PostHeaderIcon Dilbert’s Grand Wager

Scott Adams at his best: “The Crook Versus the Monster

Thanks to timely assists from Wikileaks, Trump has successfully framed Hillary clinton as a crooked politician. Meanwhile, Clinton has successfully framed Trump as a dangerous monster. If the mainstream polls are accurate, voters prefer the crook to the monster. That makes sense because a crook might steal your wallet but the monster could kill you. As of today, Clinton has the superior persuasion strategy. Crook beats monster.

Reality isn’t a factor in this election, as per usual. If the truth mattered, voters might care that the Democratic primaries were rigged against Sanders. They might care that the Clinton Foundation looks like a pay-to-play scheme. They might care that the FBI gave Clinton a free pass. They might care that we know Clinton cheated in at least one debate by getting a question in advance. They might care that Clinton’s dirty-tricks people incited the violence at Trump rallies. They might care that Clinton’s “speaking fees” were curiously high. They might care about all of that. But they don’t, because a crook is still a safer choice than a monster.

This is a consistent theme of Adam’s blog, in which he endeavors mightily to help us understand how insignificant most of the scandals we obsess over, will be to the ultimate outcome of this election. Today, he takes it up a notch.

The biggest illusion this election is that we think the people on the other side can’t see the warts on their own candidate. But I think they do. Clinton supporters know she is crooked, but I think they assume it is a normal degree of crookedness for an American politician. Americans assume that even the “good” politicians are trading favors and breaking every rule that is inconvenient to them. I’ve never heard a Clinton supporter defend Clinton as being pure and honest. Her supporters like her despite her crookedness.

Likewise, Trump supporters know what they are getting. They know he’s offensive. They know he’s under-informed on policies. They know he pays as little in taxes as possible. They know he uses bankruptcy laws when needed. They know he ignores facts that are inconvenient to his message. They just don’t care. They want to push the monster into Washington D.C., close the door, and let him break everything that needs to be broken. Demolition is usually the first step of building something new. And Trump also knows how to build things when he isn’t in monster mode.

I’d say that pretty much nails it. It certainly explains why I keep cheering Trump on, no matter how cringe-worthy some of his foibles. But, why can’t Hillary’s supporters see what I see?

Clinton’s team of persuaders have successfully crafted Trump’s offensive language and hyperbole into an illusion that he’s a sexist/racist in some special way that is different from the average citizen. The reality is that everyone is a little bit sexist and a little bit racist. We’re all wired that way. There’s no escape if you are human. Our brains are pattern-recognition machines, but not good ones. That’s what gets us in trouble. We see patterns where none exist. None of us are exempt from that. But we can use our limited sense of reason to see past it.

Clinton’s persuaders have taken advantage of the public’s faulty pattern recognition to build an illusion about Trump that he is a horrible monster who hates people because of their genitalia, their skin pigmentation, and their sexual preferences. I don’t believe Trump holds any of those views in 2016. But there is plenty of confirmation bias to make us think he does, thanks to Team Clinton’s persuasion efforts.

Read the whole post for examples of confirmation bias; but this was stunning:

I can’t change anyone’s mind if they see Trump as a monster. So instead I will make you a promise.

My promise: If Trump gets elected, and he does anything that looks even slightly Hitler-ish in office, I will join the resistance movement and help kill him. That’s an easy promise to make, and I hope my fellow citizens would use their Second Amendment rights to rise up and help me kill any Hitler-type person who rose to the top job in this country, no matter who it is.

As I often say, Democrats generally use guns to commit crimes. Republican use guns for sport and for self-defense. If you are a Republican gun-owner, and you value the principles of the Constitution, I’m confident you would join me in the resistance movement and help kill any leader that exhibited genuine animosity toward people because of their genitalia, sexual preference, or skin pigmentation.

In other words, I’m willing to bet my life that the “monster” view of Trump is an illusion.

I’m impressed! Me too. Count me in, Scott… as you say, that is an easy commitment. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

15 Responses to “Dilbert’s Grand Wager”

  • Jerry Elkins says:

    Since when did Trump become a monster. Because the media says it does not make it true. Because a democrat says it does not make it true. But there is evidence Hillary is a crook and in her own words a monster.

    • You may have missed the whole point, Jerry. It matters not what you think, or what I think, or even what is true. Those managing Hillary’s persuasion techniques, have convinced enough people that Trump is a monster, that they are willing to vote for a known crook, to save America from what they perceive such a monster might do. They are as convinced that he is an existential threat to our existence, as you are likely convinced that she is. Adams is dramatically attempting to dispel that illusion. â—„Daveâ–º

  • I was a little shocked he went there. I expect he’s had an uncomfortable visit with the Secret Service by now.

    I don’t agree that everyone sees the warts on their own candidate. Some do, but I still see plenty of people saying there’s no proof she’s done anything wrong. It’s part partisanship, part confirmation bias, and part unwillingness to seek details from a reliable or opposing source.

    • I expect he’s had an uncomfortable visit with the Secret Service by now.

      I doubt it. He has threatened no one… yet, and clearly thinks such will remain entirely unnecessary. How could they object to his rhetorical point, without admitting that they were an un-American Praetorian Guard, willing to dutifully defend an unhinged madman, from the wrath of the nation they are supposed to be serving?

      When people say “there’s no proof,” that is almost an admission that they believe it is true – just unprovable. Otherwise, they would deny that it is true outright. Sure, there are still a few naive true believers wandering about; but even the polls suggest that the vast majority of their own supporters, have issues with their characters. I find Adam’s general thesis rather “persuasive.” 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

  • Unfortunately what is becoming more clear each day is the U.S. ethical and moral system has gone to hell in a hand-basket while no one was paying attention.

    That to me is most interesting.
    The decline of family.
    Feminism and men letting women get away with it.

    Guys imagine how hard it is going to be to get that horse back in the barn.

    I kid you not what I would give for 30 minutes with Megyn Kelly to give her a good BITCH SLAPPING! She thinks she is a shining example for women?
    I literally can not stand watching her more than 5 minutes on her most interesting topics.

    My guess is after the election Fox news will be belly up in less than 3 years.

    I must be the only one in the world who intuitively thinks Gretchen Carlson pulled a feminist (he looked at me the wrong way) on Ailes.

    Okay that is the end of my rant for the day … LOL

  • ROFL …

    but not since she cut her hair

    What does her hair have to do with it? 🙂

    • It is a man thing, CT; ask your brother. Generally, men prefer long hair on a woman. It may have something to do with how it looks on a pillow. Did you ever see her Maxim photo shoot? 😉

      Seriously, I have always found it confusing, why most modern women tend to making grooming and fashion choices to please/impress other women, rather than men. Men are different. Trump doesn’t maintain that coif to impress the guys on the golf course. Even at my age, if there were no women, I would never bother to shave. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

  • Speaking of Dilbert, long hair, and fashion choices – have you guys seen Scott’s new girlfriend?

    Better yet: Dilbert’s Doll

    …talk about a master of persuasion! Even Godzilla can’t be that good. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

    • Wow! I have to admit, that just added to his credibility.

      Speaking of such things, the most I can remember having my opinion of a man go up because of his wife, was Dennis Kucinich. The man’s got no money. He used to drive his hatchback to the debates.

      I don’t really have a problem with the fact that women dress for women, I just wish they would quit pretending it’s men’s fault. Or that their locker room talk is better. We may be a bit objectifying, but they’re downright mean.

      • Agreed, Steel. I find it fascinating that I can easily accept Adams good fortune, probably because I find him likable, and young arm candy for an older alpha male seems somewhat normal. Yet the incongruity of the Kucinich picture just gives me cognitive dissonance. I don’t know if it is my political biases against him, or the fact that she looks like an Amazon with a little alien creature on her arm; but it just does not compute. 😉 â—„Daveâ–º

    • Chris says:

      Yikes! Now I know why I have always lamented my lack of artistic talent. Anything more detailed than a stick man is out of my wheel house. Obviously many other things are too. 🙂

  • Chris says:

    It seems Mr. Adams is a believer in unforced errors like Mr. Trump. I get it. You will get it. Too bad we aren’t the only people that vote. I doubt I can embed here so if you think it worth while Dave please do.

    If there are no sponsored terror attacks before Election Day, it means ISIS prefers Clinton. They have the means. Think about it. #Trump— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) October 25, 2016

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