't use hashtags (he does, but outside of #MAGA there are virtually none). So how does he trend? Simple, he pisses people off to the point that they lose all sense and decorum and they cause him to trend.

  • Step One: Trump posts objectionable tweets to build up ire.
  • Step Two: Twitter uses that have clearly forgotten the 'sticks and stones...' childhood motto retaliate by targeting his Twitter account (i.e. include '@realDonaldTrump' in their tweets) and then include soon-to-be-trending hashtags. Now, @realDonaldTrump is associated with those hashtags and the profile itself begins to trend.
  • Step Three: Trump, leveraging his trending status, tweets something that resonates with some portion of the American people.
Get it? No, you probably wouldn't. But, that is my fault. See, I forgot to explain what trending does. Trending isn't just some gold star for hashtags. See, when a topic trends on Twitter that topic is shared to profiles that otherwise would never encounter that content - e.g. people that are not following Trump, his detractors, or anyone that has shared posts with the relevant hashtags. Its a bit like having the bathroom stall walk out of the restroom and seek out unfamiliar faces and force them to read its filth covered walls. So when Trump's fellow candidates responded to his provocations they were causing Trump to trend while ignoring/diminishing their own efforts to trend. Isn't that both thoughtful and efficient? All those people that were running against Trump, and by extension their supporters, were the people that caused Trump to be so popular on Twitter. Not only that, their unified effort to hate Trump dwarfed their own Twitter momentum. 
The irony, of course, is that had they all ignored Trump his lack of hashtags would have yielded virtually no success on Twitter and, likely, he never would have become president. So why do I think he will serve a second term? Because he is a good president? No. Because American loves him? Nope. Because he will Make America Great Again? I didn't know we stopped being great... Sadly, it has nothing to do with Trump's qualifications as a leader of the free world; it has everything to do with the people he will run against. Who are they? Doesn't matter. What will they stand for? Who cares. They will lose because they are American and Americans value childish social retaliation over common sense, decency, strength of character, and temperance. Which, sadly, brings us to an inescapable truth: If Americans can't stop fighting like children over petty talk from a charismatic madman, then maybe someone does need to make America great. Again.

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