Still Falling for the Snake-Oil Salesman

As the House of Representatives’ hearings on the January 6th insurrection continue, and Republican after Republican testifies, and Trump campaign official after official testifies, and they all say that Trump lost the election, one thing is crystal clear.

A significant percentage of Americans will never be convinced that Trump lost the election, and they will continue pour money into fraudulent organizations that falsely claim they’re out to reverse “the steal” while Trump funnels the funds into his own pockets or to deceptive organizations set up by close Trump cronies. In fact, they’re so convinced he won that they won’t even look at the evidence to the contrary. Nor will they look at evidence that the January 6th insurrection was violent and inspired by Trump.

I can understand people supporting officials who claim to represent their views. What I have a hard time understanding is why they send often hard-earned dollars to support someone who’s continually demonstrated that he lies, who fires or drives out or turns on so many of those working for him, whose most ardent supporters appear to be white supremacists, and who is effectively pocketing money donated for “legal expenses.”

Trump reminds me of a combination of a frontier snake-oil salesman and a fire-and-brimstone preacher who inspires followers to give him money, and then leaves them with little but faded hope. The problem with this is that, because he’s so charismatic to his followers, they’ll blame everyone but him for the unsolved problems and difficulties in their lives, and they’ll keep sending him money under false premises. The more money they send without the results they want, the angrier they get at those who fail to support their snake-oil messiah.

Those followers are so angry that Republicans who have shown that they know he’s peddling lies now preach the same lies because they fear his wrath and the power of his followers.

And you wonder why I’ve always felt that “true-believers” of any kind, especially those whose beliefs deny reality, are the greatest danger to a free society?

6 thoughts on “Still Falling for the Snake-Oil Salesman”

  1. Bill says:

    This is the question more bluntly put – how much tolerance of the in-tolerant can a free society have?

    At some point unethical and anti-social behavior needs to be limited by society. Putting a limit on poor behavior is part of the point of government. Limiting bad behavior isn’t just done with a stick but the carrot needs to be used as well or at least bandages.

    There are always unethical people that have to be caught before they can be punished. But there are also people who behave badly because they are scared. Removing the reasons, they are scared keeps them behaving ethically.

    Unfortunately, unethical people use and hype the fears of people to enrich themselves. Once their world view/identity has been warped to an unethical perspective, it is very difficult for them to move on.

    1. RRCRrea says:

      Seems like a restatement of the Ethos Dilemma I read about somewhere…..

    2. R. Hamilton says:

      “how much tolerance of the in-tolerant can a free society have?”

      If you’ve been keeping score at all, you should note that the left has gone very far indeed from tolerance, except to their base, and only so long as those stay fully onboard. If any member of a group the left has bought and paid for expresses views contrary to the left’s position, and they’ll be trashed.

      That’s not actual tolerance at all. It’s “1984” style goodthink, thought police and the pursuit of absolute power.

      I think that Musk’s diagram, where the right changed little but the left kept going further left, dragging the center (as median or even mean) with them, is more accurate than not; if some on the right have gone further right, that could be a response to the far greater and more directed extremism of the left.

      1. Tony Leukering says:

        Relative to many European democracies, the American Democratic Party is center-right, and I’d say you have everything exactly backward. I’d bet many Democrats would rather have Reagan back than the current Republican Party.

      2. KTL says:


        Make your case to Liz Cheney. I expect she won’t buy it, nor many of your so called RINOs. Don’t need to bother dragging the Dems into your alternative reality.

  2. Chris says:

    Trump: Proving the Anti-federalists right since 2016

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