The election is over and Trump supporters are trying to mind their own business, as usual. Meanwhile, Clinton’s supporters are on the streets to protest people who act the way they are acting. How did things get this crazy?
Well, most of it has to do with Clinton’s persuasion experts and supporters framing Trump and his supporters as the next coming of Hitler. Here’s a fresh example.
With this kind of messaging you should not be surprised to see crowds attacking Trump supporters. The attackers feel they have the moral authority to do so. Here’s a fresh example where a group of Clinton supporters repeatedly beat an older Trump supporter on camera. The scary part is that they appear to be proud of it, as though it is morally justified.
My observation of the anti-Trump protests is that it mostly involves young people. This is their first fake-Hitler scare. They don’t realize that Reagan was compared to Hitler, both Bush presidents were compared to Hitler, and Romney was compared to Hitler. I assume lots of European and other leaders have also been compared to Hitler. You might want to point that out to any young person who thinks this is the first time we’ve seen this.
I’ll also work on a de-hypnosis system. This one isn’t easy because fear is the top form of persuasion and you can’t out-fear a Hitler fear. If I were president I would try to break the spell by doing something so out-of-the-box that observers can’t hold this new information in their head and still hold the Hitler frame. For example…
Imagine Trump proposing reparations for slavery. That’s as out-of-box as you can get. And imagine that reparations take the form of a special tax on the top 1% of the wealthy to fund free college for any African-American students (including adults returning for trade school or college) for the next 25 years.
I’m in the top 1%, but I wouldn’t mind a tax that had such a positive long-term impact on the country. It seems like I would get my money back from that sort of investment.
I think you could only pass this sort of law if you wrapped it into a plan to give everyone some sort of student loan relief or free college in the future. But some group has to go first in any plan.
You can argue about whether this is a good plan or a bad one. I can see both sides. But in the context of persuasion, it would go a long way toward breaking the hypnosis spell that imagines Trump is the next Hitler. You can’t be Hitler and also in favor of reparations for slavery. People won’t be able to hold the two competing thoughts in their head, and they will default to the one that is in the headlines.
In the meantime, if you are trying to dehypnotize a frightened friend who fears a Trump presidency, remind them that every Republican leader has been compared to Hitler. Also remind them that Hitler didn’t have social media to keep him in check. Today we know what happens on every street corner everywhere. (Case in point, the video I linked above.) The public is watching. Everything.
And I can promise any Clinton supporter that if the government ever shut down social media, Trump supporters would be on the street with you. And probably in front of you.
For now, Trump supporters are playing it smart and staying semi-hidden. That’s the right play. Let’s see if tensions subside on their own. So far the demonstrations have been peaceful.
You might enjoy my book because people demonstrate.
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Did the United States Just Elect a Monster?
No. Clinton’s team of cognitive scientists and professional persuaders did a terrific job of framing Trump as scary. The illusion will wear off – albeit slowly – as you observe Trump going about the job of President and taking it seriously. You can expect him to adjust his tone and language going forward. You can expect foreign leaders to say they can work with him. You can expect him to focus on unifying an exhausted and nervous country. And you can expect him to succeed in doing so. (He’s persuasive.) Watch as Trump turns to healing. You’re going to be surprised how well he does it. But give it time.
I’ll be doing my persuasive best to help our new president unify the country. I’m not a monster either – just a little bit deplorable when the situation calls for it. And I would ask other Trump supporters to step up and be useful as well. If you helped elect Trump, you have a responsibility to calm the nerves of Clinton supporters who also have their country’s best interests in mind. Let’s all be worthy of our decisions.
How did you know this would play out like a movie?
About a year ago I started telling you in this blog that the Trump journey to the presidency would play out like a great movie script. And it did. Movies generally have three acts:
Act 1: The hero’s life abruptly changes.
Act 2: The hero encounters and solves one problem after another, in an entertaining fashion.
Act 3: The hero faces a seemingly insurmountable problem.
Finale: Against all odds, the hero succeeds.
The audience can’t always tell when the third act has arrived because all of the hero’s problems seem big until solved. I thought we reached the Third Act in Trump’s campaign about five different times since May. In retrospect, the real Third Act happened on election night when Trump was behind in nearly every poll. THAT is an insurmountable problem.
Then Trump won anyway. Like a movie.
How did I predict it would turn out so movie-perfect? I saw the following situation developing:
1. The social bullying coming from Clinton’s supporters guaranteed that lots of Trump supporters were in hiding. That created the potential for a surprise result, so long as the race was close.
2. Trump’s powers of persuasion are better than I have ever seen from a living human. That made it likely that the election would be close. And people generally vote for their party’s candidate, so that too promised a close election.
3. The mainstream media backed Clinton. That created a situation in which she was likely to be ahead at some point near the end of the election cycle.
4. The business model of the news industry guarantees lots of “scandals” on a regular schedule. Small things get inflated to big things, and I assumed there would be plenty of them. Trump has the skill to overcome medium-sized scandals and bumps in the road. That’s all you need for an entertaining Second Act.
5. Once I framed this election as a movie script, it primed you to see events that way. Our brains are movie-trained to recognize the three-act form. That’s why all movies use it.
6. Act One happened when Trump announced he was running. Act Two developed during the primaries and continued to the general election when Trump overcame one medium-sized problem after another. Act Three was defined by the Access Hollywood tape and Trump subsequently falling behind in the polls all the way to Election Day. The Finale was our collective discovery that Trump was right about the polls undercounting his support. It turns out he was Keyser Söze all along – and by that I mean smarter than you thought.
And that’s your movie.
I ask Trump supporters not to gloat too much. Be good to your fellow citizens. Be inclusive. Be useful. The country needs you at your best.
You might like my book because the election was like a movie.
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Last year in this blog I told you that Trump would change more than politics. I said he would forever change how you view reality. I’ll prove that to you today with a fun experiment.
At the end of this post I will give you a link to a very short video clip showing Hillary Clinton getting off her jet and into her car. Trump supporters will say she looks like she is drunk, or unsteady for some other health-related reason. And they will say it is obvious. Now try showing the clip to a Clinton supporter and watch how they see nothing wrong with the way she is walking.
Who is right?
The answer is that you have no way to know. Personally, I can see it both ways, depending on what frame of mind I’m in. When people on Twitter say she looks drunk, and I look at the clip immediately after they prime me, she indeed looks drunk. When my Clinton-supporting friend says he sees nothing unusual about her walking, suddenly it looks fine to me too.
Most of my readers today are probably Trump supporters, so you are likely to see Clinton’s walk as unsteady. Send the clip to your Clinton-supporting friend and see how much your perceptions differ on this. You’ll be amazed.
There might be an objective reality in our world. But our brains didn’t evolve to be able to see it. Our brains only evolved to do the job of keeping us alive so we could procreate. That means the reality you see – the movie in your head – can be totally different from mine, and almost certainly is. Yet we can both get by in this world.
Last year, when many observers were saying Trump was a stupid, under-informed clown, I was saying he was a Master Persuader. Pundits said he ignored facts because he didn’t know them or because he was a liar. I said he ignored facts because facts are useless for persuasion. Trump could learn lots of facts if he wanted to do so. But he knew it was a waste of time. These are two totally different views of reality. And yet they did not conflict. Clinton supporters still see the stupid, under-informed clown and I still see the Master Persuader. We live in totally different movies and yet we can still interact with each other, still eat and drink, still procreate when necessary.
Reality isn’t what you thought it was a year ago. Your movie isn’t my movie. But the good news is that you have the power to rewrite the coming scenes of your movie. And those scenes can be anything that isn’t ruled out by your own observations.
Now watch this Clinton video and notice how Clinton’s walk matches your expectations, no matter what your expectations are. That’s confirmation bias. And it is the most important thing you will ever learn.
In related news, the movie playing in my head included a scene last year in which I told my friends I predicted I would reach 100,000 Twitter followers by election day. I was starting out at around 15,000 followers. Here’s my screenshot from last night. Right on schedule.
You might enjoy reading my book because either you vote or you don’t.
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Election Day is upon us and I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has been reading this blog, following me on Twitter, or tuning in to my coffee talks on Periscope. This has been the most fun I have ever had in one year. Hands down.
We made friends online, and in person. We learned a lot. We laughed a lot. And we fought hard for what we thought was right for the country. It really doesn’t get better than this.
The news tells us that there have been polling irregularities in past elections, but not enough to influence a presidential election. The alleged exceptions are Kennedy Vs. Nixon, Bush Vs. Gore, and at least one Obama election. Those elections might have been decided by vote-rigging – say some people – although we can’t know for sure.
But something is different this year. This year we don’t have an election between two candidates that offer roughly the same outcome. This time we have a swamp-draining outsider looking to institute term limits. And this outsider has been successfully branded by his opponent as the second-coming of Hitler. In this case, a rigged election is largely assured. Because, as I have taught you, shenanigans always happen when you have the following situation:
1. Huge upside gain from cheating.
3. Low odds of getting caught, or low cost of getting caught.
That’s our situation today. And while I claim no knowledge of how our voting system aggregates the votes from each precinct, I know software is involved at a number of steps. And that means a handful of people have the power to flip a bit and change the count, probably without being discovered. And those people are under the impression that rigging the election might be the only way to keep the next Hitler out of office. They have moral cover to cheat in this election.
If you had a chance to kill Hitler – even if you knew you might die in the attempt – wouldn’t you do it to save the world? I would. If I knew I could save millions of people I would certainly risk my life to kill Hitler.
And if I were a software engineer, I would certainly write some software to do it. That’s an easy decision if you think you are saving the world from Hitler.
But I’ll ask Trump supporters to stay cool on election day even if they suspect shenanigans. Wait for exit polls. Let the truth trickle out. If there is one thing we know in the age of hot mics and Wikileaks and Project Veritas, the truth will find us. It might take its time, so be patient.
And thank you again for the most fun I have ever had in one year. This was truly special. I will miss it a lot.
Now it’s time to make history. Have fun and stay safe tomorrow.
If you plan to meet a friend for voting, try my start-up’s free app (WhenHub) to geostream your location to your friend or family member as you approach your meeting spot. Here are the links to download the free app:
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My current tax rate is about half of my income when you add up all of the various taxes. I don’t have many deductions. Clinton proposes an estate tax that would take about half of what is left. In effect, Clinton wants my tax rate to be around 75% for every dollar I earn today.
That level of taxation would make me feel like a government employee. The vast majority of my time and energy would go toward making money that politicians would decide how to spend. That doesn’t feel like a rewarding life. If Clinton wins, I would think hard about retiring early and becoming a user of resources instead of a creator of resources. Because I don’t want a government job.
A Trump presidency, on the the other hand, makes me want to do something useful for the country that is good for me too. That’s a big part of why I have been blogging about Trump’s persuasion skills. I want voters to have a clear view of their options. If voters choose Clinton, I can live with that for six months until Kaine takes over. But I wouldn’t feel good about myself if I didn’t at least try to help people see the Trump option for what it is – an opportunity to “drain the swamp” as he says.
By the way, Clinton supporters can stop telling me about Trump’s flaws. I am aware of them. Both of the leading candidates are flawed. You don’t get to pick the unflawed option. But you do get to pick more of the same versus something probably different. That’s a rich choice, and we should be grateful to both candidates for what they have done to give us that choice.
Ironically, we have the two “worst” candidates of all time, according to their favorability ratings. But those two worst candidates have given us two of the best (clearest) choices we have ever had as a country. Thomas Jefferson and the other founders did a good job. Their system allowed us to do just about everything wrong and still end up with two clear choices that make perfect sense.
Sure, both candidates are flawed, but both have the capability to deliver on their main propositions. Clinton probably can give you a third term of Obama(ish) and Trump probably can drain at least some of the swamp. If you step back from the negativity of the election for a moment, you can be grateful that our Republic served up these two options. That’s how it is supposed to work.
On election day, should Trump win as I predict, I ask for Trump supporters to stay cool when the predictable riots erupt. And keep in mind that if you vote for Trump, you own it. If you aren’t helping him get it right after he wins, you haven’t done enough. Trump is a group-participation president by design. He is directly asking for voters’ help in “draining the swamp.” In the short run, the best way to help Trump is by avoiding trouble on election day and by reassuring Clinton voters that you have always been on their side as Americans. Then act that way.
The fight ends Tuesday. After that, let’s try to be useful. No matter what happens.
You might like my book because it is almost Tuesday.
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The odds of mischief and violence on election day this year are alarmingly high. For your safety, I recommend that you don’t wear any Trump-related hats or clothing. That’s just asking for trouble.
You might also want to meet a friend or family member near your voting place so you can vote together, just to feel safer. To make it easy to meet up with a friend, I recommend using my start-up’s new app: WhenHub. (It’s free.)
WhenHub is like the Uber app but without an Uber car. Any two or more people can temporarily geostream their locations to a map on the app to make it easier to find each other on the way to a meeting. It works for any combination of iPhone and Android users.
Here are the links to download the free app:
The WhenHub app is a tiny part of what is coming soon from WhenHub. I’ll tell you later how it is part of a larger cloud platform. The larger part is still in beta.
The WhenHub app’s advantages over its competition in this space will grow as we integrate it with the larger platform later. But for now it’s a perfect standalone app for geostreaming your location on the way to a meeting point with family, friends, or co-workers. I use it several times a day and can’t imagine a world without it. It saves all of the “Where are you?” texting when one of you is driving.
I hope you like it. And stay safe on Tuesday.
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I’m getting reports that people have successfully used my blog post that is designed to dehypnotize Clinton supporters. If you want to try it yourself, here are some tips for maximizing the effect.
I engineered the dehypnosis blog post to convert about 20% of Clinton voters who are exposed to it. To maximize the effect, try to identify people who are most easily persuaded. Look for Clinton supporters with these characteristics:
1. Open-minded in general.
2. Under-informed about the election.
3. Plans to vote for Clinton because Trump is “unfit to be around the nuclear codes” or similar reasoning.
My blog post won’t dehypnotize hardcore Democrats who consider their political affiliation part of their identity. But you might want to try it with that group anyway just to watch the cognitive dissonance that arises. Trust me when I say it will be hilarious. You will get to watch a total abandonment of any pretense of rational thought along with – I assume – a frantic attempt to change the topic.
Once you have identified your subject for persuasion, prime that person by saying you read the Scott Adams Blog and you have learned a lot about the field of persuasion. Mention that I am a trained hypnotist and that I have made spooky-accurate predictions so far this election. Tell the person that I wrote a blog post designed to dehypnotize a Clinton voter who thinks Trump is a dangerous candidate. Say you know it works for some people because I reported that here and on Twitter. (That’s true.)
This type of priming is important for persuasion. You want your subject to accept the idea that I have special skills in the field of hypnosis. Once they believe that is true, your persuasion will be more effective. Don’t skip the priming because it makes a big difference.
Suggest to your subject that it would be fun to test my hypnosis. Offer to read my blog post out loud to them and see if it works. Call up the post on your phone and ask your subject to sit comfortably and give you their full attention. They do not need to close their eyes. They only need to listen and give you full attention. Do this where you will not be interrupted.
Read the blog post slowly enough for your subject to follow along. Pause for effect when you feel it makes sense. The pauses, and your choice of what words and thoughts to emphasize, is what keeps your listener focused. If you read it all the same, the listener gets bored and the mind wanders. Try to keep it interesting if you can. Feel free to pause and paraphrase any of it.
Don’t be too aggressive in trying to flip your subject to Trump. People will reflexively resist what they feel pushed. The ideal framing is that both of you are trying a fun experiment. You are not trying to change a mind so much as you are curious whether the method works. That gives your subject the freedom to change without feeling you “won” in some way and they “lost.”
I’ll retweet your success stories @ScottAdamsSays. That will serve to make the post viral as well as making the dehypnosis more credible and therefore more persuasive.
Here’s the link again to the dehypnosis post.
On a related topic, many people have asked me if I am accurately predicting a lot of things that happen in this campaign or actually causing them to happen with my own persuasion. The interesting answer is that there’s no way to know.
I can tell you that I write to persuade. I can tell you I’m good at it. I can tell you my persuasion is engineered to work. I can tell you that the mainstream media and both campaigns read this blog. And I can tell you that I’m fairly certain I’ve influenced national topics in the past. But I don’t know what things would have happened by chance, or because other people think the way I do.
That said, if you successfully dehypnotize a few Clinton supporters with my blog post you will get an idea for the power of persuasion, and it will blow your mind. Then decide for yourself how much influence I have had on the election. I’m interested in your opinion on that.
You might love reading my book because the writing is persuasive.
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I had been wondering if Trump was planning some sort of special closing argument. He did not disappoint. In my opinion, his final ad is the political ad of the year, if not the best ever. Watch it here first and I’ll include my thoughts below.
Here’s what makes this ad so special:
1. Trump delivers his lines perfectly, like an experienced actor. We haven’t heard him like this before. You probably didn’t think he had this in him. He stays calm and assured, but not cocky. That is an effective counter-framing to Clinton’s framing of Trump as an unpredictable madman. Here Trump comes off as perfectly reasonable and deeply empathetic.
2. The timing is perfect. This race went so low that even the trolls were starting to gasp for oxygen. Trump made us wait for relief – Hollywood style. He made us crave civility and sanity. And just when we thought it was out of reach, he goes ultra-positive.
But here’s the best part. Clinton has no good options to counter this message. If she stays dark, Trump finishes as the inspirational one. If she tries to match his positive message, she has little chance of doing it this well.
3. While Obama is out talking about his legacy, and Clinton is out talking about making history as the first woman president, Trump (the narcissist) asks for the American people’s help in draining the swamp and making America great again. That’s one heckuva contrast to end on.
4. The writing for Trump’s speech is great. The editing is great. The production is great. The visual artistry is fantastic. This one will be studied for a long time, not only for its persuasion excellence and production values but also for its strategic timing.
5. Trump’s strongest message at this point is that Clinton is corrupt in a variety of hard-to-explain ways. People don’t need to understand the details. They just have to hear the message enough. This video uses visual persuasion perfectly to portray the halls of power and corruption versus the people united. The color red is exceptionally well-used. It activates us.
You just witnessed something special.
You might enjoy my book because Trump’s video was well-made.
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Today I teach you how to unhypnotize a Clinton supporter.
Keep in mind that the strongest form of persuasion is fear. Clinton’s team of persuaders has convinced her followers that Trump is dangerous. If you remove that part of her spell, Trump wins. Here’s how.
1. Trump’s Tough Talk Inspires violence: Ask Clinton supporters if they have seen the Project Veritas video of Clinton operatives talking about paying people to incite violence at Trump rallies. The people on the video have been fired, and we haven’t seen violence at Trump rallies since.
2. Temperament: Ask Clinton supporters if they have seen the video of Clinton ranting “Why aren’t I already fifty points ahead?” She looks either inebriated or deranged. Mention that the people who know Trump personally have reported that he is both smart and sane in person. Even his enemies who know him personally don’t claim he has a temperament problem. If he did, is there any chance we wouldn’t have heard about it by now?
3. Trump might insult foreign leaders into a war: Trump and Putin seem to get along fine. Netanyahu said he could work with Trump. Mexico isn’t likely to start a war over trade, or the wall. Trump says North Korea is China’s problem, which is literally the safest thing you could say. And China’s leaders are adults who know Trump says offensive things now and then. China will pursue its own interests, and none of those interests involve going to war over some words. Likewise, other leaders are adults too. They won’t change their foreign policy over some insults.
5. Trump might start a war: Trump owns buildings and property around the world. As a general rule, people who own a lot of real estate don’t start wars because their own assets are at risk. But Clinton is “sponsored” – via the Clinton Foundation and speaking fees – by defense companies that profit from war. Likewise, Clinton is sponsored by foreign countries whose interests don’t align with American interests. Clinton supported war in Iraq and Libya, and she threatens Russia, just as the money trail suggests she would. Trump talks mostly about having a strong military to avoid war. He gains nothing by war.
6. Alcohol: Normally alcohol would not be a risk factor in picking a president because usually both candidates are social drinkers. But Trump has never had an alcoholic beverage while Clinton tells us she enjoys social drinking. Having a few social drinks is not a problem unless you plan to drive a car…or make a nuclear launch decision. If we don’t trust a social drinker to operate a motor vehicle, can we trust a social drinker to manage a nuclear arsenal?
If you have ever drunk-texted, or received a text from someone who has, you already know how much “social drinking” can influence decisions.
7. Group Violence versus Crazy Individuals: Have you noticed that when you see election-related violence from a group, it is always Clinton supporters? That happened at Trump’s San Jose rally, and it happened with the homeless woman protecting Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame. When Trump supporters do something violent they are usually acting alone, and crazy. When Clinton supporters get violent it comes in the form of mobs who are NOT crazy. That’s the dangerous kind of violence because they are literally Stronger Together.
8. Pacing and Leading: When normal politicians change their minds we label it flip-flopping or – more kindly – “evolving” in their thinking. When a Master Persuader does it, you are seeing pacing and leading, which is a major tool of persuasion. Pacing involves matching people – in this case emotionally – and later using that bond to lead them. We see Trump doing this often.
a. Trump paced his base by saying he would deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. Once he had his base on his side emotionally, he led to them to his current policy of deporting only the people who committed crimes while here. Have you heard any Trump supporters complain about it lately?
b. Trump paced his base by saying he would ban all Muslim immigration to stop terrorist infiltration. Once he had them on his side emotionally, he led them first to a ban on specific problem countries, and then again to “extreme vetting,” which is a lot like Clinton’s plan. Trump supporters followed, and you don’t hear them complaining.
c. Early in the primaries Trump paced the racists in the Republican party by not disavowing them as clearly and as loudly as even the racists thought he would. Since then he has led Republicans to think that some form of a “New Deal” for African-Americans might be worth a look.
d. At the Republican National Convention, Trump used his emotional connection to his supporters to declare he was the strongest voice to protect the LGBTQ community. Republicans stood and cheered.
Readers of this blog might recall that months ago I predicted that Trump would soften his immigration proposals. That’s because I saw him from the start as a Master Persuader, not a crazy person, and not a common flip-flopper.
In my opinion, Trump might be the safest president we have ever had. He can lead the dark parts of his base toward the light (as Nixon went to China) and he has no incentive for war. Claims about his “temperament” are mostly about his penchant for insults, and that isn’t a mortal danger to anyone.
And there you have your formula for unhypnotizing a Clinton supporter who is mostly worried about Trump being dangerous.
You might enjoy my book because I paced you in this blog post.
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Last night I was comparing campaign coverage on CNN and FOX News. It was like seeing two different realities.
On FOX, the big news is that the FBI is not only investigating the Weiner laptop emails, but separately the FBI has a major investigation about the Clinton Foundation. I watched Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani – who knows a thing or two about prosecutions – explain the money-laundering-bribery crimes the Clinton Foundation has allegedly committed. In other words, if you only watch FOX News, you might believe Clinton is the head of a crime organization that just got caught, and therefore she has no chance of winning the presidency.
Now switch to CNN.
CNN is temporarily a comedy network because it is hilarious to watch them avoid mentioning Clinton while pretending to cover a race that allegedly involves two candidates. They talked about process. They talked about Republican voter suppression. They talked about Trump. But they don’t say much about Clinton. On CNN, what matters most is putting the messengers on trial. CNN pundits accuse the Russians of stealing DNC emails to influence the election. They accuse the Director of the FBI of announcing stuff he shouldn’t announce. On CNN, Clinton has a solid lead in the electoral college and she is likely to be our next president.
So choose your reality. If you like the reality where Trump wins, you can watch it happening live on FOX News. He’s crushing it over there. But if you hope for a Clinton win, watch CNN and see your dreams come true. She’s doing great on that network. On November 8th, one of those realities will fall away.
You might enjoy reading my book because your reality is the correct one. Everyone else is nuts.
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