MyPillow CEO's downfall: A cautionary tale of Trumpian loyalty

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I’m just asking why these assholes never learn?

They’re so dense they’re liable to become black holes any moment.

I’m with you, @DukeTrout


“This time will be different!”

“He says I’m ‘one of the good ones’!”

“He’s treating me so well now. It has to go on forever!”

The self-delusion of the sub-mediocre is boundless.

While it’s sadly true that Trump is never (and probably never will be) held accountable

Part of the reason he’s running again is that he knows he will be held accountable if he doesn’t take the White House and consolidate power quickly.


“Learning” is a woke form of disbelief, and a True Patriot™ would NEVER doubt or reconsider their devotion to our lord protector who is fighting the most righteous and pure war against the stinky icky Liberals. Clearly, only the purest of heart will be rewarded. Unlike me, that pillow guy obviously lacked faith.



I’m not saying this is surprising — I’m just asking why these assholes never learn?

A tough and interesting question. I’ve put a lot of thought into this myself, as have many others in the sane (thankfully) majority of people who haven’t fallen under Trump’s sway.

I found most of the answer in Bob Altermeyer’s book The Authoritarians. Available for free. The gist of it: We are seeing the chunk of the population who are emotionally right-wing authoritarians.

By playing into a combination of some’s strong-man worship, others’ wounded narcissism, and some with both, Trump has made a huge chunk of people feel emotionally understood. The one person who really understands them because emotionally he is them–his emotional pain resonates with their emotional pain. And thus he must be the one and only person who can be trusted to defeat their emotional enemies.

This is why logic doesn’t work. It’s often not why they went to him in the first place, and it’s almost never why they stay. And that includes his close-up enablers like Lindel, and also previously successful politicians like Giuliani. They may have first fallen in with him out of opportunistic pragmatism. But for many of his enablers, Trump becomes their ultimate hero too - the ultimate of the kind of “winner” they aspire to be. So some, like Lindel and Giuliani, proceed to burn down their entire lives by doubling down. Rather than cutting their losses.

It’s tempting to think of all of Trump’s followers as uneducated and stupid. Many are. But also many aren’t people we would typically and comfortably think of as such - college graduates, even PhD’s, and practical people who’ve made otherwise smart decisions their whole lives.

Like all effective con men, who are also almost always narcissists, Trump has navigated around their reasoning by filling a deep and painful emotional hole inside them. So now, to protect their relief from pain, their rational minds will rationalize away any possible challenge to that relief.

And one of the reasons it works so well with Trump is because he is like them, emotionally. He has a deep emotional wounding he received as a child that he has never recovered from, growing up with his high-functioning sociopath of a father. He just has turned his own damage and childhood survival strategies into financial “success”, by manipulating others in order to stay one step ahead of financial failure. A large part of that success has been his image, which is based on being outrageous and shitty to others.

Thus, in this final stage of political branding, he’s turned himself into so many wounded narcissists’ and wannabe authoritarians’ dream version of themselves. He is their highest aspiration, and they worship him as both relief from their own pain and their own sublimated hopes of their own success. Which in their zero-sum-game view, can only come from taking things from others and publicly crushing enemies beneath their heels.

That’s my take on it…


Well said.

If there’s one thing narcissists are good at is making you feel loved and important at first. Combine that with someone being in shaky financial straits yourself (or merely avaricious) and I can understand Trump can bring a lot of people under his spell.


The key is to draft on Trump while not getting pulled in too close. Ben Shapiro and Charlie Kirk are making total bank off of Trump


I think MAGA World fall into two camps: the Opportunists and the True Believers.

A con can always spot a con, so there is a not insignificant number of MAGAs who recognize what Trump is doing (grifting) and want in on the action for themselves. Steve Bannon I put on this list, as well as Rudy Giuliani, and also Rupert Murdoch. And probably most of the lawyers, like Alina Habba or Jenna Ellis. They’re in the D-league, and their only path to power, money, fame, or a combination of the three is to latch onto an administration whose only options are recruiting from the D league (since no one else wants to work for them).

Then there are the True Believers, into which I place Mike Lindell. The punchline is that the Opportunists don’t just grift from the outside, they grift from the inside, too. And Mike Lindell is a victim of that grifting. He’s poured money into the MAGA cause because he actually does believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. What he’s gotten for his efforts is alienation—which is definitely deserved, but at the same time, the Opportunists were more than happy to take his money until Lindell became a liability.


Sure, lesser hucksters fleecing the same group of rubes. Like pickpockets at an Amway meeting.


I mostly agree. However it has been interesting to see people start off as opportunists and transition to true believers. I definitely see Giuliani as this way. Also Michael Cohen was a true believer for many years, putting himself at personal risks any lawyer should know better than. When that led to jail, and being abandoned by Trump in the process, that forced him into some soul-searching. A kind that others in Trump’s close orbit just won’t do.

People generally have to convince themselves what they’re doing is justified in some way, even wannabe fascists or criminals. Then a point comes where they have to cross a line. If they don’t cross it, they’re out and they have to face that what they told themselves was false. If they do cross it, then they have to justify continuing forward to themselves. And that’s the road that eventually takes someone to a place like where Giuliani is now.


Did you ever wonder if an inanimate, chopped and stuffed foam pillow could be smarter than the guy who invented it?


It is.


I think Murdoch is different - for all of his aura of being the person who decides governments, the truth is that Murdoch is just really good at seeing which way the wind is blowing and amplifying that trend immensely. He saw the swing towards Trump, rode it for a profitable while and then started rowing back when the Trump circus began to go crazy. I certainly don’t think there’s any love lost between the two grotesques.

The same is even more true over here in the UK where Murdoch will swing behind whichever party looks likely to form the next government. He did it in 1997 when Labour was going to take power and he’s gradually doing it now as it looks almost certain the Tories are on their way out.


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