45 understands a key component of sales. People don’t want to believe they’ve been suckered. So until the product craps out completely, we put up with it. We bring it to the place of sales for return and they say, you’re just using it wrong. We go home determined to use it better.

He’s also a master of another sales technique—bait and switch. He sold rural and deeply conservatives on a vision of America and delivered himself (with all his baggage). Until America breaks, they’ll let him shit on their yards because they still think they bought the vision. The salesman is just the price they paid.

He also understands a key component of belief, one which religious institutions have long used to subvert their founders’ messages. [1] When you believe, you hate the person that tries to shed light on the belief. You don’t question the institution. This allows 45 to be a racist, but claim we’re the bad guys for pointing it out.

No one wants to think they’re racist. They’ll find any excuse to cover up their racism. “It’s not my will, it’s God’s will.” “I don’t hate people from shithole countries, I just think we need to make sure more qualified people are first in line for the gravy train.” When 45 behaves and speaks as they do, but disputes the charge that he is what he says and does, those Americans who share his values accept his lame excuses because they will use them too.

[1] It helps that those messages have accreted too many edits and interpretations to sort through to find the original thoughts. And that even the Gods can be taken out of context.

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