Author and popular cartoonist Scott Adams explained how President Donald Trump is vanquishing his opponents in the current controversy over NFL players who refuse to stand during the playing of the National Anthem at football games. On his Periscope account, Adams said "President Trump has picked the strongest brand for his side of the argument: America." Besides being the creator of the popular 'Dilbert' cartoon strip, Adams is also the author of Win Bigly: Persuasion In A World Where Facts Don't Matter, in which he discusses his theories about mass communication and persuasive rhetoric that can be used by businesses and politicians. He has frequently praised Trump's messaging. In 2016, Adams predicted Trump's electoral victory.

Adams went on to say in his Periscope video, "It is the highest ground. As long as he stays there, he can't really lose. He has gravity on his side." The protesters, said Adams, on the other hand: "In the long run... all these different forms of protest for the anthem, the staying inside, the kneeling and then standing, some kneeling, some standing, some locking arms. It all became just a little bit too Broadway, wouldn't you say?"

"Which of those two approaches feels enduring, meaning, which one is going to be the same a year from now?" Answering his rhetorical question, Adams goes on to say: "It is going to be Trump. A year from now, America is still the best brand, it is still the high ground, he's still the presdient, he still loves America, he is still the same."

"The protesters are going to get a little bit tired of their act." Adams continued, saying, "A year from now, President Trump's position will be rock solid, just like it is now. A year from now, the NFL is not going to be dancing the Rockettes theme song... Pretend we're not going to stand, and then at the last minute stand up, America, America, America, da, da, da."

Here follows a partial transcript:

SCOTT ADAMS: The question I'm getting is people asking me: How is President Trump possibly going to come out ahead on all of this national anthem protest stuff? Where is all this going? How could he possibly win? What is his strategy?

As I've said before, it is not clear that there was ever an actual strategy that got us here. 

He may have just been talking in his usual populist way: America First, hey you sons-of-bitches, maybe you should be fired for protesting --what appears to be protesting the flag of America. Even though that's not what the protest is. 

How can he possibly win this? I'm here to tell you that not only can he win this, but unless something new and unexpected comes out of this, he already won. 

And here's the argument for how he already won: In the end, the high ground always wins, and the better brand always wins. 

The better brand here is America, so he took the better brand from the start, it is also the high ground. He took the better message from the beginning, which is: We're not a bunch of people arguing with each other, we are Americans first. Figure that out, and then we can work out the details. 

If you say to yourself: Yes, on the surface, that's what he's been saying, but look at all these people getting riled up, certainly this isn't going to slow down or stop... 

Here's what to look for, and it became really clear last night when the Dallas Cowboys did their own form of protest...

What the Cowboys did was, with their owner, they locked arms and got down on one knee before the anthem was played. Everybody was booing, it looked like they were going to stay down when the anthem was played. But, in a surprise that no one saw coming, when the anthem started playing they stood up. So they split the difference. They respected the flag and the anthem, but they knelt to protest everything from Trump to police brutality, to god knows what they were protesting. They all probably had slightly different things in their minds...

That was probably the best way someone has found to split it yet. We've seen some people kneel, we've seen everybody kneel, we've seen people stay in the locker room, one person comes out who we all thought was a hero... but turns out was just in the wrong place, it turns out he had no intention of being the only person on his team who stood for the anthem, he just wandered out there because he thought people were behind him...

So, now let's assess the situation: President Trump has picked the strongest brand for his side of the argument, America. 

And it is also the high ground. There is nothing in the details that is important to Americans who have been socialized to be Americans. It is the highest ground. As long as he stays there, he can't really lose. He has gravity on his side. 

But in the long run... all these different forms of protest for the anthem, staying inside, kneeling and then standing, some kneeling, some standing, some locking arms. It all became just a little bit too Broadway, wouldn't you say? 

The football game is still a football game, but the pregame where they're deciding what position to be in and what message they'll send is a little bit closer to Broadway theater than it is to sports. 

I almost expected the players to go into a full Broadway Rockette thing. They start by holding hands, but surely the dancing will start? 

So, here's the thing: If you're a football player in the NFL, do you feel comfortable doing more Broadway dancing stuff, or do you feel more comfortable playing football? 

Check back a year from now... President Trump will still be president, America the brand will still be the strongest brand, nothing will be close. Patriotism will still be the high ground, saluting the flag, standing for the anthem, a year from now. 

A year from now, President Trump's position will be rock solid, just like it is now. 

A year from now, the NFL is not going to be dancing the Rockettes theme song... Pretend we're not going to stand, and then at the last minute stand up, America, America, America, da, da, da.

If I ask you, which of those two approaches feels enduring, meaning, which one is going to be the same a year from now? 

It is going to be Trump. A year from now, America is still the best brand, it is still the high ground, he's still the presdient, he still loves America, he is still the same. 

The protesters are going to get a little bit tired of their act.



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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