Based on emails, the Trump campaign thinks I’m an idiot. His opponent does, too.

I get one or two emails a day from Trump or one of his friends. They are clearly designed for people who don’t use their brains on a regular basis.

Take a look at the example below. I got on this list because I answered a “survey,” and I stayed on it because I’m curious . . . I’ve never contributed a dime to Trump’s campaign. But I’m apparently one of his most prominent supporters:

Here we go

From: DonaldJTrump.com <contact@victory.donaldtrump.com>



I am so proud to be your President.

Since the very day that I announced my Presidential Campaign, I promised you that I would always put America FIRST with every decision I make (something the Democrats don’t know how to do).

Now, we’re only 135 days out from what will be the most historic Election in our Nation’s history, and, unlike past presidents, I have kept my promise to you.

We are one day closer to November 3rd, and I need to know that you’re still in this fight with me.

I’ve asked my team to print and frame the Presidential Donor List made up of the first 150 Patriots who choose to step up at this critical time. This list will proudly hang in my office, and I’ll be disappointed if I don’t see your name on there.

I’m going to review the Presidential Donor List, and I want to see that Josh from Massachusetts gave to show your dedicated support.

Please contribute ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY to get your name on the framed Presidential Donor List that will hang in my office. >>

There’s still time left to contribute to get on the list, but you have to act IMMEDIATELY. You’ve never let me down before, Josh, and I know you won’t start now.

This offer is only available to my best supporters. Most of the spots are already full, and now I’m waiting on you, Josh.

Please contribute ANY AMOUNT RIGHT NOW to get on the Presidential Donor List that will be framed in my office.
Thank you,

President Trump Signature Headshot

Donald J. Trump
President of the United States

P.S. Remember, this email isn’t for everyone. You’re only receiving it because you’ve been such a trusted supporter. I want to see your name on the Presidential Donor List my team frames for my office. Contribute NOW. >>

I have a few questions, because I am not a moron.

  • Is there really a donor list that hangs in his office? (You mean the Oval Office?) Given the number of similar appeals, that could be a lot of framed lists. Not buying it.
  • Are there really 17 slots remaining? I know they send this to tens of millions of people. Are they all getting the same message about 17 slots remaining?
  • Why do you say I’ve never let you down before when I’ve never contributed anything and have criticized you publicly on many occasions?
  • Why do you say this email is only available to your best supporters and then send it to me, one of your biggest critics? You have no idea who your supporters are, do you?

Anyone with the smallest iota of critical thinking and logic knows this is made up crap. In other emails, Trump has told me that he will match my contribution 500% (from what source?), and that he looked up my donor file and was surprised to see my contribution was missing (I have a donor file? And Trump is looking at it?).

I received similar emails from Eric Trump and Lara Trump. Eric’s email, sent from the same email address as the one “from” Trump, says “I’m sending my father an updated list tomorrow of the donors who helped CRUSH our End-of-Month Goal and I want him to see YOUR name at the very top.” If my name is at the top, what about the other million people who respond to this appeal? Will their names be at the top, too? Eric, will you really send a donor list, or is that fake, too?

The Democrats are using similar tactics

I’d like to tell you that the emails from Democrats don’t treat me as an idiot. I wish I could.

Here’s one:

Sign his card?

From: Obama Birthday Alert (<info@dga.net>)

Michelle Obama wants Democrats to help her wish Barack a happy birthday!
We want this to be Obama's biggest birthday yet, so we need 100,000 people to sign his card - but it looks like your name is missing. Will you sign President Obama's birthday card now?

This is obviously just a transparent ploy to get me onto another mailing list — the link goes to a sign-up form. Obama’s not going to see my name. But the Democrats have flashing buttons . . . cool.

Maybe you like this one better:

Biden is missing one key endorsement.

From: Democratic Endorsement Update <info@dga.net>

JoshDGA, dozens of top Democrats are on Joe Biden’s team. He’s received endorsements from all of these key leaders:

➤ Barack Obama
➤ Al Gore
➤ Hillary Clinton
➤ John Kerry
➤ Bernie Sanders
➤ Elizabeth Warren
➤ Kamala Harris
➤ PLUS! Stacey Abrams
➤ AND 14 Democratic governors

But he’s missing one HUGE endorsement – yours, JoshDGA!

If 9 more top Democrats in 02476 take our flash poll, we’ll be able to develop the critical insight we need to make sure Democrats win nationwide in November.

I’m not a top Democrat. And I’m not buying that they need my answer and 9 more from my Zip code to develop critical insight. It’s just a way to get me to feel involved.

The poll it links to (it’s not just one question) has insightful questions like this:

And of course that’s followed by a solicitation for a contribution.

That’s not a poll, it’s money-grab.

I also get at least one email a day from Democrats explaining that Trump is about to abolish the post office.

Enough already

Maybe you believe that the Republican emails have more lies and deception than the Democratic ones do. Is that really the point?

Or is the point that, in the absence of any enforcement, both parties treat us like morons? I’m sure these emails work. I’m also sure they create more partisan distrust than enlightenment.

What part of the government regulates this crap? Are campaigns free from truth in advertising laws? Or would any prosecution just be seen as partisan and turn into another front in the culture war?

I know the Republicans will go lower. I know the Democrats will go lower. I know these mailing lists will be used to stir up dissent if the election is close. And that scares the crap out of me.

Just answer one thing — is this where the rest of email marketing is going, or can we possibly pull ourselves back out of the gutter on this?

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  1. Fundraisers realized (like the Nigerian email scammers) that they do not have to identify the right audience because emailing is free. Their target audience will respond as the fundraisers wish, and have no idea that it’s being sent to everyone on earth. In effect, the audience does the filtering for the fundraisers.

  2. I have a gmail file titled “Really Well Done” where I archive marketing emails that spoke to me. I write direct mail fundraising letters (though not emails, usually) for nonprofits helping people who have disabilities, so I know something about the craft. Your post, Josh, caused me to look in that archive for a positive example and I found one (below). But it also reminded me of being a volunteer on Betto O’Rourke’s campaign for Senate, and being depressed by the daily barrage of fundraising emails like the ones you noted above. One of Trump’s strengths is that he speaks at around a 4th grade level. I usually write fundraising letters to reach readers at around a 7th grade level. No matter what you thought of Pete Buttigieg, he/his campaign knew how to write a letter, but it probably went over the heads of many recipients, and the use of Spanish probably made some people apoplectic — but they wouldn’t be the type to donate to him anyway. His values, passion, and heart came through: Hi Joanne,

    Earlier this week, I joined United Teachers Los Angeles, SEIU Local 99, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, and Mayor Eric Garcetti at a rally in downtown LA to stand up for smaller classroom sizes, raising teacher pay, and putting more nurses in schools.

    I saw what the future of organized labor looks like: A coalition of teachers, education workers, and carpenters standing shoulder to shoulder fighting to make sure the future is better than the past; to defend workers’ rights; and to insist on more resources, on more professionals, and on better wages in our schools.

    The workers in LA may be organizing around a specific ballot measure, but the values they are defending are universal, and they are under attack by a federal government that does not understand the importance of public education.

    No solo es una pregunta de recursos…es una pregunta de valores.

    Our freedom is on the line, because education gives us the freedom to have the lives of our choosing. Freedom is not just about cutting. Freedom is about building, and our workers are building the platform to give our kids the freedom to have a better life.

    Our security is on the line, because a huge part of our national advantages rest on education in this country. If we lose that, there is no level of military gear that can do the job. When we stand up for education, we stand up for a safer America.

    And our democracy is on the line because we are not just educating workers for the future, we are educating voters for the future. That’s why education is not optional. That’s why humanities and arts education are not a luxury. We are building citizenship in classrooms across the country.

    We organize as an act of hope. We do these things because we know they will make a difference — that’s what our democracy is all about.

    I was invigorated by the energy of the workers in LA, and I am sustained by your commitment to a better future.

    Thank you.

    Pete (and then there was a donate button)

  3. I get the same emails from DT and family! Like you, I got on the list by answering a survey, and have stayed out of curiosity and the desire for the occasional snicker, and sometimes a belly laugh. I’ve been on the DT list for a few years and now get emails from organizations such as Free Pressers, Conservative Opinions, Judicial Watch, ConstitutionAlly, and Gun Dynamics. The last one advertises, among other gun stuff, armour-piercing bullets. I’m a Canadian and my email address ends in .ca, but they all call me a top conservative.

  4. Here are two scary things …

    First, we have these emails (and the robocalls – another ploy I cannot stand) because someone thinks they work.

    Second, they must work, or they would have been abandoned by now.

    Elections are a HUGE business. One of my best friend’s sons has worked on campaigns for several years. They study the effect of every message, every color scheme, every billboard, phone call, email, postcard, and press coverage. They want to see two things – money and movement in the polls. If it does one or the other, keep doing it. They don’t care who it offends as long as it brings in more money or more votes. If it does both – bonus! It is a game they are playing to win. Anything that doesn’t produce gets dropped for something else.

    I leave it up to someone else to decide what that says about America, but the bottom line is these types of ploys work on enough people to make them worthwhile.

  5. About twice a week, a Biden ally informs me “I am writing to you personally.” Oh? So you’re not blasting the same letter to millions of others?

  6. You’re an absolute idiot. It is a SCAM that is using the election to get individuals to send in “campaign” contributions. Those are not actual contributions; they are lining some skillful individuals pocket that bought an email list. If you fell for this, you need to go back to school!

    1. Thank you. Apparently it’s only obvious to Trump supporters that these are spammers attempting to con. Wow! And this guy wrote an entire article, certain that it was DJT or his team.
      And most of the commenters did as well? I’d laugh, but it’s actually really sad.

      1. All the sites collecting the contributions are official campaign sites for Donald Trump, the Republican party, or various Democratic organizations.

        Whether the campaign contributions are scam is up for debate, but there’s no debating who is collecting the money — official campaign accounts.