How Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP

How Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP
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Team Trump never rests because they know money never sleeps, even at 3:59 p.m. on a lazy Saturday in mid-August — not exactly primetime for fundraising email blasts.

Nonetheless, that was when I received an urgent appeal from Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents MORE under the official "Save America — President Donald J. Trump" logo. My political antenna says Trump uses this logo subliminally so ardent followers will think they can wish back President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE’s “rightful” title stolen by Democrats.

But now, all Junior wants is cash. He wrote, "YOU were identified as one of my father's TOP supporters" and "Having enough cash on hand is essential to SAVING AMERICA from Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE and his liberal cronies, which is why I've convinced my father to EXTEND your PERSONAL 400%-IMPACT OFFER FOR 1 MORE HOUR."

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For the record, I have never donated to Trump and publicly "renounced" my long-time Republican Party membership after the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Then on Sunday at 3:00 p.m., the former president invaded my inbox with the faux president title logo. Trump complained how "partners in the Fake News media and Big Tech companies are working overtime to SILENCE me. Your support could not be more important, so I've decided to REACTIVATE your PERSONAL 400%-IMPACT OFFER."

One minute later, on Sunday at 3:01 p.m., an email arrived with a critical subject-line question: "Do you remember when we caught the Democrats, red-handed, spying on my campaign?" The question demanded a "yes" or "no" answer and warned, "I’ll look for your response in 5 MINUTES.” At the bottom was a stern-looking photo titled “Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States.” Seriously, Trump’s demanding tone could scare seniors into donating.

Weekend over, Trump’s Monday afternoon email proclaimed, “I've activated a 300%-IMPACT on ALL gifts made towards the Official Trump Rally Fund.” 

His message was the perfect opportunity to support more COVID super-spreader events with their “300%- IMPACT” on local hospitals.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Save America emails made history with Trump the first former president to call for his successor's resignation in a fundraising blast, which read: “What Joe Biden has done with Afghanistan will go down as one of the greatest defeats in history. HE MUST RESIGN.”

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And what do all these “Save America” email blasts have in common? The absence of two words — “former president.” Although the former presidents’ club is more exclusive than Mar-a-Lago, “former” signifies the past and sounds final. Thus, the word is damaging to Trump’s psyche. Worse, “former” is detrimental to fundraising hinged on future hopes that “President Donald J. Trump” can “Save America” by running and winning in 2024 — or by being reinstated.

The latter is not a joke. According to a QAnon conspiracy theory, reinstatement, believed by 30 percent of Republican voters according to one poll, was supposed to have happened on Aug.13 with the Dept. of Homeland Security on high alert.

Undoubtedly, Trump’s emails are too frequent and corny with gimmicks promoting worthless Trump credit cards resembling American Express. Still, the former president deserves credit for his effective, perpetual money machine.

How effective? On July 31, a headline in The Hill read, “Trump helps raise $56 million in first six months of 2021.”  

Money is also raised from DonaldJTrump.com with the headline, “Together, we are rebuilding our nation.” The words appear over a somber “don’t-mess-with-me” Trump face, and fans can support rebuilding by purchasing MAGA/Trump merchandise. But the meat on the site are Trump’s daily news statements.

After banishment from Twitter and Facebook, the former president’s often outrageous outbursts are tweeted by journalists and sometimes widely reported.

Trump utilizes his statement content to test the waters for future fundraising blasts, such as last Sunday night when he first issued his statement advocating that Biden “resign in disgrace.” Then, in typical Trumpian fashion, he concluded: “It [resigning] shouldn’t be a big deal, because he [Biden] wasn’t elected legitimately in the first place!”

There are two kinds of Trump messages. First, ICYMI (in case you missed it), when he links to favorable news reports or op-eds about him. Second, are statements described by four R-words:

Reacting: To a news event with the overtone, “If I were president, that would not have happened” or outright stating that sentiment as a fact.  

Revenge: Trump endorses a candidate running against an officeholder who did not support the “Big Lie” or stand with him after Jan. 6 or who voted for impeachment. With Trump, an elected official is either with him or against him; there is never any middle ground.

Railing: Against some aspect of the government, be it an officeholder, committee, legislation, Cabinet department, agency, policy or entire branch of government. Then it repeats “If I were president….” either outright or inferred.

Reminders: He won the election, but it was stolen. Trump can’t stop reminding everyone of this “fact.” For example, on Aug.16, after railing against the events in Afghanistan, he announced: “The corrupt Presidential Election of 2020 got us here. Never would have happened if I were President!” And again, on Aug. 17, he wrote that Biden was “illegitimately elected and brought great shame, in many ways, to our Country!”

The overarching analysis is that Donald Trump has no specific responsibility and is not beholden to anyone. Therefore, he is free to “lead” Republicans, flirt with 2024, raise millions and repeat “If I were president…” from the backbench without any repercussions.

Trump’s Aug.13  statement, issued on what was supposed to be “reinstatement day,” did not mention the word, but read: “Tragic mess in Afghanistan, a completely open and broken Border, Crime at record levels, oil prices through the roof, inflation rising, and taken advantage of by the entire world—DO YOU MISS ME YET?”

But how can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.