Friday, April 29, 2016

The real Dilbert speaks on Trump

Dilbert creator Scott Adams has been analyzing Trump's march to the Republican nomination.  He defies conventional wisdom and argues on his blog that Trump is a genius at work:

Now let’s talk about Trump’s sky-high unfavorability rating that hovers around 70%. Trump haters use that figure as their last hope. No one can get elected with such high negatives, they say.

That is cognitive dissonance. And it is one of the cleanest examples you will ever see. I’ll tell you why.

Literally everything about Trump’s campaign has violated form. He has no government experience, he isn’t polite, he hasn’t mastered the policy details, he isn’t taking money from big donors, and on and on. Yet he is poised to take the Republican nomination.

So none of the old rules apply to Trump. He has approached the election as a persuader, not a traditional politician.

No traditional politician could overcome a 70% unfavorability rating at this stage of the election cycle. But Trump isn’t a traditional politician. He’s a persuader.

Keep in mind that Clinton’s unfavorability is also high, at around 56%. That’s a 14 point difference from Trump. Can a Master Persuader close a 14-point gap before November?

I would rate that task as “easy.”

No one else in politics could close that kind of gap. But Trump has special tools and a willingness to use them. This challenge is almost exactly what Trump does well – change minds.

Let me list a few ways Trump could win despite high unfavorables.

1. Trump could make Clinton’s unfavorable ratings worse, which will be easy once Trump concentrates on her in the general election.

2. Trump could improve his own favorability by being more “presidential” for a few months so he doesn’t look so crazy.

3. Trump can sell the “two Trumps” story (while simultaneously denying it) until you start recognizing his campaign behavior as strategy, not insanity. That sale is underway now.....

8. Trump has already improved his haircut. The color is no longer orange and the cut is much better. Humans are visual creatures, and that old haircut probably accounted for about 10 points of his 70% unfavorable rating. The new look is probably already having a small effect....

10. The Syrian refugee crisis could spawn more terror attacks in Europe, or more rape stories. That seems likely. A few days ago, Germany’s chancellor, Merkel, came out in favor of refugee “safe zones” in Syria. That was Trump’s idea months ago. Everyone scoffed. Watch as Trump’s “crazy talk” from months ago turns into policy before your eyes....

13. As long as Cruz and Kasich are in the race, our minds allow us to imagine an alternative to Trump that is some sort of magical unicorn of goodness. Our brains are conflating all the non-Trump Republicans (including Romney and Ryan) into some sort of imaginary “other” that has qualities we like. Likewise, on the Democrat side, your brain is combining Clinton and Sanders as one conflated Democrat option. And Bernie brings some good qualities to that imaginary creature (such as the appearance of honesty).

Your brain has not yet compared Trump (alone) to Clinton (alone). You have only compared conflated concepts of a Clinton/Sanders creature to a Trump/Cruz/Kasich/Romney/Ryan creature. You think that isn’t happening in YOUR head, but it is. That’s how all of us are wired. We don’t compartmentalize as well as we think.

When the race gets down to a clean Trump versus Clinton contest, and people realize there are no other options, the comparison changes. Trump wins the matchup against “crooked Hillary” with ease, based on skill, not policies. You haven’t even imagined that contest yet. Your brain won’t let you....

You’re already hearing the word “landslide” applied to the upcoming Republican primaries. By October you will hear that Trump is “running unopposed” for all practical purposes.... Rest of blog post.


Anonymous said...

Just imagine what a Trump/Sanders ticket would be like.
If the legal system in the U.S. is worth a damn Hillary will be in jail or disqualified.

Anonymous said...

Gosh darn. Didn't realize it was so simple that a comic strip creator could figure it out.

Might as well call off the rest of the primaries and the general election. This is so clearly absolutely the answer.

Be like Trump. Ignore the fact that 70% of the people don't like him, don't trust him, and realize that he has not stated one single thing that he believes in or stands for.

But then again, this good analysis comes to you courtesy of a comic strip creator/blogger and a blogger.

Anonymous said...

Is this thread the best ya got for a Friday? Shit, God help us on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

Scott apparently wasn't a psychology major or else he wouldn't misuse the term cognitive dissonance. So, forgive me if I have a hard time thinking his predictions of human behavior will be accurate.
Trump's appeal is to those who are angry and feel either personally or financially threatened and are relatively ignorant and who are ignorant enough about how government functions to believe the big lies Trump sells. Sensationalist journalism plays a big role in generating fear and anger.
There are no conflicting beliefs within a single voter, but rather disagreement at how who can solve problems facing us, what those problems are ( seeing a transgender in a bathroom when I've never seen one other than in NOLA on Bourbon St or in the media doesn't seem like a realistic problem warranting legal action to conflict there), and how to best go about solving those problems ( Trump can't just fire people to fix it or bully others into doing what he wants done. He's not paying their salaries and can't sue them).
Can Trump win? There are a few scenarios where that could happen. Sanders people could stay home. Clinton could screw up badly or have something new thrown at her that has some credibility. But, then Republicans could stay at home as well.
But, he is not likely to overcome his negatives with women or with Hispanics or with those who simply think he's " that guy" ( the one who says " Have I got a deal for you!" but the deal is for him). And, those who really ,really dislike him will turn out to vote against him.
And, then there's the money. Trump has gotten a free ride on trashing others. He has brilliantly used the media. The Democrats have been able to keep their cash for the general election. The big GOP PAC money ( Koch for one) is not going to be with Trump.
It's a sad state of affairs when we have to choose a President between those we hate the least. As for me, I'll pick the one I hate because of his own words and actions I've actually witnessed rather than based on years of political attacks suggesting wrong doing that have , to this day, despite even Congressional investigations and the GOP in charge of the Justice Dept., gone nowhere. And, while I wouldn't choose Clinton for a friend, I know she's smart and experienced . She has actually seen our military at work in real time and knows what they can and can't do. She knows the difference between a Sunni and a Shia. But, even more important to me, her supporters, unlike Trump's, aren't threatening a Jewish reporter who wrote of Trump's wife's early history by threatening to put her in an oven or have her wear a yellow Star of David!

Anonymous said...

Wow.....7:48......hope you got paid by the word for that epistle.

I wouldn't vote for Dirty Hillary if her opponent was Mr. Decomposing Skunk. In that event, the skunk would get my vote.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that people always try to convince others that anyone who does not agree with them are ignorant? That is one of the reasons people are for Trump. All of the others keep telling people how ignorant they are.

I.B. Six Seven said...

Did it feel good @7:48?

Kingfish said...

Wow. It appears Oscar got out of his garbage can and learned how to use a computer. The analysis of the presidential race tends to sound alike after awhile so I thought I would post something a little bit different. Mr. Adams's theories will sound brilliant to some readers and garbage to others. A shame a couple of readers couldn't handle it.

Burke said...

Adams writes well, and does a good comic strip. The trouble with the strip is its unrelenting cynicism. Funny at first, but ultimately depressing. His arguments here are even more cynical, because his premise is that a majority of citizens who vote will be tricked by the snake oil salesman. If he wrote it as a kind of parody, that would be even worse.

I'm too lazy to look it up, but Andy Griffith starred in a movie in the 50s that was equally cynical about the manipulation of voters in a presidential election. Maybe it will show up on TV this summer and fall. "A Face in the Crowd"?

Burke said...

Sorry. "A Face in the Crowd" is about the rise to fame of a television pitch man. It does focus on how people can be manipulated by a famous media figure.

Anonymous said...

Yes I felt better after commenting on a piece that's clearly pro-Trump. Trump in no Goldwater. He's a loose cannon that doesn't know jack about running government.
And, I don't mind the Oscar analogy as I'm pretty sure there's garbage that Oscar would toss out of his can as well.

Anonymous said...

If the Democrats had a candidate who even knew what the most important problems facing the country are Trump would not have a chance. But they don't. The truck driver who ran for governor last year would be a better candidate.

Anonymous said...

Geaux Trump! TRUMP 2016!!!

Anonymous said...

I am really going to enjoy seeing Hillary squirm when Trump starts telling people about some of her deals.

Anonymous said...

Or when Trump starts to squirm when Hillary starts telling people about some of his deals.

Its going to be the worst case election our country has seen in a century. Only person that has a higher negative rating than Hillary is Trump. Nobody likes either of these clowns that consider themselves worthy of being President. But after what we have had for the past 8 years, guess they figure nobody can do much worse.

Anonymous said...

11:22, the difference will be that everyone knows everything Trump has ever done. He hasn't tried to hide much. Hillary has many skeletons in her closet she has been trying to hide. Trump will remind everyone what she is hiding and why. Bill will be hiding under the bed, not Hillary's bed either.

Anonymous said...

Its going to be the worst case election our country has seen in a century.

Name the 2nd worse in the last 100 years.

Anonymous said...

Bill will be hiding under the bed, not Hillary's bed either.

That's funny.......

Ophelia said...

Mr. Trump has emerged when the time is ripe for such an anarchist, such a lord of misrule: when the tide of voters' frustration is at the full. I think he will win. Sen. Clinton is simply too unattractive to too many people, and her awkward efforts to seem likeable fall flat with everyone except those who "liked" her to begin with. For the latter camp, she can do no wrong, of course. So, an interesting contest is in store.

Writers often invent characters' names to be emblematic of their traits. "Trump" is a cognate of the French *tromper* (to deceive). And yet, I think he's the candidate who has been most candid; it's Sen. Clinton, who, I fear, has the most to dread from a sharp, relentless inquiry into her doings. "Hil(l)arious," it will be. Let the show begin!

Anonymous said...

Sen. Clinton is simply too unattractive to too many people...

Yep.......butt ugly.

Ophelia said...

I was not referring to her physical unattractiveness, 5:51.

Anonymous said...

Everyone already knows how crooked both Clintons are. No one really cares. It is a party thing. If you belong to their party you will make excuses for anything they do. It doesn't matter if it is legal or not. Doesn't matter if it is the cause of people loosing their lives.
One good thing. The republican party is the same way.
The American people deserve the politicians they elect. Meanwhile the quality of life in the U.S. is headed down. But don't worry. The politicians will take care of themselves, their family, and certain friends. Too bad you will be one of those paying for it.

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