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If this is how the Democrats campaign, maybe the Republicans will win after all

With great glee, the Huffington Post reports,

Multiple Right-Wing Figures Pranked Into Thanking The Devil For Supporting Trump

Several prominent pro-Trump voices have been pranked into thanking “Iblis” — a figure in the Quran typically synonymous with Satan — for supporting the president.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Fox News host Tomi Lahren, former Trump aide and right-wing radio host Sebastian Gorka and controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio were among those who fell for the prank, engineered by Ali-Asghar Abedi, a comedy writer and contributor for various media outlets, including PBS, The New York Times and The Independent.

The videos — which were combined into a supercut that features the pundits and politicians thanking “Iblis” for his passionate support of the president and reminding him to make American great again — were filmed via Cameo, an app where celebrities can be paid to record personalized messages for a fee.

The great joke is meant to be that these minor celebrities recorded a supportive message for someone with a name they were told was of Arab origin. I fail to see why that should reflect badly on either their honour or their intelligence. Evidently, despite being Trump supporters, they were not consumed by hatred for Arabs. The other charge against them is that they failed to spot that “Iblis” means “Satan”. Mr Abedi thinks that reveals dire ignorance. He writes,

“They’re grifters who are stunningly ignorant and have no curiosity,” Abed said. “I left clues for them. I told them that Iblis was Arab American. If they had a sense of the world beyond MAGA, they’d research what Iblis means in an Arab context. I guess they’re true adherents to capitalism, placing money ahead of their own dignity.”

Abedi did point out that he was “a bit crafty” in the spelling of “Iblis.”

“I spelled it ‘Ebliz’ and laid out the pronunciation as ‘ibb-lease.’ But [I] figured mentioning that Iblis is Arab should have been a cue to vet the request with someone who knows Arabic.”

So upon hearing a name from another culture the rule is now that one should hasten to check that it does not mean “devil”? And it is not enough to check the name for non-fiendishness in the spelling as given; variant spellings must be checked as well. How quickly customs change. Only a few years ago this Guardian writer was denouncing harassed servers in Starbucks for querying the spelling of her unusual name or writing it down wrong on coffee cups.

The video featured by the Huffington Post is very popular. As I write this it has had just short of six hundred thousand views. As someone who would like Trump to win (or more to the point someone who would like the censors of Twitter, Facebook and the media to lose), but is pessimistic, I feel hope stir.

Three days before an election and this is how Democrats campaign? Laughing to each other (but in a public forum) about how trustingly friendly to people of other cultures those Republicans were? Whose vote do you think will be changed to Democrat by the revelation that there are Republicans out there who do not know the equivalent of “Beelzebub” in every language on Earth? Meanwhile Republicans are talking to people who don’t usually vote Republican.

20 comments to If this is how the Democrats campaign, maybe the Republicans will win after all

  • Fraser Orr

    It seems a bit disingenuous, does it not, given that their candidate can barely remember which office he is running for, or who he is running against, or what state he is in sometimes.

    However, I think what is bad here is that a fairly mainstream publication like the hufpo would consider the jejune pranks of sophomoric buffoons to be somehow newsworthy. But I perhaps I overestimate the hufpo.

  • Ferox

    This will be absolutely devastating proof that Republicans are morons … to (some of) those who are already die-hard Democrat voters.

    Not one opinion was swayed, not one person was convinced. Nor was any effort made to sway or to convince. It’s just rhetorical masturbation … thus it seems exactly like the sort of thing HuffPo would run with.

  • staghounds

    When all you have are a nine year old’s tricks and name calling, maybe you’re wrong.

  • bobby b

    Works if keeping the base motivated is as important (or more) than changing minds. If they can get the team vote out, they win.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    How many Democrats would, if asked, cheerfully film a message of thanks to a supporter with the innocent-sounding name of ‘R. E. Mann’ – i.e., the protagonist in Isaac Asimov’s story ‘The Last Trump’ (!)

    Spoiler: “A mysterious figure known only as R. E. Mann (a pun on Ahriman, the Persian name for Satan) — later revealed as the devil — makes his way across the world, seeing what has happened in the Hereafter and pleased with it.” – Wikipedia.

  • So if you come across someone named Natasha, just remember that spelled backwards, it’s “Ah Satan” and take everything with several tons of salt.

  • Mr Abedi should have used his own name. Republicans who read pjmedia might have seen danger in not checking up on a Mr ‘Abedi’, whereas a ‘liberal’ Democrat would have dreaded being called an islamophobe if they dared to check.

  • John

    I have just spoken to my American sister. She tells me several of her workmates are terrified of Trump being real-elected as they believe he will deport them (Not quite sure where to as sensibly she didn’t ask) on account of being gay.

    All of them are hideously white American citizens.

  • bobby b

    “She tells me several of her workmates are terrified of Trump being real-elected as they believe he will deport them (Not quite sure where to as sensibly she didn’t ask) on account of being gay.”

    Trump? The guy who came out in favor of gay marriage long before Obama and Hillary?

    That has as much of a basis as “Trump the racist.”

    Credulous dupes.

  • John B

    It will play well to those who hate Trump and/or wouldn’t vote for him/Republican anyway. It is doubtful it will shift any Trump/Republican supporters or undecideds away.

    I speak as a non-American: I think this election is about more than Trump, it’s about the vandalising of US society, culture, Constitution and traditions and whether people want that to continue or stop and which candidate and Party is most likely to stop it or continue the wrecking. Seats up for grabs in Congress too.

  • MadRocketSci

    This is the internet. My name isn’t MadRocketSci – I am a rocket scientist (I hope), and I’m only mad in certain small hopefully useful ways (tendency to OCD.)

    I’ve been told my entire life by bug-eyed political fanatics that I’m “stunningly ignorant” because I think for myself, and don’t automatically parrot dogma. I don’t accept authority for argument, I recognize no place for authority in moral judgement, and in general I’m desperately tired of stupid monkey social bullshit. There are a lot of things on my mind besides Arab mythology. I don’t “believe” things that I don’t understand: This makes me “slow” and “stupid”. I don’t proclaim things that I don’t believe: This makes me “unreliable”.

    If the devil (or LITERALLY HITLER!!!1!) were to make an argument or observation and it happened to be correct, it’s correct.

  • John (October 31, 2020 at 2:01 pm), various such people claimed to fear deportation in 2016 – a friend of mine and of a few such people in Seattle described the bizarre fears claimed and how unwilling they were to be calmed down about them.

    That was in 2016, however. Did these workmates not claim to fear Trumpian deportation in 2016? And if they did (as surely they did) in 2016, can your sister suggest they review its failure to happen then, and apply it to its likelihood of happening now.

    I suspect an element of greedy play-acting in this. “You have to agree with me about how to vote or else you’re threatening me with deportation and that makes you a mean person!”

  • MadRocketSci

    that makes you a mean person!

    Not only am I a mean person, I’m also a racist and a NAZI apparently. 😛 And now I’m in league with the devil. Such is life ….

    I’m MadRocketSci, and I support covid-19. /commercial voice

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Did these workmates not claim to fear Trumpian deportation in 2016?”

    And wasn’t that racist? Are they suggesting that foreign countries run by different-coloured people are not much nicer places to live in, by claiming to “fear” it?

  • biff

    One side seems to have good will toward others. As for the other side, well, not so much.

  • thefat tomato

    sacha baron cohen springs to mind.

  • APL

    Natalie Solent: “So upon hearing a name from another culture the rule is now that one should hasten to check that it does not mean “devil”? “

    It’s an easy mistake to make, Mohammadans of course are mildly embarrassed,* that Mohammed included verses ‘revealed’ to him by ‘Shatan’ in the Koran itself, the so called ‘Satanic verses’, made infamous by that jellyfish Salman Rushdie.

    Tomi Lahren and Cory Lewandowsk should take heart from the fact that even Mohammed, the Prophet of Allah, was unable to distinguish the words of Allah from those of ‘Shatan’, the devil. And that, presumably, was in his own Arabic dialect.

    * 1:36m & 5:11m For an example of a modern moderate Moslem, one who after forty years in the UK has imbibed the principles of free speech and rejection of violence.

  • Paul Marks

    Sadly the education system (the schools and universities) and the “mainstream” media (especially the entertainment media) have produced a generation of people who really do think this is funny.

    The same sort of scum (for they are SCUM) who thought it was good for “Borat” to play his “joke” on Rudy Giuliani – a man desperately trying to get the media to cover the very severe CRIMES of the Biden family (including Joseph “Joe” Biden himself).

    The young, and the not so young, could not give a damn about the Bidens taking millions of Dollars in BRIBES to sell out the United States to the People’s Republic of China. And they do not care about the human trafficking and child sex either.

    All they want to do is laugh at silly Republicans being tricked by clever leftists.

    Such a generation deserves the tyranny it is likely to vote for.

    They ignore incredibly serious crimes and just want to have their little jokes – and that includes the Corrupt Degenerates of the FBI – who have known all about crimes of the Bidens since at least 2019 and have COVERED THEM UP.

    The FBI (and the rest of the “Justice” system) is “waiting for Biden” so they can impose the totalitarian system they crave.

  • bobby b

    Paul Marks
    November 1, 2020 at 11:40 am

    “Sadly the education system (the schools and universities) and the “mainstream” media (especially the entertainment media) have produced a generation of people who really do think this is funny.”

    I remember well the evening in 1974 or so that my mother and her older sister sat down with me in front of the TV to see why I thought Monty Python’s Flying Circus was hilarious.

    It didn’t go well.

    I think generational humor has to be built at least somewhat on rebellion and disparagement, and that, if we elders could “get it”, it wouldn’t really be funny to (relative) youths. So, I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from the fact that the newer people think Borat et al. are funny. It’s almost a celebration of the fact that we don’t think they’re funny.

  • […] I still fear, but my hopes have risen a little more. In the last 24 hours I have seen three tweets from the official Biden-Harris campaign that might have been designed to help Trump: […]