August 26, 2016

"The weird thing is, people don’t care why. They only care if you’re on their side. So it actually made most of the problems go away. Almost instantly, people stopped calling me Joseph Goebbels."

"In terms of my safety, it absolutely worked, exactly as I imagined it would work. . . . I’m actually safer because I’ve endorsed Hillary Clinton."

Said Scott Adams, explaining to the Wall Street Journal why he endorsed Hillary Clinton even though "he doesn’t vote, disagrees with both candidates on policy, and thinks both are too old."

Was Adams actually unsafe when people were inferring that he supported Trump? "I don’t go out much, and when I do, people don’t recognize me," so he'd had no scary encounters. The danger was merely inferred — perhaps to spice up observations about the comparison of Trump to Hitler. He says that calling Trump Hitler is "a call for assassination": "There’s no other way you can [expletive] interpret that."

And if Trump is Hitler and he's perceived as "Hitler"'s propagandist, then he is "Goebbels":
"A few dozen times, people referred to me publicly as [Nazi propagandist] Joseph Goebbels, just because I was talking about Trump’s persuasion skills, not his policies or anything."

"To me that was a call to violence. It’s an indirect call, but it’s saying if you kill Joseph Goebbels, you’re doing the country a favor."
If Adams were really afraid he'd get killed, he wouldn't contribute to stirring up the Hitler-Goebbels-assassination ideation. But it's interesting banter, all of it — including (and especially) the notion that people are professing support for Hillary Clinton because other Hillary supporters are making it feel dangerous not to support her. And that seems like some insidious (pro-Trump) persuasion move, doesn't it?

I believe Adams isn't for either candidate, but he's doing what he likes to do: writing about what's interesting to him. I could be wrong, because I am biased: It looks to me as though he does what I do. And I understand how people construe writing about Trump without contempt as support for Trump.

You must assure the good people that you are for Hillary, and Adams makes a game out of giving people the assurance they demand. That exposes the coercion involved, and most people don't like to be coerced. So the expression of support for Hillary cues people to think it would be transgressive and liberating to vote for Trump. Safe too, since the vote is secret.

By the way, I read Scott Adams's book, and "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life," and it corroborates the assertion that people don't recognize him:
For over a decade I’ve been semifamous for creating Dilbert, but I’m still generally unrecognized in public. When I meet people for the first time without the benefit of a full introduction, I’m treated like any other stranger. But if the topic of my job comes up, people immediately become friendlier, as if we had been friends forever.
Did you know that book is about 1/4 diet book? His advice is summed up as: "I eat as much as I want, of anything I want, whenever I want." The trick is in the "want," and if you think of yourself as a robot, there is a way to want what you need to want.

39 comments:

Darrell said...

Actually voting for Trump after being forced to endorse Hillary would be the smart move now.

Darrell said...

People can't tell pollsters that they are voting for Trump because they can't be sure where that information will end up. Since no one went to jail at the IRS for abusing their power to harass Republicans, it sent a clear signal that this is no longer a nation of laws and justice. Hillary and Huma breathing free air just adds an exclamation point.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Seems to me that admiring the mind of Scott Adams --finding him interesting -- is something that happens to a person, like a birth defect or maybe getting cancer.

Temujin said...

I dunno. I just can't get myself to believe that he felt threatened from the loving Left. They've got such a record of loving all mankind throughout history. Am I correct, Comrade? Oh crap. Did I say mankind? I didn't mean that. I meant Xekind. Er...Zerkind? Hell...re-education is not easy.

Henry said...

"To me that was a call to violence. It’s an indirect call, but it’s saying if you kill Joseph Goebbels, you’re doing the country a favor."

Stochastic terrorism, Rolling Stone calls it.

Tommy Duncan said...

" I just can't get myself to believe that he felt threatened from the loving Left. They've got such a record of loving all mankind throughout history.

20 million Russians can't be wrong.

William said...

Goebbels had a certain talent for propaganda, but I wouldn't put him in the same league with Eisenstein.

Terry said...

"The trick is in the "want," and if you think of yourself as a robot, there is a way to want what you need to want."
You can tell if someone is thinking of his or her self as a robot because they will call you 'meatbag', or 'coffin-stuffing.', or some other crude robot word for humans.

William said...

This is demonstrated by the fact that Goebbels is remembered as an evil propagandist and Eisenstein as a great filmmaker.

David Begley said...

Go see the movie Anthropoid. The assassination of the third ranked Nazi in Prague by the resistance.

traditionalguy said...

I get it. The Secret Ballot is an ancient Alt-Conservative, Racist, Neo-Nazi trick. But Hillary can change that evil using a simple device that hacks voting computers.

Just watch. Not only will the vote totals always match the faked polls, the sole surviving one-party will have a list of the names and addresses of those who voted wrong...and they will splain that to us.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Begley,

Good idea, but does this relate to the post?

Oso Negro said...

So essentially he has the ethics of a garden slug. Time to find a new Most Fascinating Man in the World.

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, he does have a point here - so far, the violence has been going one way only, with Trump supporters the ones getting beat up. Esp older Trump supporters by younger Croojed Hillary supporters. It is apparently esp dangerous to be a female wearing Trump gear. Of course, it is never clear whether the people beating up Trump supporters are Crooked Hillary supporters, or were hired by George Sorros or the SEIU.

Sydney said...

It's hard to tell when a robot is joking.

Fernandinande said...

“You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals.’ ”

Dem womens be sacred.

William said...

The old saying is that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. In like way, one man's propagandist is another man's artist......When the history of twentieth century comes to be written, I think it will turn out that collective farms were the great crime of that era. Millions of people starved to death and millions of other people lived out their lives in conditions of squalor and misery. I know of no novel or film that dramatized the plight of collective farm workers. Can anyone here name one single person who died on a collective farm. There are dramas about concentration camps, gulags, and segregation, but nothing about collective farms.......Eisentstein made movies that glamorized the men who created collective farms and is remembered fondly for those movies. D.W. Griffith made a movie that glamorized the KKK, and that has destroyed his reputation........I've no complaint about the criticism of Griffith, but there's something foul about giving Eisenstein a pass and demonizing Griffith.......They were both on the wrong side of history, but Griffith is on the wrong side of leftist history books and those are the ones that count.

MadisonMan said...

The active dislike -- hatred -- of Trump makes me want to vote for him.

I'm contrarian by nature.

Terry said...

Why isn't the Tin Man considered a robot?
And if the Tin Man is a robot, why isn't the Scare Crow a robot?

Carol said...

Funny how so many unknown or unrecognizable trumpettes got all paranoid this week about hillary's alt-right speech. "Come and get me" said mike cernovich. Adams fancies himself Goebbels. But she goes off on the kkk.

It's the name recognition, stupid.

EDH said...

Someone should do a film like the "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman."

Except in this film the subject will be wearing either a Trump or Hillary shirt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XGPvbWn0A

Birches said...

I read this article last week . Taranto wrote the feature, so of course I was interested. More interesting than the article though was how much abuse Taranto was getting on Twitter just for doing the interview. I think there might be paid trolls who must have to post if someone mentions @scottadamssays. Taranto is pretty much like Althouse on Trump, but didn't see much pushback until he got involved with Adams. Interesting.

EDH said...

"First they came for the..."

What if we Althouse readers and commenters are part of the dreaded "Alt-right" Hillary decries?

Must... abandon... the... hive.

gerry said...

One has to always remember that it was socialists, both national and international, that killed 70 million people since the foundation of the USSR, and that it was Progressives and liberals here and abroad who supported those murderers for many, many years and helped to suppress the truth about their political repercussions.

Progs and libs are prone to extreme physical means to frighten and suppress free expression. The Trump rally in Minneapolis is a recent example of Progressive/liberal violence.

Chuck said...

Wait just a minute!

Criticizing Trump need not be equated with support for Hillary! Does anyone think that Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Bill Kristol, Steve Hayes, Jonah Goldberg or Charles Krauthammer are going to vote for Hillary Clinton?

Does anyone think that I will vote for Hillary Clinton?

Actually, some of the rabid pro-Trumpers undoubtedly do. But I won't make the same mistake as Scott Adams; presuming that their confusion and idiocy means anything of substance. I think that Althouse has rather brilliantly deconstructed the false premises built into Scott Adams' fear of harm from anti-Trump left wingers. I'd say much the same about not worrying about the extreme Trumpkins' presumptions about Trump critics. Who cares?

EMD said...

"“You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals."

The obvious reply to this is "I've called men I don't like worse."

Terry said...

Blogger gerry said...
One has to always remember that it was socialists, both national and international, that killed 70 million people since the foundation of the USSR, and that it was Progressives and liberals here and abroad who supported those murderers for many, many years and helped to suppress the truth about their political repercussions.



From the days of the Jacobin Club and the massacres in the Vendee, to the great revolutionary socialisms, nationalist and internationalist, of the twentieth century, with their one hundred million or so murders, the will to lead modern humanity onward into a postreligious promised land of liberty, justice, and equality has always been accompanied by a willingness to kill without measure, for the sake of that distant dawn. And something of the special ethos generated by this modern idea of the supremacy of will over nature declared itself with particular vividness at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, when the rise of 'scientific' racial theories and the new 'progressive' politics of eugenics encouraged a large number of educated and idealistic young men and women to begin conceiving of humanity as merely another kind of technology, an object to be manipulated, revised, and perfected by the shaping hand of scientific materialism.
-David Bentley Hart

Matthew Sablan said...

I've always said that when I disagree with people on the right, I never feel attacked or disrespected. It always is sort of a, "huh, that's interesting, anyway," part of the conversation. Disagreeing with people on the left is a much, much more delicate matter.

Matthew Sablan said...

Which to expand on, is part of the "threatening," but not "life threatening." There's a feeling of being on egg shells with more overly political people, and I tend to run into them more on the left than right. I've never felt threatened with physical violence for disagreeing though.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Why isn't the Tin Man considered a robot?"

-- Because he [like the Scarecrow] is animated by magic. You *might* be able to very loosely call them golems [in the D&D sense of "magical humanoid, intelligent being," not in the more traditional sense]. But robots? Right out.

eric said...

Adams is invested in a Trump win. He is on record as predicting a Trump landslide.

Everything he says and does now must be viewed through that lense. How is he trying to manipulate the vote by what he is saying and doing?

n.n said...

Azis.

mockturtle said...

The Left today is dangerously intolerant. [I wouldn't dream of putting a Trump sticker on my vehicle]. The Left actually believes their venomous hatred is Goodness and that any acts against Trump or his supporters are Morally Justified. The comparison to the Jacobins is not without foundation.

Mountain Maven said...

Disagreeing with those on the right, while not as unpleasant as disagreeing with those on the left, is still miserable. I rarely discuss politics these days. Trying to convince myself that Clinton can't really impact my life.

Mark said...

Again -- Who is this Scott Adams guy and just why would anyone care?? I know he is the center of the universe for some people (well, at least one -- no, make that two, himself and at least one other), but the rest of the world? Not so much. Really.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Well we have to take Twitter harrasment of people like Adams seriously, and consider it dangerous, since that is how we feel about women who receive threats and harassment on Twitter, right?
I wonder his many people have been banned for tweeting mean things at Adams.

richardsson said...

Wait a minute. Maybe I'm wrong, but remember that Scott Adams is a humorist. His claim to fame is Dilbert. Now only the dumbest, laziest person you could ever meet would think Scott Adams was a hard core political propagandist. So what does Adams do? He does comedy. He uses the death threats (assuming he got them) for a gag. This is like a Bob Hope gag. Scott Adams gets death threats, so he plays the coward, endorses Hillary but really doesn't mean it, meanwhile telling us that Trump is a genius and will win by a landslide. But then, he won't vote. Confound, confuse, and play the coward. He's Bob Hope, Woody Allen, and Bob Newhart rolled into one.

I read his book and I would file it under humor, certainly not self help. He is a very funny man.

Jonathan Graehl said...

I think most *intelligent* people can appreciate both Scott Adams' conceptual art and his genuine observations. He smokes a lot of weed, apparently.

I do see him as a sort of (less erudite / funnier) kindred spirit to Althouse.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Watch him on Periscope some time. He's sometimes really genuinely amusing on the fly (though not to stand-up comic levels). He's also insightful (which few comics are) in real time. Rare combo.