Think of a mouse. Not a cutesy little cartoon mouse with big cute ears and glasses and a little mouse family who sings Christmas carols with him, but a real live piece of disease and flea-ridden vermin, skulking and chittering about a kitchen uninvited, looking for the next convenient place to burrow or defecate or otherwise ruin. Now picture something has that tiny little infestation’s attention, something it cannot resist, a piece of fragrant, aromatic cheese left unprotected out in the open. The rodent’s microbrain identifies what it knows to be tasty food, and the mouse slinks up to the little pedestal it rests upon tentatively but determinedly. It cannot resist. It smells the morsel and its already simplistic mind goes full primal. It lunges. It sinks its teeth into the hunk of food with the closest thing to glee its brain can mimic. It hardly even hears the snap as the trap springs and the world goes dark.
Bait. The secret lies in using the right bait. Whether you’re trying to catch a mouse, trying to catch a fish, or trying to humiliate a troll, the right bait can make all the difference. And one thing that almost no one can ignore, especially not arrogant self-important lefty trolls, is when someone is wrong.
I remember seeing a webcomic about an online game where a new player was asking for help from people in the same general area, to no avail. Nobody could be bothered to respond to the newbie’s simple questions until a veteran player stopped and showed the newbie how to get responses. He then proceeded to answer all of the new player’s questions WRONG. This prompted a slew of replies together with attendant “lol what an idiot” and other insults. The point he was trying to make is that while people can’t be bothered to stop and help, they’ll go out of their way to make fun of someone for being wrong.
This is a tool you can use to your advantage. In a sense, this is something that James O’Keefe and Project Veritas tried to do in the context of their latest sting, this time against the Washington Post, where they sent someone in posing as another Roy Moore accuser. Somehow the WaPo got wise to the ruse, which led to the laughable circumstance where the Washington Post actually fact-checking a story for once became a big story, and instead of getting his Hail Mary O’Keefe just got a lot of publicity for his latest expose. But it wasn’t a bad bet to make with bait like that. You just have to roll something out that you know your target won’t be able to pass up.
How do you use this in fighting trolls? Very often, trolls will attempt to take the moral and/or intellectual high ground. They’ll insult your intelligence and your principles, usually through the use of tired zingers (though plenty of uncreative dullards will just do the “durr yer just a stoopid redneck” completely unironically). Always keep in mind the two basic principles of troll fighting: one, you already won the argument by being right, so you only play as long as you want to; and two, you’re not trying to convince the troll, you’re trying to make him look as bad as you can to bystanders. Trolls also like to make non-sequitur points if not go entirely off-topic, especially when their moral footing starts to look a bit shaky. Finally, trolls tend to believe their own bullcrap. If you know how the troll is going to respond to a certain comment, you can bait her into showing her true sick colors even while she’s trying to virtue signal and look like the reasonable side, and one very effective way to do that is to roll something out that you know she’ll pounce on. Specifically, a factual error.
This does take a little bit of finesse and foresight, and of course knowledge of your troll. You really don’t want to leave your bait on the field past when other commenters are likely to come by and watch the fireworks. You also don’t want to concede any points accidentally or inelegantly. Let me illustrate with an example: the night of the Steinle verdict I went a few rounds with a particularly sick troll who was clear from the outset she was there to bask in the “conservative tears” (and in case you’re wondering, crying was not what was going on). After the usual spread of “you just care because it was a brown guy killing a white woman” and “hahaha you lost get over it,” this troll thought it would be fun to zing me with a “be sure to take your moral outrage and go vote for child molester Roy Moore!” Now, I’ve talked about Roy Moore more than I’d like to, and I know the charges against him are bogus because I have half a brain and can see that an election thirty days out makes all the difference. But I am very familiar with the fairy tales being told about Judge Moore. I had already been hitting the troll on her utter disregard for someone getting killed, which is what prompted the Moore retort, so I made a tactical move–I opened the door wide for the troll to pretend to care about Kate Steinle being shot dead, and rolled out the bait saying Moore hadn’t been accused of child abuse. I knew it was incorrect. I knew that the vermin would pounce on it. She did. Snap. Didn’t even try to hit back on the Steinle assertion, just jumped on the Moore assertion.
“Gotcha” was all I needed to shut her up for the rest of the night.
It’s one thing to demonstrate that the troll doesn’t actually care about people getting hurt by leftist nonsense. It’s another thing entirely to get her to do it for you.