PostHeaderIcon Dilbert on Trump

You are probably familiar with the Dilbert comic strip. It turns out that Scott Adams is also a blogger and astute thinker. He has penned a very thought-provoking piece entitled, “The Risks of a Trump Presidency,” which begins:

What exactly is the risk of a Trump presidency? Beats me. But let’s talk about it anyway.

Your Abysmal Track Record

For starters, ask yourself how well you predicted the performance of past presidents. Have your psychic powers been accurate?

I’m not good at predicting the performance of presidents. I thought Reagan would be dangerous, but he presided over the end of the Cold War. And I thought George W. Bush would be unlikely to start a war, much less two of them.

But it gets better. Even AFTER the presidency, can you tell who did the best job? I can’t. You think you can, but you can’t. And the simple reason for that is because there is no base case with which to compare a president. All we know is what did happen, not what might have happened if we took another path. You can’t compare a situation in the real world to your imaginary world in which something better happened. That is nonsense. And yet we do it. Watch me prove it right now.

That should be tease enough for a thinker to want to go read the rest of it; but here are a couple more examples:

And how about your ability to predict the future of your own relationships? Most relationships end badly, so we know that the majority of Americans are not good at predicting the future. Have all of your relationships worked out the way you expected? Mine haven’t.

I think you’ll agree that humans are terrible at predicting the future. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that we think we are not terrible at predicting the future. Our certainty in the face of overwhelming uncertainty is irrational.

Do you think President Trump would be extra-dangerous to the world? If you have an opinion on that – either yes or no – you’re being irrational.

I must admit that this caused me to think of my last post, “Waiting for SHTF.” 🙂

The FBI Profiler Approach

When FBI profilers are trying to figure out who perpetrated a specific type of crime, they can often narrow it down to people who have done the same sort of thing in the past. Arsonists have played with matches in their youth. Serial killers have probably been cruel to animals. Abusers have probably abused people before. Pedophiles have often been victims themselves. Patterns of this sort can be predictive, at least when viewed by experts.

Donald Trump has about five decades of track record in business that includes no violent acts whatsoever. Nor have we heard stories of any Trump temper tantrums in the business world that go beyond the scope of what any CEO does on a bad day. Somehow Trump built hundreds of business entities, amassed great wealth, and raised a great set of kids. And nowhere in the story is the part where he did something scary or dangerous. That sort of behavior doesn’t pop up suddenly when you’re a grandfather.

It would be difficult to argue with that logic.

Chemical Cyborgs

In my view, we are already in the Age of Cyborgs. You probably have a friend who has one kind of personality without drugs (legal or illegal) and a completely different personality when using drugs, including alcohol. Maybe the drugs are curing depression, or anxiety, or loneliness, or something. But people are different when they are on them. That’s the point of taking drugs.

Trump doesn’t drink. He never has. He doesn’t take illegal drugs either. He’s the same guy at night that he is in the morning. He’s not a chemical cyborg with a personality that is driven by big pharma.

Clinton, on the other hand, is part human, part pharmacological grab-bag. Her personality is at least partly determined by whatever cocktail of meds and wine are in her system at any given moment. In  other words, she is just like most adults. Our personalities are the product of the drugs in our system, for better or for worse.

Do you make the same decisions when you are tired? Do you make the same decisions when you’re angry, depressed, or in pain? Probably not. So if meds are fixing those conditions, those meds are also controlling your decisions. And that introduces risk.

Trump brings with him all the risks of being Trump, but he does seem to be the same person every day. Clinton brings with her all the risks of being Clinton, plus any extra risks from a glass of wine or doctor-prescribed meds. That risk could be nearly nothing. Or not. We have no way to know.

Wow! Profound! I would have never even considered that not insignificant detail. As I said, Scott is a serious thinker, and you ought to read and ponder the whole thing. BTW, his latest Dilbert comic strips are also available on the site, along with many other interesting blog posts. ◄Dave►

8 Responses to “Dilbert on Trump”

  • Really Interesting piece. I would not have thought of the “Chemical Cyborgs” either. However looking back apparently JFK had quite a drug dependency too.

    His point that Trump is no secret “what you see is what you get” so to speak is doable. I have always thought society in general can deal with “what is” much better than “what if” … 😉

    Thanks again for this find … I too think it is worth passing along 🙂

    • ◄Dave► says:

      JFK had quite a drug dependency

      Yes, so I have read. Interestingly, the other day I read somewhere that it appeared that Obama was stoned, while he was stuttering over trying to bash Trump. I hadn’t thought of it; but I have seen that befuddled look on his face before, and he does at times look out of it. 😉 ◄Dave►

  • The question that I think most often goes unasked is “What could this person do with the powers and limitations of the presidency?”.

    They can potentially end up selecting some Supreme Court justices. Trump has already released a list of judges as an example of who he would choose. While this is in no way binding, it shows that he does indeed know what a good choice would be, which is more than we can say for his opposition, or Obama.

    He can piss off foreign governments. He can’t unilaterally declare war, and I would like to hope that most such decisions aren’t made by a hotheaded moment by foreign nations. He seems to get along with leaders like Putin because he understands the nature of power and negotiation. Hillary recently said she would tell Putin to “cut it out”. I wish I could see if Putin failed as miserably as I did to keep a straight face at that one.

    He can veto things. This is in my opinion the primary power of the presidency beyond the people they appoint, and the reason I think Ron Paul (Dr. No) would have been the most powerful president in history.

    There are some other things too, but really, law is made by the legislative branch. Most of what a president does can be undone in an instant by the next. The worst president we are likely to get is the opposite of a loose cannon; it’s someone with puppet strings leading to the same hand that controls Congress. Trump scares me less than Clinton, or Bernie for that matter. Nothing worse than centrist puppets.

    • The question that I think most often goes unasked is “What could this person do with the powers and limitations of the presidency?”.

      In the case of Trump it boils down to how persuasive is he? I imagine those who choose to not go along with what he is trying to accomplish better have a fairly solid reason for not.

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Good input, Steel. I concur. Did Hillary say she would stamp her foot while telling Putin to “cut it out?” 😀 ◄Dave►

  • Troy Robinson says:

    IMHO, Hillary has long since been chosen to be our next president and I don’t know that there is anything meaningful we can do about it. (Sorry to those of you who are simple enough to think that WTS actually choose our presidents at the polls.)

    If Trump somehow presents a viable challenge, he will be killed. Period.

    Meanwhile, Governor Johnson, as expected, got the Libertarian nomination so I will, as usual, “not vote” by voting for Johnson.

    Why waste internet time discussing a done deal?

    Troy

    • ◄Dave► says:

      If Trump somehow presents a viable challenge, he will be killed. Period.

      You have been periodically reminding us of this dire prediction for months now, Troy. It probably explains why he now always wears a bullet proof vest in public, because he is not as easily intimidated by such threats as Perot was.

      It seems to me the obvious question from a rational thinker would be: If you truly believe that it is a done deal, and a waste of time to even discuss an alternative to the Crooked Cackler. If you are absolutely convinced that ‘they’ will go so far as to murder any serious threat to Her Thighness’ coronation. Then, why in the name of Zeus would you bother to waste the time and effort to go vote at all, much less for a charisma-challenged milquetoast loser, the vast majority of voters will still not ever even have heard of by election day? ◄Dave►

  • Troy Robinson says:

    BTW, I also am addicted to opium derivatives — for whatever that is worth.

    Troy

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