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It has come to my attention that there are still a few people in the world that I have not offended. I'd like to fix that by endorsing Donald Trump for president. But not for the reasons you might think.

This morning I read a news item saying that some folks at NBC think Trump might be pretending to run for president to boost ratings. The story noted that ratings for his TV show are up 20% lately. I laughed out loud because sometimes I forget that at least half the country doesn't realize he's just screwing with the media. 

The magnificent part of this whole thing is that he's putting no effort whatsoever into concealing his prank. That's what I love about the guy. He knows that no level of clownery in a field of clowns will single him out as the one clown that doesn't really mean it.

Take Trump's recent empathy with the so-called birthers. That's the most brilliant part of his plan. It's a dead giveaway that he's just screwing with the media, and it has the added benefit of concentrating most of their attention on that one trivial issue. He doesn't even need to study up on the other issues. While Romney is writing position papers, Trump is golfing.

If you are not a student of practical jokes, you might not know they have a specific formula. A proper practical joke is more than a surprise or a lie. The magic part of the prank formula involves leaving enormous clues that are obvious to everyone but the target of the prank.

For example, if you have a coworker who likes to whistle little tunes in his cubicle, his blind spot is that he imagines other people are impressed and delighted by his whistling prowess. You could use that blind spot to engineer your prank. For example, you might have a friend call this fellow at work, pretending to be the director of the local symphony. Your co-conspirator could say the symphony is looking for an accomplished whistler to do a solo when the President of the United States' is in town next month. The payoff is getting the whistler to show up at the local symphony and ask the receptionist where he should go for the whistling audition.

The thing that makes the prank work is that no one in the solar system, except for the whistler, would find this scenario credible. He alone could imagine that word of his whistling talents have started to get around town. And he alone would imagine that the President of the United States would want to hear his whistling solo.

Back to Trump. He's a graduate of the Wharton School, which means his intelligence is in the genius range. He's a world-renowned businessman with attention to details. He's also famous for a trademark form of self-parody that has boosted his brand for decades. There isn't the slightest chance that this man hasn't looked at the birther evidence. He knows the President of the United States is American. That's the hiding in plain sight part of this prank. It isn't the least bit credible that Trump thinks the birther issue is real.

Some of you are thinking he's gone too far with the joke. Or maybe he went too far when he said we should take Iraq's oil by force as payment for a war they didn't ask for. This is not a man who thinks he might someday debate serious politicians in a public forum. This is a man who is winking at the camera and daring you to see the obvious.

Normally I wouldn't call out a prankster while the prank is in play. But this is a special case because the people who think he's serious have made up their minds. In order for them to accept that this is a prank, they'd have to accept that they can't tell the difference between a real candidate and one who is yanking their chains. Brains are not wired for that sort of 180 turn. In the history of humankind, no one has ever said, "I thought I was a brilliant observer of politics but this new information proves that my brain is the size of a tiny mouse turd." Trump's prank literally can't be exposed by anyone but him.

Trump is smart enough to never admit that his presidential aspirations are no more than marketing. To admit the trick would damage his brand. But he has no need to ever expose the prank. Trump, the magnificent bastard, has figured out a way to have his cake and eat it too. The people who are in on the joke find it entertaining. The people who will never know it's a joke have raised their opinion of him so much that he's the leading Republican presidential contender. And his TV ratings are up, so from a marketing standpoint it's working.

Granted, many people are turned off by Trump's pomposity. He knows that. But he also knows that success doesn't come from bland acceptance by the entire world. It comes from the ability to inspire the few. He's nailing that part. I just spent my morning writing about him.

The other genius part of his marketing is that he knows people are influenced by repetition more than reason. The attention he gets for his alleged presidential ambitions allow him to tell you over and over again that all things Trump are amazing. That part of the plan is working too.

Wink.
 
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May 16, 2011
Nice work, Scott! Trump "withdrew" from the race today. Good call!
 
 
May 1, 2011
First off, I want to point out that the following is a logical fallacy: "He's a graduate of the Wharton School, which means his intelligence is in the genius range."

Secondly, this just comes off as snide. It's stupid to lump people into two buckets - those who "get the joke" and those who are "too stupid to get the joke." If he ends up not running, it was always a prank, "did you really not see it?" people could then say. And even if he does, it could still be claimed as a prank, even if he gets elected. I see it as what actually happened. Trump actually said he wants to run. Could it be a prank? Sure it could. Will he get a boost in ratings on his show? Of course he will. Is he doing it to get a boost in ratings? Not too far-fetched. Is it fun to talk about the possibility that he'll run? Most certainly. But I'm glad Scott Adams can bring us all back down to Earth by pointing out something that so many of us idiots never could have hoped to know because we're obviously too stupid to get the joke.
 
 
Apr 27, 2011
And now that the birth certificate is public, he's going after his high school (and college) transcripts! He's not even trying to hide it!
 
 
Apr 27, 2011
Scott, I hope you are right. The man is repulsive and it seems like he hates everyone that is different than him. Is there anything more annoying than a walking ego with bad hair? Maybe even the ego and hatefulness is an act. Who knows. I don't want to find out.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
I think that it is not so much a joke on Trump's part, as an attempt by Trump to be seen as 'cool' to the liberal folks on the east and west coasts.

By playing the part of such a cartoon right-winger (after contributing to Obama and singing his praises in the past) Trump can run as an independent, get 5% of the vote, and 'Perot' an easy win for Obama's second term.

Trump will lose his tacky, sleazy veneer and become a hero to the left.

PS -- if Trump wanted some easy low-hanging fruit he'd go after something that was less a lightning rod, like Obama's transcripts and theses.
 
 
Apr 22, 2011
I think this piece is spot on and brilliant. Cheers for Scott Adams!

And also very sad that so many people are scooped up in a hoax of this nature.
We can weep a bit for America.

Thanks, John
 
 
Apr 22, 2011
Scott Adams' "evidence" link above leads to a CNN blog post containing a series of misleading statements about the indisputable facts of this issue. See my detailed discussion here:

24ahead.com/n/10643

There's an excellent chance that O was born in HI, but he has not conclusively proved it. And, CNN and the rest of the MSM have consistently lied and misled about the basic, indisputable facts of this matter. Instead of standing up and calling CNN and the MSM on their lies, Scott Adams is enabling them to lie and mislead.

P.S. I realize that many people have been trained to reject any critical discussion of this issue as crazy. It's not like that hasn't happened before, for instance with fluoride. People were trained to dismiss anyone who questioned its use as crazy. Now, new studies raise issues with its use and the U.S. HHS recently reduced the recommended levels. Anyone who looks at this matter with an open mind from the angle of whether the MSM is telling the truth will see that the MSM has consistently lied and misled. For an easy introduction, the link above links to another entry discussing a John King segment. Did King identify the wrong building in his segment, yes or no?
 
 
Apr 22, 2011
Although I like Trump, I don't believe the country could put up with his ego! Additionally, he is NOT a conservative as he claims to be.
 
 
-21 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
I like that Trump is dealing with this issue, because he doesn't back down and allow the pseudo intellectuals of the left brow beat him about this issue.

But the two issues that are crucial that Trump raises are why has Obama spent millions of dollars to prevent this document from being seen? What is on this document that would have a person spend so much to hide from sight?

And one still must remember that if a person is born to a parent that is not a citizen, that child may have dual citizenship, which might preclude that person from running for president.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
I know it's a gag and I know Trump knows it, but let's hope it doesn't go sooooo well that he forgets that. :0
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
Here is the reality....

If Obama can pretend to be President...

Anybody can .....

Jeeeeze....what a country!
 
 
+24 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
Looks like Mr. Adams is at his hypnotic best here. He's describing the structure of a practical joke and simultaneously executing it on us. The way he describes 'hiding in plain sight' while leaving clues all over the place that his 'theory' is just a prank seems brilliant. The mention of repetition in the end with the final 'Wink' all but seals it.

However, what makes this post even more brilliant is that it's more or less bulletproof from criticism irrespective of what Trump decides. If he doesn't run, people will hail Scott as the awesome observer that this post suggests. On the other hand, if he does, I sense there'll be another post from Scott exposing this one as a prank that we all fell for.

[I like you. And that's strange because you're not even me. -- Scott]
 
 
Apr 22, 2011
I think Trump is a graduate of the Barnum & Bailey School. I personally don't think he is a genius. I, do, however, think he is *very* good at reading people, the market and the way the wind is blowing. He is a buffoon, albeit an extremely clever one.
 
 
Apr 22, 2011
It would still be hilarious if he won.

"So where's the whistling audition at?"
"Oh yea, third door down on the right."
 
 
Apr 22, 2011
I love Dilbert; I'll bet even the Trump-ster reads it.

Call Trump's gig "the Wisdom of ASOK" - - he's got lots of folks listening and watching.

Not only do I believe that Trump-ster reads Dilbert, I'll be Gary Trudeau does too.
 
 
+14 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
I like the Dilbert comics.

I think Obama is a one-termer. But I would vote for Catbert before I would vote for Trump. So, if it's Trump vs. Obama, that would be a dilemma.

Trump IS defined as a genius if you go with that stupid "IQ over 140" definition. But, as Adams correctly reminds us, there is a big difference between someone who has got an IQ of 140 and someone with an IQ of 180. I think both Bill O'Reilly and Meredith Veira have IQs of 150 - which should give us all food for thought.

On a serious note, most of the things I liked about Obama - that he promised to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, close down Gitmo, stop waterboarding - I've been disappointed in. He not only hasn't brought our troops home, he got us into a "kinetic military action" in Libya. On the other hand, the things I didn't like about Obama - his lack of fiscal discipline - he hasn't disappointed in. He's made Bush look like an amateur on running up the national debt - and that took work. Plus, while he's been in office, unemployment has been high, gas prices go higher and Standard and Poor want to lower our AAA rating. All of a sudden, the Clinton sex scandals or Reagan's Alzheimers are things to be nostalgic for.

I would like a fiscally conservative President who will balance our budget, grow the economy, bring our troops home, keep us out of any more foreign "adventures" and keep the government out of peoples' bedrooms. Is that too much to ask?
 
 
+6 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
I like the Dilbert comics.

I think Obama is a one-termer. But I would vote for Catbert before I would vote for Trump. So, if it's Trump vs. Obama, that would be a dilemma.

Trump IS defined as a genius if you go with that stupid "IQ over 140" definition. But, as Adams correctly reminds us, there is a big difference between someone who has got an IQ of 140 and someone with an IQ of 180. I think both Bill O'Reilly and Meredith Veira have IQs of 150 - which should give us all food for thought.

On a serious note, most of the things I liked about Obama - that he promised to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, close down Gitmo, stop waterboarding - I've been disappointed in. He not only hasn't brought our troops home, he got us into a "kinetic military action" in Libya. On the other hand, the things I didn't like about Obama - his lack of fiscal discipline - he hasn't disappointed in. He's made Bush look like an amateur on running up the national debt - and that took work. Plus, while he's been in office, unemployment has been high, gas prices go higher and Standard and Poor want to lower our AAA rating. All of a sudden, the Clinton sex scandals or Reagan's Alzheimers are things to be nostalgic for.

I would like a fiscally conservative President who will balance our budget, grow the economy, bring our troops home, keep us out of any more foreign "adventures" and keep the government out of peoples' bedrooms. Is that too much to ask?
 
 
+21 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
Interesting formula for practical jokes. Here is another example for your consideration.

The whistler in this thought exercise (tho-ex?) would be the class of left-leaning well-meaning people who so desperately wanted to vote a black man into the white house - perhaps to prove to themselves that even though their skin was not fashionably dusky their internal essence was far more trendy. Provide a good-looking well-spoken (light) black man who isn't quite obviously running the same blatently transparent race hustle of the sort in which the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton tend to be implicated. Make him the underdog in the primary against a somewhat experienced but tired and un-photogenic insider.

It is screechingly obvious that his ideas and inclinations are anti-capitalist, anti-private property, anti-american-exceptionalism, anti-military and generally anti-american. Perhaps because the whistler shares many if not all of these intellectual conceits, the candidates raging unsuitability for the office escapes the jokes target. And when the joke wins, the target of the joke continues to not get it.

So much so that even after three years of a violently just barely present Presidency, the whistler not only approves (or can't face reality) but looks forward to the 4th year of the original term and actively advocates for a second ruinous term - often not by discussing the meat of the issues, but as per usual by attacking the personality, motives and character of especially those making direct runs at the current pretender.

Oh, and by the way, while Trump is golfing ... so is the current too-successful joke. As the smoke continues to rise from our munitions in how many foreign countries?

Much as I usually find myself weighing the choices and doing my well-informed best to choose the least-worst candidate, should I find myself choosing between two practical jokes I will faithfully seek the least-worst. That would not, could not, possibly be the current incumbent. (Actually Huckabee might possibly be worse. But for the sake of argument...)

Whistle away. Ignore the graveyard. Or dustbin. Whatever. Hopefully a few more people are in on the joke this iteration.

BTW, Scott offended me long ago. When I actually bought a book of his and was amazed that the author of the anti-authority anti-bureaucracy character Dilbert was not only intensely negative regarding free enterprise but thought the solution to everything was the ultimate authority, the uber-bureaucracy: bigger and more intrusive central planning big-G Government. In spite of all the examples of the inevitable downfall of such hubris. But perhaps that was merely a practical joke. Hopefully Scott will explain it to us poor deluded non-geniuses sometime soon. Assuming even a genius can figure how to bridge the vast conceptual gulf between the pro-bureaucracy elite and the unwashed masses who prefer to be interfered with as little as possible.

Personally, I think Dilbert should try to do his own startup. Becoming ... a PHB himself. Might be more painful than funny though. May the Wally be with you.

(Should one of those snarkey unrepliable Adams comment appear here, read it in Wile E. Coyote, Super-Genius voice.)
 
 
+40 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
Prank or not, The Donald is the first well-known with the cajones to challenge Obama and his policies directly, without being frightened by the "You must be racist" label. That label worked during the '08 campaign to keep political foes at bay and skirting the real issues, but now just sounds foolish and child-like.
 
 
+9 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 22, 2011
The greater liar is Obama is <a href="http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/justice-hugo-black-in-duncan-v-louisiana-indicates-obama-would-not-be-eligible-ineligibility-echoed-by-former-attorney-general-jeremiah-black/"><b>hiding his disqualification in plain sight</b></a>:
1 by acknowledging his British citizenship by birth to an alien Kenyan who was never a US citizen, which irreparably disqualified him from being a "natural born citizen";

2 by refusing as president elect to provide any prima facie evidence that he qualified to any federal agent, even though this further disqualified him by breaching Amendment XX sect 3;

3 by spending millions of dollars to focus attention on the red herring of hiding his birth certificate and all his other papers.

And almost everyone fell for it!

Corsi's book exposing Obama hit #1 on Amazon - a month before publication!
 
 
 
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