10 Steps of the Confidence Game: An Election Year Dance

According to The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It… Every Time by Maria Konnikova (NY: Viking, 2016 ISBN 978–0–525–42741–4), there’s a structure to the con.

“In the put-up, he picked us out of the crowd with care.”

“In the play, he established a bond through some emotional wrangling and expert storytelling.”

“In the rope, he laid out his persuasive pitch for our already-willing ears.”

“In the tale, he’s told us how we will personally benefit, relying on our belief in our exceptionalism.”

“In the convincer, he’s let us win, persuading us that we’d been right in going along with him.

“And now comes the breakdown. We start to lose. How far can the grifter push us before we balk? How much of a beating can we take?”

“The send is that part of the con where the victim is recommitted, that is, asked to invest increasingly greater time and resources into the con artist’s scheme”

“ — and in the touch, the con finally comes to its fruition and the mark is completely, irrevocably fleeced….”

“In the blow-off, the confidence artist has one main goal: now that the touch has been taken, get the mark out of the way as quickly as possible.”

“…the fix, when a grifter puts off the involvement of law enforcement to prevent marks from making their complaints official.”

I am reminded of WC Fields’ philosophical tenets:
Never give a sucker an even break;
Never wise up a chump;
You can’t cheat an honest man.

Some more quotes from Fields to help you navigate through the ballroom of this mendacious world:
“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” 
“A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.” 
“Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.” 
“It is funnier to bend things than to break them.” 
“You can fool some of the people some of the time — and that’s enough to make a decent living.” 
“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” 
“I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally. ”

My full notes to The Confidence Game at http://hubeventsnotes.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-confidence-game-guide-to-2016.html