Trump and The Click-Bait Factor

Trump and The Click-Bait Factor

–by Steve Fine


How is it possible that between July and September of this preposterous election year a candidate as clearly unfit for the Presidency as Donald Trump, who trailed significantly in the polls all summer, giving rise to the expectation that sanity shall prevail in November, has managed to catch up and just might win?

            Here’s how: The Click-Bait Factor.  He’s got it and Clinton does not.

            The cumulative effect of clicking on the name Trump for over a year has created a body politic with a conditioned response, one that is beginning to register in the polls masquerading as a political opinion.  Regardless of what you think about the candidate, the name—the word alone—has become a prompt.  Trump:


            Combine that with touch-screen voting and . . .

            Do you begin to see the problem?

            Even if you punch chads, pull a lever, jab an InkaVote stylus, or use any other method in the voting booth besides a touch-screen machine, you are still susceptible to acquiescing to the invisible imperative of the click-bait factor.

            Not me, you say, for I am an intelligent voter, the possessor of a considered opinion.  Only a fool can’t tell the difference between selecting a president for a four-year term and green lighting a fantasy series about an unhinged business tycoon and former reality-show celebrity playing at being the president.  Stay positive!  There is not enough click-bait out there to deliver this election to such a man.

            Unfortunately, it is not the fools we need to worry about, it is the real and measurable category of undecided voters who are likely to swing this election.  Imagine if you will, stepping into the voting booth with an undecided suffering from cognitive dissonance over making a selection and ask your self this question:  What is the simplest and quickest method to resolve my moment of truth? Click! And then rationalize voting for Trump later.

            The polls and surveys will continue to miss the click-bait factor since it is immeasurable, although its impact can be inferred by Trump’s recent rise in them. TV ratings come closer as a more relevant gauge when it coms to his ability to remain a viable candidate regardless of ‘politics’, and in that respect The Click-Bait Factor is the mechanism by which those ratings translate into votes in our media-saturated world. Again, it is the undecided voters who are the most susceptible, which has not been lost on the Trump camp and the candidate himself as he sows uncertainty while simultaneously remaining at the top of the twitter feed each day and, in general, continue to dominate the news cycle.  Very few undecideds who vote Trump on election day will admit to their habit to an exit poll canvasser by stating the truth, such as they just couldn’t face a four-year period of intense withdrawal under Hilary; the boredom would be insufferable—at least Trump is entertaining.

            Yes, far more of our fellow Americans enjoy the show rather than are depressed and saddened by it, not to mention made anxious, and may very well vote to extend the season for four years. I, for one, eagerly await Election Day as an opportunity to cancel.  This may be our first and only chance.  Now, there is a powerful Alt-Click for you: Cancel Trump!



The Alarmist

Steve Fine Photography

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