Donald Trump’s presidential term exhumed many tacky relics and horrors from earlier decades, so it makes sense that as the administration rejects the reality of an election loss to Joe Biden, it would inadvertently once again make the prank phone call fashionable.
Due to victories in Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, Biden is currently projected to win at least 290 electoral votes, making his win a decisive one. But Trump’s campaign has refused to concede, and has instead claimed without evidence that massive voter fraud occurred all over the country. On Nov. 6, to bolster their meritless case, they set up a hotline so that anyone could report instances of “irregularities,” or other funny business witnessed at the polls.
Seeing as how the phone number changed within the one-day gap between those tweets from Rudy Giuliani and Eric Trump, you can guess where this is going: Rascals from all over took this opportunity to flood the lines with goofs and gags. Team Trump has changed the number at least four times by my count, yet they keep getting the same result.
As ABC News reported this past Saturday, the people answering these calls were Trump campaign staffers, and it was ruining their weekends:
Since Election Day, many Trump campaign staffers have been huddled on a noisy floor in the campaign’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters fielding hundreds of calls a day on a hotline the campaign set up as they try to find instances of voter fraud, multiple sources told ABC News.
But the hotline has turned into a nightmare for some, as staffers, some of whom have contracts that expire in the coming days, have been bombarded with prank calls from people laughing or mocking them over Biden’s win before hanging up, sources tell ABC News.
Think about the type of person who would willingly work for Donald Trump. By default, they would have to be desperate and not as bright as they think they are. Now think about the hierarchical ranking of a Trump staffer who would be assigned to field random phone calls in a last-ditch effort to ignore reality, and what level of importance this task would hold. Consider how they would be obligated to entertain any tip that came in, as they’re working with the understanding that their boss’s fanbase is heavily saturated with loons of all types. How credulous would the person have to be to do that job?
As an idiot at Defector, I was eager to test my theory but wanted to put a little effort into it. While it’s delightful to call the hotline and immediately play the losing horn from The Price Is Right, the buildup of a good prank call can make the punchline that much more satisfying. That’s why last Friday, a concerned citizen contacted the Trump voter fraud hotline to slowly explain how they witnessed Stan Chera, Donald Trump’s late friend, fraudulently voting at their polling location.
On a second attempt, I went for a slower burn before offering some very helpful information about Eric Trump:
After taking a few days off, I tried more calls this week but found, to my disappointment, that the staffers had grown slightly better at handling the calls. Some asked for a name and phone number up front. Others, who answered the phone like they would rather be anywhere else, did not. Even when I was merely trying to establish the setup with no detectable jokes, some of them would abruptly hang up after a minute.
I wanted to try out a pre-written script that incorporated lyrics from the Village People song “Y.M.C.A.,” but I couldn’t get halfway through before the call was dropped. I had to re-evaluate and become more efficient, so I regrouped a day later, motivated to achieve the rule of three. The good: I finally got through the whole thing. The bad: The person on the line enjoyed it.
Awful. Still determined to achieve the rule of three, I pressed on. After a few more attempts, I found a very uncooperative trivia partner. That would have to do.
Looking back on my experience, there is no best practice on how to effectively prank the Trump voter fraud hotline, and it’s not a 100 percent guarantee every time. The fun may be over, anyway. At last check, Team Trump is no longer promoting the phone number and is instead only directing whistleblowing patriots to an online form.
Many of these dim sycophants could be unemployed soon, meaning that one of their last meaningful acts as official members of the Trump campaign was spending a not-insignificant portion of their time listening to callers accuse the Hamburglar of voter fraud, claim that Rudy Giuliani is trying to catch their daughter in a net, or describe in thorough detail how they fell in love with a member of antifa. That this could be the swan song for some of their political careers is enough to elicit a bit of sympathy. Haha, just kidding.