I had a moment of genuine shock a couple of days after the election. (The election itself wasn’t shocking so much as being gradually overtaken by a creeping sense of existential dread.) Still blankly trying to process how the nation could have elected the world’s emptiest combover, still fixated on the part how everybody, even the combover himself, was certain he was going to lose, my wife and I were asking each other how everyone had gotten it so, so wrong, and I brought up “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams.
If, like my wife, do not follow Scott Adams on Twitter, you may not know that he picked Trump from the very beginning of the primary as the winner, based on Trump’s superior skills of persuasion. Adams, it seems, is a trained hypnotist and a student of the Art of Persuasion. Onstage with the other 16 Republican primary candidates, Trump’s persuasion tactics were so obviously superior, Adams said, that he’d easily win the GOP nomination and eventually the big chair.
This was not a common or popular opinion when Adams started with it, but he stuck to his premise and analyzed every twist and turn of the campaign through the filter of Persuasion Tactics, and he turned out to be right pretty much soup to nuts. His approach early on was detached, like a scientist, but when Trump moved into the general against Hillary and still found Trump the better persuader, he got so much shit from Clinton supporters on Twitter that he started openly advocating for Trump, finding the Hillary people intolerant bullies. He confidently predicted a Trump victory all the way to the end and I don’t have to tell you how that turned out.
Anyway, I was telling my wife all about how the Dilbert guy was the only one who called the election from the beginning, and she looked me in the eye and said, “YOU called it from the beginning.”