Much has been made of the similarity between Donald Trump and a carnival barker. By pundits and the White House, no less.
But his prospects have never been analyzed an actual carnie.
I’m here to remedy that oversight.
I became a carnie at the age of 17, thanks to a friend whose dad owned a traveling show.
A shy member of Mensa with a facility for lower math, I was the last kid you’d think could bamboozle marks. But I did well, graduating from to lowly Duck Pond to the “Flat Store”--the pinnacle of carnie cons in the space of a summer. I made marks out of many drunk farmers and, in my best/worst hour, a high-ranking government attorney.
I have closely followed Mr. Trump juggernaut of a campaign. Here’s why, from a carnie perspective, he’s guaranteed to come out of this as a winner:
*A carnie doesn’t care whether he wins nice or ugly. He’ll do whatever it takes, no matter how base the appeal, to achieve the desired outcome.
*A carnie is skilled at playing upon a mark’s emotions, particularly greed. Fear is also easily induced.
*A carnie sees everyone as potential mark, down to the American electorate.
*A carnie knows that low income rural whites are the low-hanging fruit of marks. Racial hubris + poor education makes them easy to turn. And poorly educated whites are among those whose incomes are declining; leaving them afraid, angry and looking for scapegoats.
*The campaign has given Mr. Trump a burgeoning mailing list of acolytes, who, even if he doesn’t inherit the Oval Office, will keep filling his coffers for years to come. And, for a carnie, more money is always a win.