In a very interesting conversation with the libertarian website Reason TV, Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams argued that Donald Trump isn’t the blustering buffoon that the media portrays him as, but is actually a brilliant politician who is a master of language and persuasion.
I see a flamethrower, the flamethrower guy wins in a stick fight…
The idea of the Master Wizard Hypothesis says there are some people in the world, living people, masters of persuasion, they’ve got a linguistic gift for influencing people. And they are using actual techniques.
What I [see] in Trump is someone who was highly trained. A lot of the things that the media were reporting as sort of random insults and bluster and just Trump being Trump, looked to me like a lot of deep technique that I recognized from the fields of hypnosis and persuasion.
Some other interesting thoughts from Scott Adams are on specific examples of his persuasive powers.
An engineered set of words that changes an argument or ends it so decisively, I call it a kill shot. One of the ones Donald Trump used was referring to Bush as a “low energy guy” or Carly Fiorina as a “robot” or Ben Carson as “nice.”
All of these have the same quality, they are words you haven’t heard in the political realm before, so they are sort of virginal words without any baggage, but they also perfectly fit… They weren’t random insults, once you hear it, you can never get it out of your mind, that is how powerful it is.
One interview said he was “kind of a whiner,” instead of saying, “no, I’m not a whiner,” Trump embraced it –like Judo– took the force of the label, and used it… He changed whiner into “the biggest voice for change” with just a few words. It’s amazing.
He uses vagueness as a tool, this is something I learned in hypnosis class… Sometimes you want to tell a story in a way that lets people fill in the blanks with whatever would make them the happiest…
People fill in the blanks with brilliant plans that are their own plans.