What to expect when you respond to an invitation to Trump’s new app

OPINION AND COMMENT

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Former President Donald Trump is launching his own social media platform called Truth Social.

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Inspired mostly by curiosity, a few weeks ago I clicked on an invite to join Donald Trump’s new social media app called Truth Social.

It is billed as a “Big Tent social media platform that encourages open, free and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology”.

I dutifully filled in all the fields on the form – name, address, phone number, email – until I got to the part that asked me to click on the amount I wanted to donate. The boxes started at $35 and went all the way up to $10,000. (According to the fine print, donations go to the National Republican Senate Committee.)

Due to my work, I do not donate to politicians or political causes. I don’t sign petitions either. Some of the press colleagues I’ve worked with over the years don’t even vote — at least not for the people they write about — because they think it would compromise their ability to be objective in their reporting.

So, no, I wasn’t about to pay to join the inner circle of Truth Socializers – especially since it costs nothing to join the waitlist for the app, which should start in the first quarter of 2022.

I refused to enter a credit card number, closed the form and naively thought that would be the end of it.

Boy I was wrong.

The Trump machine does not give up; in fact, its performance is even more impressive than those telemarketers warning us that our social security number has been hacked. (Don’t believe it. It’s a scam.)

Over the past two weeks, I’ve received up to seven text messages a day — all on my personal phone — from Team Trump.

Here is a sample:

“WOW. Don’t ignore Trump’s PERSONAL message, Stephanie. We NEED you to save our nation from Biden’s presidency.”

“Stephanie, don’t force us to tell Trump that you IGNORE his invitation to dinner. We still have time. Enter to win.”

“Why didn’t you complete the election year survey?” Are you becoming a Democrat? »

“Stephanie, you STILL haven’t signed Trump’s Christmas card!”

“Stephanie, did you GIVE UP Trump? Secure your reputation.

“It’s Don Jr.: I told my dad he could count on YOUR support to restore his majority in 2022. Contribute here.”

“It’s Ted Cruz: We’re just ONE SEAT away from taking over the majority of the GOP.”

“Stephanie, we need 82 more responses from your area – take our election year survey HERE.

“CONGRATULATIONS! Stephanie, we’ve extended your chance to WIN a Melania Trump White House Ornament Set! Enter the NEXT 15 MIN.

As you probably guessed, a donation was needed to take the survey, sign Trump’s Christmas card, or have a chance to win Melania’s ornaments, which I was told are the EXACT ornaments hanging in Trump’s White House.

Anyway, I was able to access an EXCLUSIVE video for TOP PATRIOTS.

It turned out to be a brief message from Trump himself, thanking his audience for their love, affection and respect and promising that the GOP would take over the Senate, House and White House “sooner than you think. “.

“The Republican Party is stronger than it’s ever been and it’s going to be much stronger than it is now,” Trump says in the “exclusive” video.

That is just about everything. Not even a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year. Just more posture.

If this is a preview of Truth Social, so much for the promise of a Big Tent.

So much for encouraging open, free and honest conversation.

So much for welcoming people of “all political stripes” and “from all different points of view”.

Sorry, Don Jr. You too, Ted.

Despite your persistence, I will not sign up for these holiday ornaments or for the opportunity to add my name to Trump’s Christmas card.

It was fun, but I’m going to have to break up. The next SMS you send me, I will reply with “STOP”.

This story was originally published December 22, 2021 5:30 a.m.

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Managing Editor Stephanie Finucane is a San Luis Obispo County native and Cal Poly graduate. Before joining The Tribune, she worked at the Santa Barbara News-Press and the Santa Maria Times.

About Sandra A. Powell

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