The Belgium Analogy

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Regular readers know I have been waging a battle in this blog against analogies. The problem with analogies is that people use them in place of reason. For example, the biggest analogy going around lately is that Trump is the next Hitler.

And by now you know that arguing why Trump is NOT like Hitler changes no one’s mind. Analogies are not part of reason, but they are higher than reason on the influence stack. So how do you kill a bad analogy if you can’t use reason?

Two ways. The first is to appeal to identity because that is higher up the influence stack. So, for example, Trump could say some version of “We’re Americans, and the instinct for freedom is in your DNA. Have some confidence in our constitution and in our people that a dictatorship can never happen on our shores.”

Some version of that might work. But it comes with risk. Headlines the next day would be a picture of Trump next to a picture of Hitler, and Trump’s hypothetical quote “I’M NOT HITLER.” That would make things worse because the visual would overwhelm the words. So there might be no clean way in this case to appeal to identity as a way of destroying an analogy.

The other way to neutralize a bad analogy is with an equally bad analogy that cancels out the first one. For example, as of today, the Trump=Hitler analogy is partly neutralized by Belgium=USA-with-porous-borders.

Trump’s largest obstacle to the White House is the idea that he is a racist, despite the fact he has not mentioned race in any negative way. (He mentions countries and religions only.) The Belgium analogy goes a long way toward solving for that. No one in the United States wants to be the future Belgium.

But I also predicted Trump would go on a love offensive to counteract the accusations of racism. He has always used the word love a lot, but usually referring to his supporters or America in general. Now he has started using the love word to refer to protesters and Latinos. You’ll see more of it. Why? Because it works. And it works because your experience tells you real racists can’t publicly proclaim their love for groups they hate. They might be able to do it once, with fingers crossed, just to get elected. But no racist can publicly and frequently profess love for someone he hates. It would be transparent if he tried. So Trump simply has to keep saying love until you believe it. It is nothing but a numbers game now. Love, love, love. He already started.

Love is the answer, but the attack in Belgium reduced Trump’s third act problem by half. 

If you have any friends who won’t take your excellent advice about life, trying giving them my book. It will take the pressure off you.

Social Media is the New Government

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The founders of the United States designed a system in which voters elected smart people and those smart people ran the country. They called it a republic.

Over time, money corrupted the system. Rich people became the real power. The rich controlled the media, and that was enough to control the minds of voters. Let’s call that system a type of “economic fascism.” By that I mean the real power is the top 1% (as opposed to one dictator) and the rest of the country has no real power.

Society has improved a great deal under economic fascism. Slavery ended, women gained equal rights, and gays are getting married. We also have lots of social nets and whatnot. But that stuff only happens because the top 1% is okay with it. As long as the rich get richer, the people at the top are fine with any other change. The rich don’t want the poor to riot, so some policies have to favor the masses. Drug cartels operate the same way. They provide social services to put the locals on their side.

In 2016, our form of government took a new turn. Thanks to social media, the most persuasive ideas can always find an audience. The top 1% are no longer the gate keepers of truth with their control of the media. Now any good persuader can rise to the top of the influence pile. All he or she needs is a smartphone.

In our new form of government, a trained persuader such as Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders gains popularity on social media and forces the traditional media to fall in line. That form of government looks more like populism. The majority has more control than it did under a republic or under economic fascism.

But what about the tyranny of the majority problem? Will social media lead to mob rule because the majority has too much power?

I think the Internet and social media solve for that problem. Consider what is happening at Trump rallies. The entire public is watching every skirmish and dust-up at those rallies. The fear is that the small scuffles will escalate to something terrible. But social media solves for that. Every person at a Trump rally knows the world is watching. And it isn’t just big media that is watching. Every phone in every pocket is a direct link to the world. And Trump supporters know their candidate would be done if a big riot broke out. Social media has already taken control of Trump rallies. We should expect to see more scuffles and punches from individual idiots, but no widespread rioting. The crowd knows that violence works against them. But only because social media is watching so closely.

As a general rule, evil grows where no one is looking. If it grows too big before anyone notices, then it is hard to put the genie back in the bottle. But social media is the ultimate eye on evil. It spots evil fast and shines the light of public scrutiny on it. Is that enough to say our new system is better than the last?

I don’t know. But the bar was low. Economic fascism doesn’t seem too hard to beat.

Inspiration for this topic from Naval Ravikant’s article American Spring.

Bumper Sticker Thinking

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Perhaps you are familiar with this famous quote:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

The idea here is that patterns in history repeat. That might be true. Or it might be false. I have no idea. But I’ll tell you one thing I know with 100% certainty: 

People see patterns where there are none.

Oh, and people also fail to see patterns when they exist.

I don’t know whether or not historical patterns repeat themselves. All I know for sure is that the stuff we think are important patterns are mostly confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance. We see the patterns we want to see.

Don’t believe me? How about an example.

On Twitter, people have been hammering me over the fact that Clinton has higher poll numbers than Trump in a general election matchup. Therefore, say the helpful strangers on Twitter, Clinton will probably win, because polls usually do a good job of predicting the future. People believe polls have predicted well in the past – albeit imperfectly – and we should expect them to predict fairly well in the future. History repeats itself, right?

But here’s the thing. I have publicly and accurately predicted Trump’s rise since last summer. And I ignored polls to do it. Doesn’t my track record count as history that will repeat itself?

If polls say Trump will lose, and I say Trump will win, you have two histories that predict opposite outcomes. Which one do you pick?

Answer: The one that agrees with your existing opinion.

Looking at history is bullshit if you don’t know which part of history matters. And you don’t. Because people are dumb like that.

Here’s another name for historical patterns: Analogies.

Analogies are not a useful component of reason in the way most people believe they are. Just because something reminds you of something does not mean there is causation. Analogies are not about causation. Analogies are great tools for explaining new things for the first time, and that is about all they are good for. For example, the game laser tag is like a real gunfight except with toy guns that have harmless lasers instead of bullets. That analogy saved me a lot of time explaining something new. But that is ALL it did.

The gunfight analogy has no predictive power beyond that. I can’t, for example, assume people will die playing laser tag because they die during real gun fights.

Analogies are for explaining, not predicting. Analogies are not part of logic or reason.

And while I’m at it, how about Occam’s Razor? Occam’s Razor says the simplest explanation of things is usually correct. It must be true because most educated adults are familiar with Occam’s Razor. And anecdotally, it does seem as if the simplest explanation is usually true. For example, the simplest explanation for the universe is that a magic turtle created it all. If you have some fancy theory about The Big Bang and evolution, you better keep it to yourself because my turtle theory is the simplest one. Therefore, it must be right.

Sarcasm: off

In reality, the simplest explanation to you tends to be the one you already believe is correct. Cognitive dissonance makes you see your preferred answer as the simple one even when it isn’t. 

Still not convinced? The next time you are with a group of friends, ask them to answer some controversial political or spiritual question. Watch how often your dumbest friend has the simplest (and most wrong) explanation of things. Does it look like a coincidence to you?

The simplest explanation usually either comes from someone trying to manipulate you by leaving out important details or from someone too dumb to understand complicated things. The end.

In summary, history might repeat itself, but humans have no reliable way of knowing which patterns are the important ones. Or as I like to say:

“Those who think the past predicts the future are condemned to pick the wrong stocks.” – Scott Adams

How to Know Trump is in Your Head

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Is it my imagination… or is Hillary Clinton yelling her speeches lately?

And didn’t Donald Trump start questioning her “stamina” a few months ago?

In the 2D world of politics, those two things are unrelated. But in the 3D world of persuasion, Trump is making Clinton yell herself hoarse to prove she has stamina. 

And once she is hoarse and tired from all the yelling, Trump will point out that she lacks stamina.

Yes, he is that good.

And do you think it is a coincidence that Trump called Megyn Kelly a bimbo and then she got a non-bimbo haircut that is …well, Trumpian? It doesn’t look like a coincidence to this trained persuader.

And is it a coincidence that Bernie Sanders and everyone else in the world including me can’t stop saying one thing “trumped” another? And why the hell is everything suddenly huuuuuuge? (Or yuuuuuge.)

And when Clinton’s campaign decided on its clever new slogan of “Love Trumps Hate,” did they realize they were LITERALLY MAKING CAMPAIGN POSTERS TO INFLUENCE PEOPLE TO LOVE DONALD TRUMP?

No, they did not. 

But that’s what happened.

Today I coined the phrase persuasion denier for people who think Clinton’s current poll numbers mean she will beat Trump in November. If persuasion is real – and significant for elections – the past will not predict the future. The Master Persuader will warp reality until he gets what he wants. He’s halfway done.

I wrote a book that has been ignored by over 6 billion people. Don’t be one of them. I have it on good authority that at least 5 billion of those people are not nice. Avoid that association at all costs.

Stamina - Trump’s Linguistic Kill Shot for Clinton (Master Persuader Series)

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Donald Trump has been saying lots of bad things about Hillary Clinton for months, but the one that will stick is “stamina.” I’ll tell you why.

The best Trump kill shots have the following qualities.

1. Fresh word that is not generally used in politics

2. Relates to the physicality of the subject (so you are always reminded)

Clinton has already experienced some coughing fits on the campaign trail. And her voice often sounds hoarse, which is to be expected when you give speeches every day. Neither of those things mean much. But add the Internet rumors that Clinton has some lingering brain issues from a concussion, plus her long bathroom break during that one debate, and some rumors that she has trouble with balance, and there you go. That’s enough circumstantial “evidence” to convict her of being unhealthy. 

Well, maybe.

The so-called evidence in this case is probably a mix of true facts that might not matter too much plus rumors and speculation. If you looked at any one piece of “evidence” on its own, it would mean nothing. But put it all together and you have…confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is what makes you see any kind of evidence as supporting your point of view. Once Trump puts in our heads the idea that Clinton might have some stamina (health) issues, that’s all we will see in the evidence, even if it doesn’t exist.

And that is why “stamina” is such a well-engineered kill shot. Between now and November, the odds of Clinton having another coughing fit, losing her balance, forgetting something, or having some other health issue is nearly 100%. Trump has primed his “stamina” kill shot to get stronger as time goes by. Confirmation bias will keep adding “evidence” to his suggestion even if that evidence is imaginary.

Some folks reminded me that Trump has been using the stamina kill shot for months with no real effect. But stamina is a sleeper word. It gets reactivated every time the real world triggers it in your brain. And the real world is certain to deliver.

What happens the next time you see Hillary Clinton looking tired? Under normal circumstances you might tell yourself that all candidates look tired. And they should, given the workload. But Trump primed you to see any bit of fatigue in Clinton as a health issue. So you will.

Keep in mind that Trump always goes where he has an advantage against an opponent. Trump’s big advantage (I think) is that he appears to be managing his physical energy better. I’ll bet he spends fewer hours campaigning but uses those hours better because he draws big crowds.

In my book, I talk about using “energy” as the primary metric for you own life. When you do things that keep your energy high, the rest of your life works out better. You are more fun to be around, better looking, more productive, and more credible. Trump seems to be managing his energy whereas his opponents are trying to maximize voter contact. They probably spend more time prepping for debates than Trump does, trying to memorize important facts that Trump doesn’t care about. If I’m right, Trump will keep his energy high and Clinton will fade over the months from exhaustion. Voters will see it.

You won’t remember that Clinton worked harder on the campaign trail, or that she did more studying to command the facts. You stopped caring about that stuff a thousand campaign lies ago. But you will remember any health or energy issues that Clinton might experience in the coming months.

What if Clinton copies Trump and reduces her schedule to keep her energy high? That would look to the public and the pundits as if Clinton doesn’t have the stamina. Trump wins either way. And that’s another tell for a Trump strategy. He creates two ways to win and no way to lose.

Another advantage of “stamina” as a kill shot is that it reminds you of sex without being a sexual word. It makes you think Trump has this stamina thing (sexual power) and Clinton does not. And when Trump shows up with his model wife, the message is reinforced. Add a shaky and unhealthy Bill Clinton to the mix and the contrast is even bigger. Stamina works in Trump’s favor on every level.

On a related topic, many of you asked my opinion on Trump’s anti-Clinton ad that shows Hillary Clinton barking like a dog and Putin laughing. I give the ad an A+ for persuasion. It was funny and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the same time it appealed to our irrational minds just as Trump intends. Your rational mind knows that Clinton’s “barking” has nothing to do with anything. But your irrational mind sees Putin and ISIS looking powerful on the video while Clinton barks like a chihuahua. 

The humor in the ad is what makes it work. Without the humor it would look like a lame comparison. And people equate a good sense of humor with high intelligence, whether or not that is true. The ad leaves us feeling that Trump is funny-smart and Clinton is ridiculous. 

You know who wasn’t funny? Hitler, that’s who. Every time Trump makes us laugh he chips away at the Hitler meme that has been dogging him. So it works on a branding level too.

Don’t listen to the 2D pundits who say the ad looked like it was created by a college student. Ignore anyone who says it lacks content. That video is a masterpiece of viral persuasion. 

Real Donald Trump Quotes about Women

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Have you seen the anti-Trump video that features women quoting Donald Trump’s most offensive statements about women? 

I just showed it to a woman. She thought it was funny. Apparently nothing that Trump says comes off as offensive to her. 

The reason I checked with a woman is because I didn’t trust my own reaction. To me, the video looked like the most tone-deaf ad of all time. I would rank it as among the worst I have ever seen in terms of persuasion. I’m guessing it worked in Trump’s favor.

On the 2D level of reality – where we pretend people are rational – the video makes perfect sense. The makers of the video figured women voters would not like a candidate that says bad things about women. That seems totally logical. I can see why they made the video.

But on the 3D level of persuasion, what the viewer sees is several average-looking women in bad moods complaining about a guy being, well…  a guy. I assume men won’t be offended by the video because Trump is no more of a jerk than most men. And men probably don’t get a warm feeling from the judgmental, angry messengers in the video. That video looks like a huge fail to me.

But I’m curious how other people react to it. In the comments, tell me your gender and your reaction to the video. Show the video to a coworker if you can, and watch the reaction.

I predict that 85% of women and 95% of men simply think it is funny and they end up with a more positive image of Trump as a person who says whatever he is thinking. That quality has almost universal appeal on an interpersonal level.

Am I wrong?

Clinton Versus Trump

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It looks like we’ll have a Clinton versus Trump contest for the White House. 

The last time Trump and Clinton mixed it up hard, Clinton called Trump sexist and Trump responded that she was an enabler for her husband’s womanizing. In summary:

- Clinton accused Trump of being anti-woman

- Trump accused Clinton of being anti-woman

I wonder if we have seen all of the permutations of gender politics. I doubt we will see Clinton accuse Trump of being anti-male. That wouldn’t stick.

But we haven’t seen Trump accuse Clinton of being anti-male. And that would stick like tar. He might be saving that one for later.

Remember that Linguistic Kill Shots such as low-energy, little Marco, and robotic generally have two characteristics that make them work:

1. The label must be a fresh one you have not seen in politics.

2. Voters must be reminded of the label every time they see or hear the subject.

I’ve never heard a politician call another one anti-male. So this approach qualifies on the freshness dimension. And any time you hear Clinton talk about making the world better for women – which is obviously a legitimate goal – it would remind you she cares less about men, even if that isn’t true. (We don’t know what is in her head.)

Trump could frame Clinton as anti-male without ever saying “anti-male.” The exact words matter less than the concept. But the words do need to be catchy in some way, so everyone wants to repeat them.

My gut feeling is that men will abandon Clinton every day from now until November unless Trump murders a baby on live television. Otherwise, I think Trump wins easily with men. 

But women are the interesting wild card in this scenario. For the sake of discussion, let’s say half of Clinton’s female supporters have a grudge against men. That seems about right if you consider all the attention on gender discrimination. Now add to that all the abusive relationships women have experienced, both personally and professionally, and you have plenty of reasons for women to be anti-male, even if only subconsciously.

But the hypothetical half of women that do not have a grudge against men would run like the wind to avoid being labelled anti-male. It goes to identity. And identity is always the strongest level of persuasion. The only way to beat it is with dirty tricks or a stronger identity play.

Trump is well on his way to owning the identities of American, Alpha Males, and Women Who Like Alpha Males. Clinton is well on her way to owning the identities of angry women, beta males, immigrants, and disenfranchised minorities.

If this were poker, which hand looks stronger to you for a national election?

I pause here to remind you that I don’t agree with any of the candidates on policies. I’ll blog more on that later. My interest is in Trump’s persuasion skills.

Changing the topic just a bit…

Prediction: I predicted on Twitter that Trump would solve his “third act problem” (of being an accused racist) by going to the high ground of love. He already says he loves his supporters, and he loves his family, and wounded veterans, and his country. But that won’t be enough. To solve for being an accused racist  he would need to say he loves the groups that hate him. And he would have to say it often. 

Why would people believe Trump? Simple. Racists can’t say in public that they love the people they really hate. They can’t sell that kind of lie, so they would avoid the situation entirely. On some level you know that.

So expect some love coming soon. That’s the ultimate high ground. You can’t mock it and you can’t top it.

Donald Trump - Con Man

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Donald Trump is a con man. He’s also a fraud, a liar, a snake-oil salesman, and a carnival barker. Clearly he is running a scam on the country. 

Trump calls himself a “deal-maker.” 

I call Trump a Master Persuader.

It’s all the same thing. Trump says and does whatever he needs to do in order to get the results he wants. And apparently he does it well. Given the facts, you can either see Trump as highly skilled or morally flawed. Maybe both. I suppose it depends which side you are on.

Last autumn, when Trump was looking like a serious contender, I told you he would change more than politics. I said Trump would change how you see the human condition. I couldn’t say more about that until it played out. You needed some more evidence before I could make that case. Now you have it.

The evidence is that Trump completely ignores reality and rational thinking in favor of emotional appeal. Sure, much of what Trump says makes sense to his supporters, but I assure you that is coincidence. Trump says whatever gets him the result he wants. He understands humans as 90% irrational and acts accordingly. 

Rand Paul, on the other hand, treated voters as if they were intelligent creatures who make decisions based on the facts. His campaign didn’t last long with that message. Rand Paul knows about a lot of stuff. He’s a smart guy. But apparently psychology is not on the list of things he knows. And psychology is the only necessary skill for running for president.

Trump knows psychology. He knows facts don’t matter. He knows people are irrational. So while his opponents are losing sleep trying to memorize the names of foreign leaders – in case someone asks – Trump knows that is a waste of time. No one ever voted for a president based on his or her ability to name heads of state. People vote based on emotion. Period.

You used to think Trump ignored facts because he doesn’t know them. That’s partly true. There are plenty of important facts Trump does not know. But the reason he doesn’t know those facts is – in part – because he knows facts don’t matter. They never have and they never will. So he ignores them.

Right in front of you. 

And he doesn’t apologize or correct himself. If you are not trained in persuasion, Trump looks stupid, evil, and maybe crazy. If you understand persuasion, Trump is pitch-perfect most of the time. He ignores unnecessary rational thought and objective data and incessantly hammers on what matters (emotions).

Did Trump’s involvement in the birther thing confuse you? Were you wondering how Trump could believe Obama was not a citizen? The answer is that Trump never believed anything about Obama’s place of birth. The facts were irrelevant, so he ignored them while finding a place in the hearts of conservatives. For later. 

This is later. He plans ahead.

Do you remember a year ago when you thought humans were rational most of the time – let’s say 90% of the time – and irrational the rest of the time? That was how most people saw the world, and still do. But Trump is teaching you that you had it backwards. The truth is that humans are irrational 90% of the time. 

Hypnosis students learn on the first day of classes that humans are irrational. If you believe people are rational it interferes with the technique. Likewise, if you see voters as rational you’ll be a terrible politician. People are not wired to be rational. Our brains simply evolved to keep us alive. Brains did not evolve to give us truth. Brains merely give us movies in our minds that keeps us sane and motivated. But none of it is rational or true, except maybe sometimes by coincidence.

You can validate my low opinion of human rationality by asking yourself why Trump supporters don’t care that nothing he says is true. Trump literally makes up facts on the fly. Do you think his supporters have not noticed this awkward situation?

They noticed. They don’t care. And at this point they understand he’s just saying what he needs to say to get elected. Democrats will call that evil. Republicans will call it effective. 

We all understand that a president has to be the leader of dumb people as well as smart people – and there are far more dumb people. So how does one kind of message get through to two totally different types of voters? Trump’s solution, so far, is to influence the dumb people via emotion while winking to the smart people so we know he is smart and not crazy. The wink is what tells you he probably isn’t Hitler. The wink says he is doing what he needs to do to get elected.

I saw the wink sooner than most of you because I study persuasion. So none of his crazy behavior looked crazy to me. It looked skillful to the extreme. So skillful, in fact, that he got to the point where he can literally say any damned thing and his supporters don’t care how true it is. They care that he is on their side and doing whatever it takes to tear down the money-puppets in Washington.

If you don’t see Trump’s wink, you can be forgiven for thinking he is Hitler. He probably knew the risks. Reagan had the same experience. Trump is following the Reagan game plan so he had to expect what is happening now.

But is Trump dangerous? The only thing we know for sure is that he’s a huge racist. I can say that with confidence because of all the dog-whistles and other clues. 

For example, Trump asked his supporters to give the Nazi salute and pledge their support to him. You might think that raising your hand is the same sort of oath people take to serve on an American jury trial or to become citizens. But when you see it in context, it is totally Hitler.

Some of the context is that Trump did not disavow the KKK as quickly as we expected in that one interview. He did disavow the KKK and David Duke before that interview and lots of times after. He says he didn’t hear the question that one time. That sounds totally reasonable until you consider it in context. And some of that context includes asking his people to give the Nazi salute.

And obviously Trump is a racist for suggesting a temporary ban on Muslim immigration until we figure out what the problem is. You might be tempted to say Muslims are comprised of all sorts of ethnicities, and all he is doing is favoring legal citizens over non-citizens, which is the job description of the President of the United States. But again, you have to see it in context. This is the same man who doesn’t disavow the KKK when he can’t hear the question and who makes his supporters do Nazi-looking stuff with their arms. You have to see the whole picture.

Trump also wants to build a wall on the Mexican border and deport all of the illegal Mexicans in this country. That is clearly Hitler behavior because those people are brown and Trump has the same mouth shape as Mussolini. Trump’s supporters might point out that the job of the President is to secure borders and favor citizens over non-citizens, but again, you have to see it in context. This is the man who didn’t disavow the KKK when he didn’t hear the question, makes his supporters do Nazi arm things, and discriminates against the Muslim race that is actually a belief system and not a race. When you put it all together, that’s too much smoke to say there is no fire, right? I mean rationally-speaking.

For more on the topic of humans being irrational, see my description of Moist Robots in my book.

The Trump Riots That are Mostly My Fault

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http://blog.dilbert.com/post/140995102361

I would like to begin this post by disavowing Scott Adams. It seems I am mostly to blame for the recent scuffles at Trump rallies. I apologize for this and for the nuclear annihilation that is likely ahead of us after Trump wins the presidency in a landslide.

The short explanation of my guilt is that although I support none of Trump’s policies (and no one else’s policies), my glowing reports about Trump’s persuasion skills makes me a “cheerleader” for Trump and an “apologist.” That’s what the public is telling me and I have no reason to doubt them. So I take full responsibility and I disavow myself.

It would be tempting to blame the mainstream media for the recent disruptions at Trump rallies. But the media is just reporting the news. They aren’t the disrupters.

It would be easy to blame Trump for talking in a way that incites negative emotions in people. But that’s free speech. You can’t blame the person who is following the law when other people break it.

It would be easy to blame Bernie Sanders because his supporters organized the Chicago Trump rally disruption. But Sanders didn’t ask anyone to do that, so we can’t blame him. Same with Clinton.

It would be easy to blame the protesters for taking things too far. But all they are doing is responding to hate speech from the next Hitler. Shouldn’t someone be fighting hard to stop Hitler? We can’t blame people for wanting fewer Hitlers. 

So it all comes back to me. Readers tell me I legitimized Trump with my blogging about his genius for persuasion. I accept that blame. Some have suggested that my so-called predictions about Trump are actually a form of persuasion that has caused some of his success. I plead guilty to that as well.

But it gets worse. 

Back in 1997 I made a prediction in my book The Dilbert Future that seems to be coming true. It stated: 

In the future, the media will kill famous people to generate news that people will care about. The Dilbert Future (May 1997)

Three months later, the media chased Princess Di into a tunnel and created a dangerous situation that killed her but was terrific for television news ratings. The media didn’t plot to kill anyone, but they created a situation that made it likely someone important would die because of the way their business model works. That was the basis for my prediction.

Fast-forward to today and we see the media priming the public to try to kill Trump, or at least create some photogenic mayhem at a public event. Again, no one is sitting in a room plotting Trump’s death, but – let’s be honest – at least half of the media believes Trump is the next Hitler, and a Hitler assassination would be morally justified. Also great for ratings. The media would not be charged with any crime for triggering some nut to act. There would be no smoking gun. No guilt. No repercussions. Just better ratings and bonuses all around.

In the 2D world of reason, no one in the media consciously wants a candidate for president to be injured, and no one is consciously acting in a way that would make it happen.  But in the 3D world of persuasion, society has decided to lance the wart that is Trump. Collectively – the media, the public, and the other candidates – are creating a situation that is deeply dangerous for Trump.

Is it justified?

According to social media, and the mainstream media as well, Trump might be the next Hitler because he does things Hitler would have done. For example:

  • Trump is charismatic and appeals to our prejudices.
  • Trump approves of violence against people he thinks deserve it.
  • Trump blames “others” for the nation’s problems.
  • Trump has an authoritarian vibe.

All that is true. But it would be equally easy to build a list of why Trump is definitely NOT like Hitler. For example:

  • Trump is anti-war. Hitler, not so much.
  • Trump asks us to favor legal citizens over non-citizens. He makes no mention of race. Hitler killed his own citizens and mostly cared about race.
  • Trump wants citizens to be heavily armed to protect themselves against bad people, including dictators. Hitler didn’t want to arm his potential enemies.
  • Trump wants greater freedom of speech that would include politically incorrect topics. Hitler wasn’t so big on free speech for others.
  • Trump assures us his genitalia have “no problem.” Hitler had one testicle.

I could go on, but you see how easy this is. The mainstream media can either portray Trump as Hitler or non-Hitler. So far, they have chosen (subconsciously I assume) the Hitler analogy all the way.

Again, none of this is conscious. It is just the result of individuals pursuing their own emotional truths and doing the best they can. Weirdly, everyone involved is trying to make the world a better place. But at least half of them have the wrong plan. We just don’t know which half.

So now we have a situation in which two-thirds of the country and most of the mainstream media believe Trump is a Hitler-in-the-making that must be stopped. Only the mainstream media can remedy this situation and apparently that is not financially advantageous. So don’t expect anything but escalation in the “disruptions” and violence.

The Secret Service will do a great job of protecting Trump. But even so, his odds of surviving the next year are dropping quickly. I put the odds of an attempted assassination at about 25% before November. And apparently that’s on me for being a Trumpsplainer. I apologize for that.

If you wonder how I could be so wrong about everything and still manage to be overpaid, you can find out by reading my book.

Update: A complementary article on the same topic of Trump’s risk.

GOP Debate Scorecard - March 10 (Master Persuader Series)

http://feed.dilbert.com/~r/dilbert/blog/~3/CiMRgY61hmE/140857419526

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/140857419526

The GOP candidates for president had a boring debate last night. My one-word summary is “capitulation.” Based on the energy on stage, it seems they stopped fighting. That means Trump can stroll to the nomination, assuming Florida goes as expected.

Trump’s only objective at the debate was to avoid looking out of control. He said in advance that he could do so easily unless the other candidates attacked him. And then his opponents did not attack him. That’s acceptance of the final result. Capitulation.

The other possibility is that Florida and Ohio are already rigged. That would be the other reason for not fighting. We’ll find out next week. 

The thing to watch in coming months is the degree to which Muslim immigration becomes connected to rape in the minds of the public, based on reports from Europe and from ISIS territories. Trump is taking the anti-rape position at the expense of religious tolerance. That is a landslide-winning position against an opponent he has already labelled an “enabler.”

The hopes of the anti-Trumpers rest on the fact that nearly two-thirds of the public have a negative impression of Trump. In normal times, that would be predictive of the final result. But by November, Trump will turn this election into a referendum on protecting the health and safety of women. And he will be running against the only living human with lower approval than him (by then).

That’s a landslide position.

But what about the policy details and the fact that Trump can’t name the leaders of important countries? What about his budget numbers that seem almost random? What about his businesses that failed or look sketchy to you?

We stopped caring about that stuff long ago. Voters understand that all of the candidates are lying all the time. Trump just does it better, and with a wink. Maybe he should edit his slogan so it goes like this:

Make America Great Again (details, shmetails)

We have been conditioned to believe a candidate needs to have command of the details of the job before taking it. But anyone with real world experience knows that complexity demands that each topic be visited with fresh eyes and qualified advisors on every round of thinking. It makes more sense to figure out things as you go. That’s what common sense looks like to Trump, and it looks that way to the public as well.

Last year I teased you in this blog by saying Trump would change more than politics and more than the Republican party. Trump will change how you view human beings in general. His complete disregard for facts is irrelevant to the outcome of the race because he knows humans don’t use facts to make decisions. They use emotion. 

Only one candidate in the race understands how reality works, and he’s teaching us as he goes. All I’m doing is documenting it. Check out my book for more detailed discussions of what I call our Moist Robot nature.

My favorite part of the post-debate coverage on the news was when Megyn Kelly said Trump looked “presidential.” She went on to say he seemed like the type of guy you might want to go to dinner with. Now compare that to her recent rebuff of Michael Moore when he awkwardly invited her to have coffee on live TV. In the 3D world of persuasion, Kelly is responding to Trump’s power and dominance exactly as one would expect. Trump will win with women, even against Hillary Clinton.

Disclaimer: I already disavowed Trump’s policies. I don’t agree with any of the candidates on the big stuff. My interest in Trump is his persuasion skills. I also want my fellow citizens to fully understand their options.