Business audiences know about the Dilbert cartoons. The melancholic wageslave's office shenanigans barely ever reached the level of “excitement,” but that was the whole point. The strip captured the pretend seriousness of interactions in a cubicled workplace.
Creator Scott Adams’ success with the cartoons derived from his acute ability to distill complex ideas and dynamics down to the fundamentals and still be funny. He continues to do that, by the way, except he’s reinvented himself online as a blogger. And amid all this noise and Chinese water torture of the US presidential debate, Mr Adams' perception stands apart from the general commentariat explaining what he sees in the election.
Mr Adams is a trained hypnotist and student of persuasion. What drew me back to his blog months ago (let’s be honest, without this election his commentary was getting a bit dry) was his observations about Republican nominee Donald Trump’s “master persuader” skills. Mr Adams says he’s never seen anything quite like it.
Far from being a bad thing, persuasion skills will serve a president well, he says. As with any skill, using it for good or ill is usually the central debate but Mr Trump has no peer in the public spotlight at the moment, which explains, according to Mr Adams, why the nominee is “98% guaranteed” to win the election next week.
That’s the highest prediction I’ve seen, and I don’t think he’s put money on it, so I’m not sure how seriously to take him. He dropped the prediction to 80% or so before the final televised debate solely because of Mr Trump’s associations with women and the nominee’s alleged “groping” activities. But it’s back up to nearly 100% for one reason only: Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton is a bully and encourages bullying.
Over the weekend, three short videos emerged showing an elderly black female homeless Trump supporter lying on the footpath in a foetal position after Clinton supporters pushed her around and angrily tore up her handmade political signs.
“Didn’t I tell you about five minutes ago that somebody’s gonna walk by here and no, I would not defend you? ‘Cause you spewed hate, and you got hate. You got exactly what you were dishin’ out. I told you. I warned you on that,” one of the cretins is heard saying.
Except, the still unidentified woman was only trying to defend Donald Trump’s Hollywood Boulevard star from Clinton supporters who were trying to vandalise the plaque, and who the previous day had violently attacked it with a pick-axe.
Two of the woman’s ripped placards said: “20 Million Illegals and Americans sleep on the streets in tents. Vote Trump” and “Obama threw our black asses under the bus, he owes the Clintons, flip this script (get off the Clinton plantation).” So any “hate” in those signs is more likely projection by those who hate fellow their citizens rather than engage with them in honest debate. I predicted this would happen.
The Dilbert creator sees the same thing and until recently nervously laughed about being a Clinton supporter “because he was concerned for his health.” He watches her supporters abuse Trump fans every day in California, tearing down political signs, defacing cars emblazoned with Trump stickers and hearing people lose their jobs for talking about Trump.
Not to mention the hundreds of videos on Youtube of Clinton supporters attacking Trump supporters unprovoked, often in gangs and incredibly violently. Investigative journalists at the Project Veritas news site revealed how all this violence, campaign subversion and incitement is organised from the top of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and is probably known and allowed by Hillary Clinton herself.
“On social media, almost every message I get from a Clinton supporter is a bullying type of message. They insult. They try to shame. They label. And obviously they threaten my livelihood,” Mr Adams says.
“Team Clinton has succeeded in perpetuating one of the greatest evils I have seen in my lifetime. Her side has branded Trump supporters (40% plus voters) as Nazis, sexists, homophobes, racists, and a few other fighting words. Their argument is built on confirmation bias and persuasion. But facts don’t matter because facts never matter in politics. What matters is that Clinton’s framing of Trump provides moral cover for any bullying behaviour online or in person. No one can be a bad person for opposing Hitler, right?”
So Mr Adams, presumably at great danger to his well-being, recently announced his support for the Trump campaign precisely because he does not want a leader in the White House who prefers to splinter Americans from each other rather than pull them together to create something larger than themselves. The latter is Mr Trump’s core campaign line.
As the end of this strange and other-worldly election (but not unusual for US history) looms, the Clinton campaign is leading in some major US polls but others show Mr Trump either in the lead or so close behind he enters the “margin of lawyer,” suggested by Canadian commentator Mark Steyn.
“As I've said for many years, Republicans have to win "beyond the margin of lawyer" – because otherwise the Democrats will discover an extra 3000 votes in a dumpster around the back of DNC HQ and then find a friendly judge with impressive powers of divining the true meaning of lightly dimpled chads.”
The Project Veritas reporting also discovered a dark proclivity of DNC top echelon to skirt so close to the line that a reasonable person might just say they were knowingly dirtying an otherwise healthy democratic race. It’s almost like they took my advice of “if you’re not cheating, you’re not playing hard enough” way, way too seriously.
But that’s what the Republicans don’t understand. If Mr Trump wins next week, as per Mr Adams' predictions, it will be because the entire weight of the US political/government system could not recapture the psychologies of a critical mass of US citizens. For millions of frustrated Americans, his victory probably will sound excellent but a fair chunk have already seen far enough behind the curtain to be fooled again into thinking they can ever achieve victory via elections.
The modern American political system – after FDR’s coup in the mid-20th century – was built to fail in predictable ways. The main way is by oscillating every few cycles between two “different” political parties. The reality of Washington’s true control is becoming clear for many people: The Republicans are a pretend political party, maintained as a pet of the progressive movement.
The civil service is always and everywhere filled by progressives. But they need a controllable enemy to trot out and poke every few years to make it appear as though the US isn’t a one-party state. Best if that enemy has no chance of moving the money, let alone the power.
Even the Republican establishment is funding attack ads against their own candidate because he doesn’t “represent” their values. There’s no other way of explaining this. If anyone cared about the Republican establishment, their actions would be a scandal, but it only seems to confirm for most Trump supporters that the game is rigged from all directions. The curtain no longer covers the truth.
I hate to end this piece with a reference to filmmaker Michael Moore but his cringe-worthy shtick condescendingly explaining the psychology (ha) of Trump supporters to eager Clinton supporters was the focus of a recent bizarre one-man stage show. During his train-wreck of presumption, Mr Moore spun closer to the truth than he realises:
“Trump’s election is going to be the biggest ‘f**k you’ ever recorded in human history – and it will feel good.”
That’s the game. That’s how this all plays out. The sheer visceral hate displayed by fellow Americans for each other proves how pointless this whole theatre is: No one despises Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as much as they hate Trump supporters and Clinton supporters.
The debate isn't the point – indeed, you aren’t supposed to see how similar the two candidates actually are – the hate is the point. The candidates themselves are interchangeable.
If your personal politics make it difficult to understand this, let's try it the other way. The “Right's” main criticism of Barack Obama is that he is ... secretly more liberal than he appears to be. Hence their obsession with his former imam and alleged recordings of him saying he hates white people. But so what? I've observed him daily for eight years pretending to be George W Bush. What is he waiting for? The last day of his last term so he can call Russia on his iPhone and tell them the US surrenders?
But then if the election game is rigged to constantly drive the progressive movement forward – which it certainly is – then is winning this election by bullying the other side and alienating 40% of one’s own populace worth it? Because that seems to be the insane calculus in the minds of US progressives.
The standard media-constructed bipolar political conflict is a cash cow for sure but it's not real, please stop yelling at each other, it is madness. The true debate cannot be spoken aloud: "Pick Whatever Side You Want, As Long As You Vote To Reduce Corporate Labour Costs."