A more balanced take on Trump

Folks on Scott Adams blog keep going on about how stupid the HRC campaign must be to not realize how badly they’re screwing up against Trump. But how fair is that really?

First of all, why should they even think they’re screwing up? Their friends in the MSM keep telling them they’re still ahead of Trump.

Second of all they have an excuse for why they’re not doing better against Trump (namely, Sanders).

Third of all…is there anyone on this blog who has seen the various campaign moves and not had Scott explain it to them? Did you agree with Scotts analysis before Scott explained it to you? Im thinking those of us on the SA blog see it differently because Scott has explained it to us, but how fair is that really? Why should the HRC campaign take any notice of Scott?

Which leads me to my fourth point: as of right now we only have Scotts word and track record to tell us that a Trump victory is coming. So far the polls have ranged between Bad News For Trump to Trump Has A Slight Edge. In other words, we still don’t REALLY see signs of an impending Trump victory, do we?


  • CWalois

    “In other words, we still don’t REALLY see signs of an impending Trump victory, do we?”
    Scott would add “yet” to that sentence. He has stated that he expects Trump to gradually turn things in his favor, and there’s still several months to go. He has predicted a landslide, so eventually we’ll be able to say if his prediction was correct or false. In the meantime, isn’t it sort of surprising that Trump can even match Hillary in the polls? A reality TV star with zero political experience! What is going on here?

    Adams has convinced me to take Trump much more seriously than I did at first. But I still don’t buy into a lot of the specific claims of persuasiveness that Scott makes. I think he over-analyzes and inflates minor issues that most people take no notice of, or will soon forget. For instance, I don’t think it matters if Trump’s campaign slogan or web site is better than Hillary’s. But he has managed to get a lot of blog posts out of this approach!

  • Jake

    Always consider though, that Scott Adams’ analysis is utterly compromised by his innate admiration and blind devotion to Trump.

    When Hitler was on the rise, surely there were adorers and supplicants who were “getting it right” and “predicting things no one else dared to predict”. But that was due to the broken clock of zealotry striking it right, as broken clocks do every once in a while.

    They all got drunk on how right they were getting it and believed in things like the inevitability of Aryan domination and, when things started going south, in “the final victory”.

    We all know what happened.

    • whtllnew

      Weeks ago I wrote a piece on how silly it was to compare Trump to Hitler. I never posted it because it seemed the meme was dead anyway. Did I read that wrong?

      • Jake

        “Fascism is notoriously hard to define, in no small part because it is a belief system that rejects the value of reason. As Paxton writes in his seminal book on the subject, fascism dropped or added intellectual positions “according to the tactical needs of the moment,” while displaying “such contempt for reason and intellect that it never even bothered to justify its shifts.”

        http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/11/donald-trump-a-fascist.html

        Everything about Trump reeks of fascism, and his hate, scapegoating of minorities, peddling demagogic fantasies about the country and its people, and a plethora of other factors make him very similar to Hitler.

        In intent, at least.

        • Trump is certainly a populist, which is nearly as dangerous as a fascist. It’s not just the US, across the Western world, we’re seeing populists rise a depressing amount. I think it’s all based on the economic screwup, and should correct over time if the world economy improves again – but maybe that’s simplistic.

        • SteamTroller

          Everything about Trump reeks of fascism, and his hate, scapegoating of minorities, peddling demagogic fantasies about the country and its people, and a plethora of other factors make him very similar to Hitler.

          You seem brainwashed, and your hyperbole marks your opinions as probably safe to ignore, but you have a some common misconceptions I thought I’d help you through.

          Trump’s not fascist, he’s nationalistic. And since we’re in America he’s got every right to be.

          So far I know Trump has spoken out against illegal immigration and Muslim immigration. There are 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. Unless you think we’re clamoring for that particular flavor of immigrant importing more isn’t worth the risk. Illegal immigrant is just a type of criminal. Removing foreign actors is required to maintain sovereignty. I’m curious what minorities you think Trump has spoken out against.

          So far I’ve seen more pre-nazi era tactics from the left’s George Soros than from Trump’s camp — constant paid, violent protesting and heckling was a tool of Hitler’s brown shirts.

          • Jake

            You are just an idiot.

          • SteamTroller

            Bigot noun. A person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

            It’s ironic you’d choose that word and proceed to write me off as an idiot for my different opinions, without the ability to refute those opinions. You’re continuing to parrot words and opinions from your hive-mind without understanding them. I presume you’d feel embarrassment if you had any self awareness remaining.

          • Jake

            After a certain point, it becomes clear that arguing with Trump fanatics is a waste of time.

            I’m at that point.

  • 404_Username_Not_Found

    You have to view the blog through Scott’s “systems” filter. He doesn’t use the term goal, but the reality he has a vague desired out come in mind for which goal is a helpful term. So what is his goal of the blog? To generate traffic which has the potential to lead to more revenue. He does not care how that happens, so he sets up systems to drive traffic to him. He found a very good one, Trump. He saw a politician who was not being taken seriously and decided to predict he would win. He knew at a minimum he would get a small uptick in traffic from the supporters and if he was wrong no one would care. “Cartoonist fails to predict primary winner” is not news. But if on the outside chance he was right it would have “yyuuuuge” upside. It would mean a muh larger base of followers for traffic and he would be able to hang his hat on being the one guy who predicted it. And that’s what happened.

    If you look at anything relating to a prediction it is all very fortune cookieish and forgetable. So the bits he gets close enough to right he changes to be more specific when he does his recap, and the parts that are too far off he sweeps under the rug. His after the fact explainations of what Trump is doing are actually not that strong. The biggest tell is that even when Trump does things that other politicians have always done they are still the actions of a master persuader, for example “strategic ambiguity”, and the other politicians aren’t getting the persuasion nod for the same thing.

    This works because he doesn’t need logic to appeal to the confirmation bias of his new audience. The only place where his writings get any real scrutiny is the comments section of his blog where the detractors are drowned out be the sheer volume of the supporters. His “prediction” is getting him on TV. But we know that the 24 hour news media struggle to fact check and parse statements even when interviewing people related to large stories, so they certainly aren’t deep diving anything Scott is saying.

    As for what the people on the blog are saying, it is very biased. Trump found a core group of people that are very angry with the status quo. That group is much larger than I thought. Hilary is not trying to tap into that anger so they see her as screwing up at every turn because she is doing nothing to appeal to them. They believe Scott’s master persuader bit because Trump’s “persuasion” has been very effective on them.

    • [This works because he doesn’t need logic to appeal to the confirmation bias of his new audience.]

      Yup, that’s effectively why I stopped going to that blog. I lurk on occasion, but haven’t posted in months. It seems Scott has occasionally moved back to blogging non-Trump/persuasion, but the comments is still mostly political discourse so it’s not really worth jumping in.

      • Travis

        I still read it every day but probably shouldn’t :p
        I have to resist the urge to post a critical comment as when I have done so I just get lambasted by trolls so whats the point? Its mostly just an echo chamber now.

        However it does shine some light on the echo chamber phenomenon. It happens everywhere in every social group. Scott’s blog is probably the first time I’ve really seen one like that evolve, so from that perspective I’ve learned something new 🙂

    • CWalois

      Very well said (despite all the typos :0).

      • 404_Username_Not_Found

        Wut dew u mein bye tht?

  • I think that at this point the polls are trending well for Trump and it should be some cause for concern for Hillary.

    However, you bring up an important point: Sanders. The democrats are in far less disarray than the republicans were and we saw the boost Trump got once the republicans came together.

    The democrats don’t even need that boost. Divided, Hillary is still neck and neck with Trump. I would guess that once the democrats resolve the Bernie thing, Hillary will get a pretty sizable lead back on Trump.

    Then it will be seen whether Trump can regain that ground. I highly doubt it, but I don’t know enough to really know. If Trump did one thing for me, it’s that he made me stop paying much attention to politics anymore.

    I realized that I know very little and no one really agrees with me anyway.

    • CWalois

      Trump has actually made me pay attention to politics for once! I am normally far too cynical to follow politics, for the same reasons you gave at the end of your comment, but I am interested in following this campaign season closely in order to understand the causes and effects of whatever is the eventual outcome. That being said, I am already fairly fatigued from it, and am feeling generally more negative about life as a result of being confronted with so much ignorance and emotionalism, so I look forward to being able to stop paying attention again ASAP.

      Just one little point, though: some people feel that Bernie dropping out will not help Hillary that much because a lot of Bernie supporters will either switch to Trump or not bother to show up. They have “better” things to do with their time on election day than to vote, or even go to work….

      (I recently saw a vanity license plate that read LEGLIZIT. The car also had a sticker on the back window that said “Feel the Bern”. You can’t make this stuff up.)

      • [Just one little point, though: some people feel that Bernie dropping out will not help Hillary that much because a lot of Bernie supporters will either switch to Trump or not bother to show up. ]

        I’ve heard that theory too, but a lot of it I’m hearing from pro-Trump sources, so I don’t have any clue how accurate it is. As far as I am aware, I know of exactly zero Bernie supporters and zero people who supported Trump while there were still other candidates in the R race, so I have little to no baseline understanding of how either group really feels beyond internet comment boards, which I’m skeptical to take as representative.

  • Kingfisher12

    I’m still advancing my ‘pro-wrestler’ hypothesis of Trump over Scott’s ‘Master Persuader’ one, and I’m extending it to both HRC and Scott himself. It’s all about showmanship.

    This is not to discount the actual skills each person has, but in the end this circus will come down to showmanship. Trump is a long-time performance artist and Reality-TV show personality. He’s right at home in this climate. Hillary is a career politician (she has never been anything but) but the concept of popular appeal seems foreign to her. Scott is an entertainer by trade, a dabbler in pop-philosophy, and appears to be setting himself up to start a cult (I don’t know, that’s just how I read his subtly lecherous comments lately).

    How it all relates is that you’ve got a bunch of heels, giving the people what they want (spectacle). It makes me worried about the state of affairs in the US, but when it comes down to it, things are not actually much worse than they were in the 80’s. This is like a return of that awful, awful, decade for those old enough to remember it.

  • Matthew Schweigert

    I would argue that Hillary Clinton is the worst candidate to ever make it this far in any election and she’s done it twice!

    I would also say that Trump just beat not only the most crowded field of Republican nominees but also the most compelling and best field ever.

    I didn’t like him after the first debate. I didn’t get it. But everybody I talked too the next morning was all about Trump.

    I searched for answers and found Scott’s blog. I was skeptical but the hits just kept coming.

    In short, I was forced to believe what I couldn’t explain otherwise.

    Persuasion Scott’s way is real and I’d be a fool not to use it.

    But this is a logic based blog. The other theory that I can’t dismiss entirely holds equal weight. We are ripe for Trump.

    That’s pendulum theory. That there is a baseline for human society and if we swing too far one way we are going to get a correction of equal value. So for the last eight years we’ve endured an overly aggressively politically correct culture. For goodness sake we are talking about laws on where we piss! We haven’t figured that out? Trump is our response back. He’s just an equal extreme.

    We see it all the time in fashion. Baggy and saggy pants on men in the 90’s moves to extreme nut huggers in the 2010’s. Both stupid and impractical.

    Tired of the foreign wars? How about we forget the world and cancel our trade agreements!

    In this hypothesis Trump just read the tea leaves.

  • Travlis

    Scott is a cartoonist and author. Many things he explained so well are “after the fact”, notably results of NH primary. Besides trying to be funny, his main goal is to sell his book, which – by the way – I read and find it more interesting than his posts.