Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Scott Adams' Trump Cult

Sam Harris has done a podcast with Scott Adams, Dilbert cartoonist and out & proud Trump supporter.

It's all kinds of crazy, but a very unique sample of insanity starts at 1:13:00, with Scott Adams saying the following:
"Let me describe what I call my 'perfect life arc'. You are born as a little baby and you're completely helpless and selfish because you have to be, it's the only way you can survive, other people have to do it for you. As you're a kid, maybe you help out with some chores, but you're still mostly selfish but by the time you're an adult especially if you've had children -  you end up giving more than you're taking. And if you've done everything right and you've taken care of yourself and your family, and you're old and you're 71 years old the last things you should be doing is giving back more and the very last thing you do on the moment of your death is transfer 100% of your assets away.
So the perfect life is perfectly selfish and trying to improve every year until you're perfectly giving. If you look at Trump's arc, you can see the perfectly selfish part - and it was really part of his brand - through his primary working years, the Trump University years and all that, and we see especially with the young son and a new wife he's reached a certain point in his career - he's turned over his company. And in my opinion, again this would be making the mistake of imagining that i can tell his inner thoughts but I have talked to people that know him and have talked to him personally about this stuff  and the reports I get is that he's actually doing this for his son and for the country. 
And to your point, uh, he knew - he's not a neophyte to public life - he knew that running for President as a Republican especially was going to get his reputation just destroyed. The amount of arrows this guy has signed up to take is hard to explain in selfishness. If you put the selfishness filter on that, then he's crazy too because he did something that clearly would be awfully painful for him and his family. Their risk of physical death...

The stream of ridiculous consciousness ends there was Sam Harris moves the conversation to challenge him on a number of points.

However, let's recap a number of claims Scott Adams is making:

  1. Trump is more inclined to be giving simply because he's 71 
  2. Trump has found a cause and wishes to make life better for third wife and fifth child
  3. Trump has endured a kind of martyrdom in seeking the Republican nomination for President
  4. Trump has 'turned his company over' and invalidated all his business interests
  5. Trump's actions during the "Trump University" (2005-2010) & pussy-grabbing (2005) era qualifies as Trump's 'primary working years'. Apparently 'primary working years' includes the ages between 60 and 65.

Of course, each of these points and many others within are absurd for many reasons. What is interesting aside from this is why a 60 year old white male would trust a 71 year old white male despite such glaring evidence of personal character flaws spanning decades.

The reason is identity politics. It doesn't matter what Trump says or does, Adams will trust him without a doubt and has a frame for Trump's actions as Adams can't help but put himself in Trump's shoes. Anything Trump can be explained away, as Adams feels the same way. There is absolutely no logic to this.

Trumpkin like Adams talk about Trump's nomination and presidency like some sort of trial by fire, painting Trump as the second coming of Christ even though Trump has done nothing in particular that has proven challenging. Trump can't manage to thread water in a shallow pool, and this is obviously true as it would be difficult to find a Republican that would say that Trump is seeing larger challenges than previous Republican administrations have tackled. Bush saw 9/11. Reagan was shot. And so on.

If half of the nonsense that Scott Adams says (or rather, @ScottAdamsSays) is true, then Obama deserves a form of sainthood as he also had to deal with Trump challenging his legitimacy as President in the most toxic and asinine way possible. Trump acts like losing the popular vote is some sort of crucifixion as if Trump himself did not repeat falsehoods about Obama's very being.

Adams is a sensitive man, and Trump is a sensitive man. In many ways, they were meant for each other as they demonstrate the same emotional state and ability to defend with irrational reflex instead of productive logic. 

Adams is persuaded by Trump. Adams finds Trump a persuasive man. That's all fine, but everyone that does not also see the appeal is merely disgusted by the fact-free bromance.

Not everyone wants to vote for the lemon party.


  1. Thanks for taking the time to transcribe and critique Adams’ nonsense. You hit the nail on the head.

  2. I also had to think for a while about why Adams is so taken with Trump's ability to persuade people. He never says this explicitly, but behind all his talk about Trump's persuasion is an assumption that persuading people is a virtue in itself.

    I would argue the opposite - that speaking lies to persuade people with the intention of "pivoting" later if necessary is blatantly evil. Harris never seemed to quite wrap his indignation around that point.

    In fact, if I was talking to religious conservatives, I would point to the fact that Trump shares all of Lucifer's worst attributes - he's a deceiver, he's arrogant, and he's selfish. How could God get behind a guy like that?

  3. I had a Wendy's double cheeseburger for dinner with a small Frosty (tm).