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Trump Truth Social investors are happily getting scammed to own the libs

When the price crashes to earth, they’ll thank Trump for the privilege of being shaken down.

To anyone who cashed out their retirement fund and moved it all into shares of Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of Truth Social, we have some bad news. Just a week after the former president’s supporters rushed to invest in a company that looked to be Trump’s financial salvation, its stock is plunging faster than Wile E. Coyote after he realizes he’s stepped off the side of a cliff. 

It didn’t take a savvy investment analyst to see that the latest offering from the man responsible for such ventures as Trump University, the Trump Foundation, the Trump Network and the Trump Institute had all the hallmarks of another scheme in which Trump gets away with millions and leaves other people holding the bag. But don’t be mistaken: The victims here are willingly opening their bank accounts, and when it crashes to earth they’ll thank Trump for the privilege of being shaken down. For them, losing their shirts in a failed Trump venture isn’t a reason to feel betrayed or outraged. It’s a privilege, and they couldn’t be happier to do it.

Should Trump dump and run, will his devotees who bought shares feel betrayed? Don’t bet on it.

When the stock was first offered a week ago, retail investors rushed to scoop up shares in an intense day of trading. At one point the price of a share exceeded $79; eventually, the stock closed the day at a still-lofty $57.99 (exactly two dollars less than the price of the God Bless the USA Bible Trump is also hawking). The news was full of stories trumpeting the dramatic increase in Trump’s wealth; with the company valued at $8 billion, his shares gave him an extra $4 billion on paper. But on Monday, documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that the company lost over $58 million in 2023, with just $4.1 million in revenue. The latter number is about what a single Shake Shack restaurant brings in each year. In a note included with the filing, an independent auditor said “the Company’s operating losses raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.” By the end of the day, the stock had fallen by over 21%. 

Trump Media would hardly be the first technology company to attract investment with little apparent path to profitability. And making money with a right-wing version of Twitter was never going to be easy. CNN reported that Truth Social’s mobile user base has shrunk 39% in just the past year; though the company has not released any user data, industry analysts estimate the number of monthly users at around 1 million, a minuscule number compared to sites like Facebook and X. That may be because a social network devoted to trolling the left just isn’t all that fun if there aren’t any liberals on it. If you "own the libs" but the libs don’t know they’ve been owned, have you really owned them at all? 

Trump will want to dump his shares before their price approaches zero, but according to the terms of the arrangement, he can’t sell his stock for six months — unless he gets permission from the board of directors. Fortunately for him, the seven-member board includes three former Trump administration officials, ex-congressman and Trump loyalist Devin Nunes, and Donald Trump Jr. Getting their approval probably won’t be too much of a problem.Should Trump dump and run, will his devotees who bought shares feel betrayed? Don’t bet on it. Truth Social as a company and as a stock have little to do with each other, since the stock is basically a way for people to give Trump their money, no matter how small-time the company itself is. No matter how far it falls, there won’t be a wave of Trump supporters saying they got conned into buying it with a broken promise of riches. They have a remarkable ability to explain anything he does, no matter how repugnant, foolish or contradictory, as all part of his plan. If he tripped over a golf ball, fell into a sand trap and landed with his pants around his ankles, they’d say it was a brilliant move meant to drive liberals crazy. Buying shares in a company that will become nearly valueless once he cashes out will be a magnificent sacrifice to his cause. 

Trump’s innovation was to create a cult so encompassing that each dollar they lose is only more proof of their devotion.

Though the supporters who bought Trump Media shares are certainly victims of a con, they are different from most who find themselves in that position. Ordinarily, being conned does two kinds of damage, the practical and the emotional. There’s the money you lose, and then there’s the psychological damage of knowing you got fooled. This can be a profound trauma, leading people to question themselves long after the event is over. It’s not dissimilar from being robbed; whatever money the victim lost, they can also feel a sense of powerlessness, frustration and anger. That may have been true of many past victims of Trump’s scams, but it won’t be true of those who lost their money on his meme stock. In fact, they’re probably happy to lose money, so long as Trump walks away a winner, which he probably will, especially since he didn’t put up any of his own money to create Truth Social. “It’s mainly to support Trump and his legal battles. Or making a statement,” one early investor told USA Today. “It’s more just to show that people are supporting him.” Take that, libs!

There’s a long history of right-wing grifters exploiting the gullibility of audiences to separate them from their money. Even prominent conservatives occasionally lament how many cons and scams grow out of their movement. Trump’s innovation was to create a cult so encompassing that each dollar they lose is only more proof of their devotion. So don’t feel bad for the buyers of Trump’s meme stock. They’re glad to be swindled.