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Today I will make my best case for why you should vote for me for President of the United States. I'll be using some powerful tricks of persuasion, so don't read further if that sort of thing would bother you.

By the way, the first paragraph was a trick of persuasion. I gave you the choice of opting in for the persuasion that follows. That put us on the same team and short circuited your automatic reflex for resistance. And I made you curious at the same time.

One of the fascinating things about persuasion is that I can describe my method while I do it, and it makes no difference to the outcome. That's why advertising still works even though we all know the tricks involved. It's why a trial lawyer can be overtly manipulative with a jury and yet each juror will still feel as though he or she reached a decision independently. Today I'll lay bare my method of persuasion and it will feel to you as if most of what I say actually makes a lot of folksy common sense.

I'll start by stating some simple truths that you probably agree with. When someone has the same opinion as you, it makes you think of them as smart. You can double that impact by putting your simple truths in a familiar form, such as a common saying or catch phrase. Our brains automatically assume that the familiar is more valid than the unfamiliar.

I'll begin by stating a simple fact: At the national level, our elected officials from both major parties are failing us. If we voters continue doing the same thing - electing more Republicans or more Democrats - we'll get the same result. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. We're just shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. (Notice the familiar imagery.)

But what can we voters do that is different? Everyone knows that an independent candidate for President has almost no chance of winning, right? There's a chicken and egg problem. No voter wants to throw away a vote by supporting a candidate that can't win. And the candidate can't win without support. There's no way to prime the pump. It makes more sense to hold your nose and support whichever candidate is less awful than the alternative while also having a chance of winning.

Here's how we can hack the system and get out of this trap. Starting today, if anyone asks who you support for President, insist that the answer is "none of the above," and that the Dilbert cartoonist guy represents that choice. If enough people associate "none of the above" with my candidacy, pollsters will start putting my name into the lineup just to make the results more newsworthy. News is driven by novelty. Sooner or later, some pollster looking for attention will add my name to a survey just to see if I beat Huntsman.

It doesn't cost you anything to support me in polls before the election. In the worst case scenario there will still be a top Republican and a top Democrat to vote for when you get into the voting booth. You'll know by election day if a vote for me is likely to be wasted or not.

Don't be too concerned about the fact that I have no moral center and no qualifications whatsoever for the job of president. I've promised in previous blog posts that if elected I will do whatever Bill Clinton advises me to do, which would lead to policies that are a sensible middle ground (triangulation). That's a low risk strategy for fed-up voters, and it would be a wake-up call to the major parties that they need to change to remain relevant. As citizens, the worst thing we can do is reward either party for their atrocious performance. My one-term presidency would be similar to a parent giving a misbehaving child a time out. Republicans and Democrats would have four years to reflect on what they did wrong.

As president, I would be realistic about how much any one person, including the president, can do to fix the economy. But economies do respond to attitudes and optimism, and I would work directly on our national mood.

For starters, I would ask every citizen to contribute to our economic turnaround in whatever way each of us is best suited. I'd ask rich people to hire a few more people than they would otherwise prefer. For the unemployed, I'd ask them to actively work on their job skills by taking classes, volunteering as unpaid interns, or whatever it takes. And I'd ask everyone to exercise daily and eat right, to keep our national energy high and our health care costs low.

The key to this plan is that we all need to choose our own type of sacrifice, and we all need a way to broadcast our sacrifice to our neighbors. Sacrifice needs to be observed to be sustained. Some have said that recycling only works because each family's effort is displayed once per week at the curb. Similarly, citizens need visible evidence of each person's sacrifice toward fixing the economy. Perhaps each type of sacrifice could be signified by a color. People who wear green bracelets might be honing their job skills. People who wear purple have hired one more employee than needed. People who wear blue have volunteered to be mentors, or unpaid tutors, and so on. The bracelets would be optional, of course, just as they have been for the Livestrong fight against cancer, and that program has been hugely successful. As president, I would borrow any system that works.

With my concept of making our sacrifices visible and universal, everywhere you go you'd see people wearing their colors on their bracelets, or lapel pins, or bumper stickers. And you'd have something to discuss with every person you meet. Our most basic human urge, after survival, is to be a part of something larger than ourselves. Technically, we're all part of a country, but it usually feels as if we're nothing but a bunch of people acting selfishly. As President, that's the only thing I'd try to change. I'd work on making the nation feel like a group effort. And to do that, sacrifice has to be both universal and visual.

Compare the shared sacrifice concept I just described to our current system that involves identifying particular groups and asking them to sacrifice for the benefit of others. So far, that hasn't worked. And it pulls us farther apart.

This concludes my persuasive argument. I described a simple method by which my name could be safely associated with "none of the above" for president. I described a picture of shared sacrifice that sounded both sensible and appealing. And I described a practical way that every citizen can send a message to politicians that they need to shape up to remain relevant.
 
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Dec 14, 2011
The way that all citizens can help with the economic turnaround is by striving to be productive and by living within their means. The give away, something for nothing mentallity is the biggest reason that the world is in trouble. It doesn't matter if it is the rich or the poor that are getting the "freebies". It is the "freebies" that are the problem. Eventually someone will have to pay for them. We've spent to the point where any honest economist will tell you that there is no way we will ever be able to return the full value of our debt to our creditors. Giving away more money we don't have to pay people for jobs that don't need doing will not change that. If it did we would only need to run some more money off a printing press to make everyone wealthy.
 
 
Dec 9, 2011
I think you would be a great protest vote.
 
 
Dec 6, 2011
No use running as an independent; your policies and proposed solutions are decidedly Democrat Party. You're a Clinton Democrat suffering under an Obama presidency.
 
 
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 6, 2011
can you post some kind of initial "Scott Adams for President" poster art that we can put on our Facebook, Google , etc. pages. Maybe it could link back to your blog so that when someone sees it they can click on the picture to learn more about your candidacy via your writings here.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 6, 2011
Of course I'll vote for you. Actually you converted me years ago because, to this day, I still don't set my alarm for anytime that is divisable by 15 and that has been a very long time.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 6, 2011
Scott since you mentioned Bill Clinton, do you also intend to follow his strategy of doing nothing worthy of note and taking credit for any random positive event that occurs during your administration while blaming all negative events on something the opposition did? Worked for Slick Willy, why not you? Republicans and Democrats as you rightfully point out are all part of the same system like "professional" wrestling. Bad guy one day, good guy next, everyone gets a turn at wearing the belt.
 
 
Dec 6, 2011
You should just run as a Republican so we can learn from the media of your scandalous past.

 
 
Dec 6, 2011
Scott, while you have some good ideas, there is already one candidate who fits the bill "none of the above" and is consistently ignored by the media as a result. Someone with decades of experience and a consistent message. Someone who is not afraid to upset the status quo and has a real plan to turn this country away from the precipice it's on. He's not Hollywood enough for most, but is a true statesman and deserving of trust. Him, I will vote for. Ron Paul for President.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 6, 2011
So we would replace Obama with a different wealthy liberal?
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 6, 2011
Have you seen Brewster's Millions?
http://movieclips.com/3ZV5-brewsters-millions-movie-none-of-the-above/
 
 
Dec 6, 2011
You make me feel like voting for you...

However, I don't think you're tall enough.
Have you noticed that every candidate and Obama are at least 6 feet tall?
(Except for Bachmann, which is why she can't win.)

Also, anybody who is rational/practical enough to vote for you,
will realize that the ROI of voting itself is too low, and won't even bother to go to the booth. :p
 
 
+10 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 6, 2011
I think the extra employee should get to wear the purple bracelet. That way everyone knows who the office "spare" is.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 6, 2011
>Note that most people that don't like this post are put down by the "sacrifice/ color bracelet" thing. I would put it that it is not the government that is broke (each people gets the government that it deserves), but that there is something wrong with morality. The sense of community is fading. And we know where that comes from.

Constant violent threats as a means of running society?
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 6, 2011
Note that most people that don't like this post are put down by the "sacrifice/ color bracelet" thing. I would put it that it is not the government that is broke (each people gets the government that it deserves), but that there is something wrong with morality. The sense of community is fading. And we know where that comes from.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 5, 2011
>For starters, I would ask every citizen to contribute to our economic turnaround in whatever way each of us is best suited. I'd ask rich people to hire a few more people than they would otherwise prefer. For the unemployed, I'd ask them to actively work on their job skills by taking classes, volunteering as unpaid interns, or whatever it takes. And I'd ask everyone to exercise daily and eat right, to keep our national energy high and our health care costs low.

Or we could realize that we're not the borg collective. How do you define an economic turnaround? Why do people have to work? If you find a job that you love and you think it pays well, have at it, and I'm definitely not against retraining yourself, but the idea that people need jobs or to be productive (productivity of course is defined loosely as contributing to arbitrary aggregates like GDP) is missing the point. JObs are a means to an end, not an end in and of themselves.

We could "solve" most of our problems with a philosophical awakening rather than technocratic fixes (that are actually just another form of philosophy being slammed down everyone's throats). I don't even understand what it is that Scott is trying to accomplish. It just seems like a bunch of shuffling around of resources in order to placate an angry mob of materialists who are wondering where their corner office is.

That's just it; the OWS crowd is not "slackers." They are hard working individuals who have been told all of their lives that if you study and work hard, opportunities will follow. Over time, people switched from trying to accomplish real goals to simply trying to maintain a materialistic lifestyle, and extend it as much as possible. This is the problem with neoliberal economics being sold to our children as the only philosophy. All real meaning has been stripped away, and we are now just Sisyphus, rolling the bolder up a hill for eternity.

The truth is that you don't need the house and the car. You don't need the retirement cruises in the bahamas. You don't need to live to be 80. None of these things are intrinsically good in any objective way. It isn't worth enslaving yourself to the government, corporations, or anybody else to simply chase a materialistic existence. We've spent so much time focusing on our own materialism and technocratic metrics that we have all forgotten the big picture. Now we squabble about whose country has a 3 year higher life expectancy, a slightly lower infant mortality rate, or 5% higher PISA scores.

Your life can be whatever you want it to be. It doesn't have to be this way. Maybe our problems are mostly philosophical rather than technical?

I'm rather blazed, so this may sound like a rant, but I'm just trying to get a point of view across.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 5, 2011
I know this is off the subject, but I couldn't find your "True Tales of Induhviduals". If you discontinued this, shame on you.

Anywho - I have to share this email excerpt from my boss: "Please note that while this [meeting] invitation is for 2:00 – 2:30, plan to be there 2:15 - 3:30".

I have no explanation for this - or even a smart remark. But I can't know this all to myself.
 
 
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Dec 5, 2011
Hey Scott, do you have any semi-accurate numbers for how many unique, real people read your blog?
 
 
Dec 5, 2011
Your end goal is at least somewhat related to what has happened in Canadian politics over the last 20 years. An upshot, grassroots party with roots in the conservative west sprang up to become very popular. It created a lot of upheaval: the country became more geographically divided, the left (the Liberal party) became more centrist, and the right became splintered. For about a decade the Liberals were almost untouchable. Interestingly, the right coalesced under a new version of the Conservative party, and now the Liberal party is trying to regroup, having suffered its worst defeat ever in the last election. Both sides have had their timeout, and though some would disagree with me, I would say it's knocked both main parties down a peg or two in the process.
 
 
Dec 5, 2011
Scott Adams for President
Vote Different
 
 
Dec 5, 2011
p.s. so you won't think I was swearing, the words that the blog censorship program replaced were b l o o d - s u c k i n g. The sentenced should have read, "Scott's self-aggrandizing efforts would be much better placed if he used his not-insignificant prestige to try to persuade people to stop thinking of the government like their parents and think of it more like a big fat b l o o d - s u c k i n g leech."

I still wish he could change the stupid blog software. Enough said.
 
 
 
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