Monday, September 19, 2016

Who Is Scott Adams and Why Does Anybody Listen to Him?

So I've been running across this name "Scott Adams" over and over again in connection with the defense of Trump and his campaign. Adams is mentioned as if he were a guru, a super-knowledgeable man of savvy honesty who finds in Trump what America Needs Now.

Interesting. But who the hell is he, and why does anybody listen to him?

I tracked him down via a link at NC and wandered over to his site wherein his latest cogitation proclaims him not to be a Trump supporter after all, or at least not an enthusiastic one, because he's doing well in his life and therefore rationally, he is -- or at least ought to be -- a Clinton supporter, but when it comes down to it, so he says, it doesn't really matter because in the end, he's fine, just fine, with either one of them in the White House.

Got that?

Oh, and he is the creator of "Dilbert."

I thought his latest cogitation on Trump's "risk assessment" was savvy as heck because it had nothing whatsoever to do with anybody's risk but his own. We learn that in Trump's view the only important interest is that of Himself; what happens to anybody else is solely their problem. Too bad, so sad if things aren't going well for the losers and moochers.

Now if you are seriously contemplating electing someone to the Presidency, you might want someone who at least says and now and then acts as if there were other people in the world for whom they have an interest or concern.

That's not Trump, not by Scott Adams assessment, not by a long shot.

One can and should question or criticize Hillary's sincerity, for it is in my view that of a lawyer working for a client, not that of an activist intent on bettering the lives of anyone but herself and her clientèle. This is pretty straightforward. On the other hand -- and this is where I think it gets important -- she seems to understand that her clients' interests are served better over the long run by relenting somewhat on the squeeze they put on the Lesser People.

Trump has none of that. Even according to one of his chief online defenders, Scott Adams, Guru.

It's all and only about him, all the time. If someone else benefits from his self-absorption, so be it, but their well-being is not his interest or concern.

He's not interested in the public good, he's interested in his good. Solely and entirely. And that's just fine with a large enough segment of the electorate -- including Scott Adams -- that they would seriously consider him for President (or King-Emperor, whatever ... caudillo, Leader, Fuhrer...).

It's all there in Scott Adams' consideration of Trump's "risk assessment."

And Scott Adams, Guru, seems utterly blind to what he's saying. Particularly blind to the fact that his defenses of Trump and denunciations of Clinton are objectively pro-Trump, much as many other internet media political pontificators have been. Even when they profess to be... something else.

Within Trumpism, they see something desirable for them to gain no matter what happens to anyone else, whereas within Clintonism, they see something for them to fear, no matter what happens to anyone else.

How exactly they expect to gain under a Trump regime remains a mystery. Perhaps they believe that by "persuasion" -- a term Scott Adams uses a lot with regard to Trump's abilities -- they, too, can gain riches and power, just as Trump has done.

Of course, as described, Trump's "master persuader" shtick is that of a gangster. He can "make it so" because of the implicit threat that if it is not so, he'll break your legs (metaphorically or literally) or he'll have one of his people do it.  Or he'll ruin you. No doubt at least some of his supporters believe in their own persuasive abilities...

In other words, you exist solely to serve his/their interests. And all this is being normalized during the present Grand Guignol. No one is really questioning it. Not even Herself, Mrs. Clinton.

She doesn't question it in part because these are the people she's serving and would be serving if she is elected to the Presidency.

Both of these candidates primarily represent the interests of a cruel and thieving gang of thug-aristos who happen to run the country in their own interests. Difference is that Trump is one of that thieving gang, where as Herself works for them.

So We, the Rabble really have nothing to choose between in this electoral season.

That will drive down turn out, something that always pleases Party apparatchiks, and that is likely to mean that whoever wins the popular vote will do so by a plurality rather than majority. Those who do vote -- and I'm not sure I will -- for president will be more likely to choose either Johnson or Stein rather than Trump or Hillary than would otherwise be the case, and that vote is likely to be sufficient to deny either of the major candidates a majority. Whatever the case, the candidate who wins will no doubt rule as if with a mandate -- just as Bush-Cheney did.

I've felt all along that the fear of Hillary unleashing nuclear holocaust is exaggerated, just as the belief that Trump wouldn't do so is silly. These things are not decided by presidents alone. There can be no nuclear or other war without the active participation of the military, and the military has its own set of interests and means of persuasion. The lies that got us into the current set of conflicts were generated within a certain faction of the military-surveillance state, one that was given its head under the persuasive power of Cheney, primarily, and with appalling, disastrous, monumentally catastrophic results. Our rulers may be dumb as bags of hammers, but they seem to be able to learn on occasion from their failures. I sincerely doubt they will be getting into something as horrific as the Bush-Cheney regime was allowed to any time soon again.

On the other hand, the fear of nuclear holocaust -- accidental or deliberate -- is real, certainly for anyone of my generation. The risk is as real no matter which of the major candidates is eventually installed in the Big Chair, in part because the act of nuclear war is driven from outside their own power.

Scott Adams' defenses of Trump and denunciations of Clinton seem to be driven by the kind of corporate interest libertarianism that is really unconscious of any interest but self-interest. It's akin to the libertarian motto: 'I demand the liberty to impose my authority on you.' Because Clinton is not all in with that notion, but Trump is, there is fear that if Clinton were elected, she might put some additional curbs on those demands, whereas Trump would make it easier for the impositions of free authority on the Lower Orders. Just so long as it doesn't interfere with his freedom and authority, right?

How this devolves in the end, I dunno. But whatever the case, it's not going to be good for the many, only for a faction of the few.

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