Dilbert Creator: Donald Trump ‘Installed Himself as Dad’

Donald Trump selfie (LM Otero / Associated Press)
LM Otero / Associated Press

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is not a Donald Trump supporter, but has emerged as one of the leading interpreters of Trump’s daring campaign tactics. Adams believes Trump is a “Master Persuader” who uses negotiating techniques to dominate the political field.

He is troubled by Trump’s latest controversial plan–to close U.S. borders to Muslims–but says that there are certain circumstances in which that plan might make sense–or in which the alternative means accepting a certain number of dead Americans.

He writes:

It appears that Trump is playing the odds, and smartly, whether you like it or not. ISIS, or its supporters, will certainly strike again. And each time that happens you will try to imagine what can be done about it. And you will only know of one option – the Trump option of shutting down all Muslim immigration for now….

So Trump owns the topic of terror because he has the only plan, as far as you know. The only other plan you can imagine is the one where the terrorist attacks escalate forever. You can tolerate that situation for now because religious freedom is a basic American right. But Trump is calculating (correctly) that the public will move away from “do nothing” and toward “do something” every time there is another attack. And when the time comes to “do something” you will only know about the Trump plan….

In summary, I will agree with critics who say Trump’s call to ban Muslim immigration – even temporarily – is Hitler-scary. I hope all good Americans are offended by the suggestion on some visceral level even if you think it has to be done.

But if you plan to participate in this conversation, and you aren’t willing to put a price tag (in terms of American deaths) on your preference for maintaining religious open-mindedness, I will find it hard to take you seriously….

In simple terms, Trump infantilized the entire country and installed himself as dad.

You know Dad; he’s the asshole who makes the hard choices. He makes you go to school when you don’t feel like it. He makes you come home before midnight when you know there is nothing magic about midnight. He prohibits you from watching X-rated movies when you are nine years old even though you are sure it would be fine.

Here I am not talking about logic and reason. I’m talking about the tendency of human brains to form automatic associations.

Read Adams’s entire essay here.


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