May 17, 2016
Leon Neyfakh writes for Slate so, big surprise, his article “They Totally Knew: The People Who Foresaw the Rise of Donald Trump” doesn”t include a single prognostication that dates past last summer. That’s because all genuinely vintage “President Trump” predictions were made in the media equivalent of NASCAR country, where guys like Neyfakh rarely venture.
Matthew Richer has been working the #Trump2016 beat at VDare since last April. Here at Taki’s, Patrick Foy called it for The Donald five years ago. And in 2008, on his old terrestrial radio show, Adam Carolla declared, “[Trump’s] gonna be president in eight years, you understand that, everybody?” adding, “They”re harvesting Eva Gabor’s eggs right now as we speak to make a new classy chick from Classivania for Trump to marry as his fifth wife.”
(Laugh away, but Carolla’s “crystal brain“ also predicted Bruce Jenner’s sex change”in 1998: Go to the 1:21:58 mark.)
Of the seers who made Neyfakh’s list at Slate”Howard Stern, Joe Scarborough”the least expected was Scott Adams. Calling it “a prediction, not a preference,” the creator of the Dilbert comic strip blogged on Aug. 5, 2015: “[Y]ou will see a Donald Trump presidency.”
Since then, Adams has carved out a new identity as a political pundit. He’s no longer just that guy who’s created 20 years” worth of yellowing, “It’s funny cuz it’s true!” cartoon cubicle garnish, remaindered desk calendars, and dust-gathering bathroom books.
Okay, so America didn”t need one more election commentator, but Adams really is different. Blessedly, he’s not yet another Constitutional fetishist, bow-tied policy wonk, presidential history buff, ex”White House insider, Ann Coulter clone, Ronald Reagan totem-pole carver, “big data” analyst, or zip code savant.
Besides being a cartoonist, Adams is, well, a hypnotist”an expert, he claims, on “persuasion.” So, he insists, is Trump. In fact, Adams considers Trump’s “persuasion skills” the best he’s ever seen, and says that particular talent will usher him into the White House “in a landslide.”
From his perch as a disinterested outsider”he doesn”t even vote“Adams serves up pop semiotics, pointing out that, for instance, Hillary’s logo “looks like a sign pointing to a hospital””not good”then “cold reading” her health. (“Sometimes her eyes bug out, sometimes they are tired and baggy…. I give Clinton a 50% chance of making it to November with sufficiently good health to be considered a viable president.”)
Why choke down another George Will column about Teapot Dome when you can read Adams” nigh on Jungian analysis of everybody’s haircuts?
His idiosyncratic, compulsively readable posts, with their refreshingly “autistic” frankness, are mental potato chips. I”d bet they light up the same pleasure centers of your brain as do “ancient astronauts” and “subliminal seduction.” And that should give everyone who’s been gleefully reblogging his “Trump landslide!” musings pause, because Scott Adams may very well be a bit of a nut.
“I take the Schroedinger’s Cat approach to abortion,” Adams wrote last month, “in which I believe that the fetus is a living human if you think it is. And if you think it is not a living human, it is not.” Now, I”m no pro-life fanatic, but that surely strays beyond “stoned libertarian college dorm bull session” into “something a high-IQ serial killer might say.”
Or take Adams” latest post, on the “news” that in the early 1990s Trump used to call up the media posing as his own “publicist,” complete with fake name. A few hundred words later, Adams has indeed, well, persuaded me that Trump’s deceit was not only brilliant but forgivable”and by this time next week, forgettable, too.
Except that, unlike writers for Slate, my mental notebook contains entries older than “2015.”
“For months, Adams has been pretending to be the world’s biggest Scott Adams fan under the handle “PlannedChaos,”” Gawker gleefully recounted in 2011. After being caught pseudonymously praising himself as “a certified genius” on message boards, Adams unburdened himself, post-detection, with an uncharacteristically obtuse 3,000-word “explanation.”
Also uncharacteristic was the normally guileless Adams” failure to mention his own adventures in sockpuppetry while praising Trump’s old-school variation on the ploy.
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