07/17/2008 12:53 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Grim Fairy Tale: The Trolls Under the Bridge

"Help spread the word about John McCain on news and blog sites... Select from the numerous web, blog and news sites listed here, go there, and make your opinions supporting John McCain known... After your comments are verified, you will be awarded points through the McCain Online Action Center."

- from Action Center

A warm, gracious greeting to Trolls for McCain ™. Welcome to the Huffington Post! You're most-likely unaccustomed to this new-fangled idea of "blogging" (or "liberal blogging," as you may know it), so we want to make you as comfortable as possible. New ideas can be scary, so we're here to help. Take your shoes off, the cheese dip is in the fridge.

To start with -- good news! You aren't actually "blogging." Whew! No, you'll merely be "trolling," which is so much less frightening than "blogging" since you don't have to use your real name, and can hide your real purpose! Cool, huh? (If you're confused, the name comes from those fairy tales about evil trolls who hide under bridges and sneakily eat unsuspecting passersby.)

A major fear you'll probably have when "trolling" is what to write about your favorite candidate. Action Center is reassuring that "You know why John McCain should be the next President of the United States, and we need you to tell others why," but they're pros. What if you don't know? Well, the terrifying Internet can also be your friend. On the McCain Action Center, you'll be given all the information you need in order to be an official Troll for McCain ™. This includes what to say with "Talking Points," as well as what Featured and Suggested "Blogs" you should go to. All thinking has been taken out of the process, so you're home free.

For example, today there are two Talking Points: "John McCain will put the national interest ahead of partisanship" and "Partisanship." Though these may seem like the same thing, don't worry. Just copy-and-paste what they have written for you. See! It's that easy.

Note: among the Featured and Suggested "Blogs," you will not currently find the Huffington Post. This doesn't mean you can't "troll" here -- the Internet gives you freedom of choice (a scary concept yes, but it's so American). You can "troll" wherever you want! Indeed, it's that very freedom that allows us to welcome you and offer this guide, even though you weren't officially "ordered" to come here. You can sneak anywhere on your own!

As an official Troll for McCain ™, please remember not to identify yourself as such. This is for your protection. If you really wanted to be upfront and honorable and write under your own name, you wouldn't have become a Troll for McCain ™ in the first place.

Trolls never use their name. Never. Even the Queen had to guess "Rumpelstiltzkin."

You see, using fake names is one of the great things you'll learn about the Wonderful World of "trolling." As a troll, you can pretend to be anything. You can make up things like, "I've been a long-time member of the Democrat Party, but Barack Hussein Obama scares me. I don't want a Muslim to be president because he will let that other Osama into the country."

A few style notes, so as not to give yourself away: Democrats refer to it as the "Democratic Party." They also leave out middle names -- a good thing since in many circles "John Sidney McCain," is considered worse. Also, Democrats actually know that Sen. Obama was baptized, and "Obama" and "Osama" are not the same words.

Don't worry, "trolling" really isn't hard, and if you make mistakes, remember that it's not under your own name, so no one will ever know. You can just try again elsewhere.

Important Note: a great advantage of "trolling" is that whatever you write under your fake name will then be available to Republican pundits as "proof" of what horrible things are being said on "liberal blogs." So, if you write "Barack Obama told he me wants to hide under bridges and eat unsuspecting passersby", that very day your own words may show up on Fox News as proof of what "liberal bloggers" believe. How cool is that?!

But let's be honest: the best part of being a Troll for McCain ™ is that wonderful, aforementioned program which awards you points! That is as good as "trolling" gets! While it's true that nowhere on the website is there any information of what you can actually get with those McCain Points, or how to redeem them, not to worry. Just knowing that you will be awarded points is award enough. Perhaps one day, they will offer something -- like, John McCain bobblehead dolls, lovely lime-green McCain '08 banners, or ambassadorships (10 million points needed to qualify).

Of course, some people may snark that it takes points to get John McCain supporters to "troll" on his behalf, but they're just jealous they don't get points.

In the end, if you ever become flustered "trolling," the McCain Action Center is always there to serve all your "trolling" needs -- for experienced "trolls" and newbies alike. Reward points, talking points, suggested blogs and oh-so-much much more. In fact, there's even -


Yes, a "Friends and Family" account! As seen on TV. Just like those real offers for your telephone. Now, you and your loved ones can "troll" together.

All this, and points, too!

Life under the bridge doesn't get better than that for a troll.

Unless they start giving gold stars.