THIS Was Supposed To Win The Election For Trump?

My sister, who is one of the smartest people I know, is also convinced that the Russians won the election for Trump with their secret Facebook ads, Twitter trolling and, of course, hacking of actual emails that showed exactly how sleazy and corrupt the Democrats were. (I admit, I have a hard time understanding how the latter was a bad thing for the country, a classic example of an unethical action having a fortunate result. In any event, “They let the truth out!” is a complaint that I find hard to get all choked up about.)

About the ads and fake news, however—the more I see, the more I find the evidence unconvincing, to say the least. If the Russians were just trying to make the campaign a little uglier, I guess that’s something, but from everything I’ve seen so far, they were wasting their time and money. I do find a lot of the Russian ads insulting, though. Boy, they really think we’re morons. On the other hand, except as a matter of principle, why is an incompetent Russian pro-Trump ad that wouldn’t convince anyone with the IQ of a salad fork more significant than any other idiotic ad? If Russia hired homeless people to fart around polling places, would we really regard this as an attack on democracy? Proportion is an ethical value, after all.

Exhibit A is above, a fake ad by the “Army of Jesus” inviting people to elect “a president with godly moral principles,” calling Hillary Clinton “a Satan.” I thought it was an Mad Magazine parody. Anyone so cretinous as to have his or her vote influenced by this silliness is too dumb to operate a voting machine.  This junk is what Clinton bitter-enders really think turned the tide? No wonder Hillary’s excuses sound plausible: compared to this, they are compelling.

Did anyone regard Trump as having “godly moral principles”? Ever?

I do like the Buff Bernie coloring book:

“The coloring is something that suits for all people” is kind of a tip-off, no?

Bernie is apparently from an alternate universe where the President lives in the Turquoise House.

Politico has a selection of the ads to peruse here.

It would be more productive for Democrats to just admit that they lost by their own mind-blowing incompetence, and start learning how to win elections with honest, competent candidates. I also think that Congress investigating this kind of mischievous trolling is a waste of time and money, like investigating alleged coded messages in knock-knock jokes.


Pointer: Bob Bartlett


Filed under Around the World, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Marketing and Advertising, Social Media

35 responses to “THIS Was Supposed To Win The Election For Trump?

  1. Chris marschner

    Based on the number of clicks, it would seem that Trump lost the click battle to the anti-Trimp ads.

  2. crella

    The fake news articles almost always had really awkward phrasing and poor grammar. I thought most of them were a dead giveaway. I hadn’t seen the Jesus one, that’s hilarious. It’s not too far off from some of the actual religious posts I’ve seen over the years (‘when you read your Bible Satan faints’), they mimicked the tone of that one well.

    On one hand it’s ‘the Russians hacked the election’ so Trump could win, and the Russians succeeded, but the ‘Not my President’ crowd was calling Trump illegitimate because Hillary got two million + more votes. If Hillary failed to get three swing states, two of which were usually blue states, how did the Russians pull that off? No one’s ever outlined the logistics on how the Russians supposedly hacked voting machines on closed individual networks. In two of those swing states Jill Stein pulled more votes than Trump’s margin over Hillary, I believe partly because of a ‘Vote Jill Stein as a protest vote’ campaign on social media in the last week of the campaign, started by angry Bernie supporters. The number of people I saw calling it ‘brilliant’ was alarming, and that’s my feed alone. Maybe Stein just campaigned better in those states…but, intentionally bleed votes from Hillary, and who was slated to win? People couldn’t have seriously believed Stein could win it. Hillary’s loss was the result of many, many, factors, most of which land right on her doorstep. It’s time it stop. My eyes glaze over in social gatherings when I hear ‘Trump’ because another diatribe is coming. It’s getting really old. Another petition for impeachment is going around, this one listing as one of the reasons ‘bringing us to the brink of nuclear war’. Sigh.

    • I never saw the Jesus one until two days ago and then it was with the faces changed out so I assumed it was a recent meme.

      Nope, the only way it got a wide coverage is after Americans spoofed it and used it for their own pleasure.

      Impact on election?


  3. To be fair, Bernie DOES live in an alternate universe…an even stranger one,

  4. “The coloring is something that suits for all people” is kind of a tip-off, no?

    Not necessarily. It’s noteworthy if you find a post on Facebook of significant length that doesn’t contain an anacoluthon. You’d be surprised and disturbed at how many Americans are inarticulate, inside or outside of their own heads. They are afflicted with sloppy use of words, blurry thoughts, and stream-of-consciousness writing that mimics their speech because they don’t know sentence structure. It’s like listening to someone who’s stoned, but then you realize that this is how their abstract thinking works all the time. Worse, they’re usually far less mellow.

    I blame the education system for not teaching critical thinking, logic, and other analysis-related skills.

    • Nuts, forgot to put extra quotes around the first line. Hopefully it’s obvious.

    • crella

      I do translations and proofreading, so the errors just are glaring to me. You’re right. Most comment threads are atrocious, and soon degrade into incoherent garble. The original posts are often not much better. Capital letters and punctuation are disappearing, and spelling is getting worse (‘discusting’ ‘per say’) .

    • I really feel like you are insulting me here…

      • Sorry, no offense intended. I’m basing the comparison off of conversations that I’ve had with stoned people. From what I remember, they often try to assert some sort of ill-defined statement or sentiment, despite attempts at providing counterpoints or prompting clarification. Stoned people don’t scare me, but the idea of someone who is in that frame of mind by default and makes all their life decisions like that does.

        …Actually, now that you bring it up, maybe I’m interpreting my experiences incorrectly. Maybe it’s not that marijuana impairs abstract reasoning–maybe it’s just that most humans are bad at abstract reasoning, and marijuana just makes people more willing to try to use abstract reasoning, which would lead to the conversations I’ve had. That’s actually a fairly likely alternative hypothesis. How does that fit with your experiences?

  5. Adult coloring books are getting to be a thing, as a hobby or way to calm down. I’ve see some fine illustrations of Game of Thrones for this. Maybe we can suggest anyone reaching a loopy point do coloring a while every day to relax and remember when playing well with others was an important goal…

  6. Reminds me of the crappily done foreign propaganda against the United States from WW2. If this is supposed to be what has the Left all in a dither (when they should be acknowledging the consummate example of an abjectly dismal candidate that Hillary and her ideology was) then I don’t know what to say.

    “Amerika ist kaput! Zee statue uf libertee ist Kaput!” -German loudspeaker

    “The Statue of Liberty is kaput…that’s disconcerting.” -CPT Miller

    (Saving Private Ryan)

    Of course the 5th Column guys had a great discussion on the facebook and twitter propaganda that was supposedly Russian meddling…something like a few hundred thousand dollars of ads…

    A percent of a percent of what the Democrats and Republicans spent in total on the Election.

    It didn’t sway the election.

    • There has never been any research that definitively proved that any advertising is effective. Political advertising particularly. Trump spent so much less money on ads than Hillary it was ridiculous. Yet somehow idiotic ads and ridiculous fake stories on Facebook were going to flip the electorate.

      • “There has never been any research that definitively proved that any advertising is effective.”

        But at a bare minimum, the name recognition of advertising has to be the key. Yeah, I’ll agree that the wittiness of a commercial isn’t going to impact my likelihood of buying. But I can guarantee I am NOT going to buy something I never even know is on the market. I think that value of advertising doesn’t need research to prove.

        Most ads for me drive me to individual consumer research. But again, that’s something I’d do if a commercial lasted 5 seconds and said “This is our TV. It’s 42 inch and plasma. It’s 3D Capable. It’s only $1,200” and didn’t blow a ton of revenue on a trendy and humorous skit.

      • Rusty Rebar

        Not to derail the conversation, but I find this point fascinating about the last election. More cognitive dissonance for the crowd. If all this money in politics is ruining elections, and enabling people to in essence “buy” an office (thanks Citizens United — right?). Then we have to contend with the fact that Clinton spend somewhere on the order of $1.2 Billion, while Trump spent half that much, and Bernie (who had quite the movement) spent a fraction of that even — and yet she still lost? Almost like there is more to it than how much money you raise.

        • Thanks for the Citizens United reference. Extremely ironic that Hillary and especially Bernie are Exhibits A and B regarding why the dire claims about the SCOTUS decision in defense of free speech are hyperbolic fantasies.

  7. “Did anyone regard Trump as having “godly moral principles”?”

    No, but enough Evangelical leadership and laity humiliated themselves endorsing him based on Hillary hatred, instead of remaining aloof and stating, we must do this because it is the slightly lesser of two rotten options.

    Or been like me and not soiled themselves at all and voted 3rd party.

  8. Tippy Scales

    “Russia using divide-and-conquer tactics?! That’s our job!”

    Yes, your instinct seems to be right that some of these ads seem almost like a parody. To the point where I wonder if that’s not on purpose. Sometimes I think all this crap is one big psyop experiment.

  9. I don’t know if I saw any of the memes that these Russians posted, I hadn’t seen any of the ones in that Politico selection until now. I unfollowed anyone on Facebook that was spreading political memes well prior to the general election cycle and didn’t change their following status until well after the election was over and some of them I still don’t follow because they continue to use these nonsense memes to smear those they oppose. For the most part, I keep politics out of my Facebook usage because that’s not how I choose to use the tool; but then again, I also don’t use a fork to serve soup either. 😉

    I’ve had enough “interesting” discussions over the past couple of years about the use of memes that it led me to write…


    MEME (as defined by Zoltar Speaks!)
    1 : an easily repeatable smear that rapidly replicates itself.
    2 : a virus of the mind that infects weak-minded individuals.
    3 : an implied smear that’s usually rooted in humor.

    Dihydrogen Monoxide is deliberately sprayed on organic crops!

    Dihydrogen Monoxide is an acid with a PH level of 7, that’s a higher PH level than any other acid!

    Dihydrogen Monoxide is dumped into rivers by big companies, it never biodegrades!

    Dihydrogen Monoxide is a direct cause of extremely high levels of oxidation corrosion to unprotected surfaces of steel, just imagine what it can do to your unprotected insides!

    Dihydrogen Monoxide is not safe to breathe, why does the government conceal the fact that there are extremely high levels of it in our drinking water!

    Dihydrogen Monoxide is used as a cleansing agent in hospital mortuaries!

    Government allows companies to intentionally omit Dihydrogen Monoxide concentration levels from their product labels!

    Once Dihydrogen Monoxide comes in contact with your skin it CANNOT be washed off!

    Water bottles stored on grocery store shelves for more than one month have been found to contain very high levels of Dihydrogen Monoxide!

    Starbucks uses thermally agitated Dihydrogen Monoxide in all it’s beverages, it’s known to cause severe burns on contact with skin!

    Your child’s juice contains more Dihydrogen Monoxide than an ounce of methamphetamine!

    If your body’s level of Dihydrogen Monoxide drops by just 1% your body literally craves it, still wonder why corporations want us to consume this addictive substance!

    President Obama banned the use of Dihydrogen Monoxide to torture detainees yet it’s still allowed it to be used in our public schools!

    If Dihydrogen Monoxide is as safe as some claim, why do scientists intentionally remove it from food given to astronauts while in the sterile interior environments of a spacecraft?

    Flint’s water supply was contaminated with lead but what the government refuses to acknowledge is that there were much higher levels of Dihydrogen Monoxide in their water supply.

    Sure these Dihydrogen Monoxide, otherwise known as (H2O) or water, memes are humorous; however, the examples give us clear insight into how memes are, by design, an intentional method to infiltrate the mind with creative language designed to manipulate the reader into ignoring logic and reason and respond in an emotional manner.

    You’ll hear those that spread memes using the unethical rationalization that “it was just a joke” and verbally attack the messenger for not having a sense of humor but all along they know full well that their intention is to spread a smear about someone or something. Simply put, meme’s are unethical propaganda spread by people with flaws in their personal character; the phrase morally bankrupt is a really good description of these people.

    In general, the implications of memes are false even though the facts they present may be true. Political Meme’s are notoriously false and the implications are almost always outright viscous lies!

    Meme’s work in today’s society because critical thinking skills have been nearly eliminated.

    You’ve got a brain, use it wisely.

    There you have it.

    It seems that our population has been dumbed down to the point that the “masses” no longer have the critical thinking tools to intellectually combat simple things like propaganda memes. I’m not saying that everything she wrote is true, but maybe Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt wasn’t such a conspiracy theory wacko after all.

    • There has been a big reduction in the use of memes by my Facebook friends (471 and falling) since last year, I hope because I went on a crusade to ridicule every meme any one of them ever posted. Except my all time favorite, of course..

      • As with just about anything in life, there are exceptions to the anti-meme crusade, the one you shared is a perfect example of one that’s not meant to smear anyone or anything and simply be humorous.

      • Speaking of friends list count; I intentionally cut my friends list in half this year. Just because someone is an acquaintance in some way or we’ve met doesn’t mean that they actually need to be on my friends list, but on the flip side, they certainly won’t end up on my friends list unless they at least meet those two basic criteria.

        I actually know people that have added friends to their friends list that they don’t know in any other aspect in life other than they received a friend request and didn’t want to offend them because they were the “friend” of a friend. At least one of these people got scammed for money. Ignorance is runs wild in social media.

    • Rusty Rebar

      So, I am going to take issue with your definition of the concept of a meme.

      Although a meme can be the things you described in your definition (smear, affecting the “weak-minded”) I don’t think any of those are necessarily elements of a meme.

      A meme is just an idea that spreads through a culture. There are memes that are just for fun, there are memes that confuse, there are memes that simplify and clarify. Memes are often a very good way to spread an idea, or a concept, and to distill a complex concept into an digestible, albeit un-nuanced, take on a concept.

      The Second definition you use, I very much like, at least the first part — A virus of the mind, but they do not just affect the weak-minded, unless you consider “culture” to be equal to “weak-mindedness”

      Your definition makes it sound like a meme is a bad thing, or a silly thing, or even a misleading thing. That is not always the case, in fact I would say that is rarely the case.

      Besides, Meme is a real concept with a real definition already, there is no need to make your own and change the meaning.


      1 :an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture

      • Rusty Rebar wrote, “Your definition makes it sound like a meme is a bad thing, or a silly thing, or even a misleading thing. That is not always the case, in fact I would say that is rarely the case.”

        You probably didn’t read my other comment just under Jacks HUGE MANATEE” meme that was posted a half-hour before you posted yours;
        maybe mine was posted while you were typing yours. Whatever; I said there are exceptions to the anti-meme crusade.

  10. Rich in CT

    If I were to guess, the Russian campaign worked far better than they even imagined, because the “Left” seemingly sincerely believe these Russglish gobbledygook posts actually influenced the election; thus the willingly triggered overreaction actually achieves the Russian’s goal of undermining American confidence.

    Nothing from without can destroy the United States.

  11. Carrie Jaffray

    If you don’t think people would fall for these, then how do you explain the success of InfoWars?

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