Scott Adams, the creator of the comic strip "Dilbert," told CNN on Saturday that President Donald Trump is good enough at persuading his listeners that "he could get out of almost anything." Speaking to CNN's Michael Smerconish, Adams described what he called Trump’s "linguistic kill shots." Referring to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as “Crazy Bernie,” and Hillary Clinton as “Crooked Hillary,” Adams said of Trump: “His nicknames for those who he is mocking are so incredibly wrong in the context of things a president shouldn't be saying."
Adams is the author of a new book: "Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter," and frequently blogs and produces videos in which he analyzes Trump’s rhetoric and actions.
Referring to the nicknames Trump gives to opponents, Adams said, "But they're just wrong enough that you can't look away. They're not so wrong that you want to impeach him for that or he doesn't start a nuclear war. So he has a technique of having just enough wrongness to grab your energy and put it where he wants it."
Calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), "Pocahontas," was one of the weakest epithets Trump has used, said Adams, it remained one of his most effective. "It gives you a silly image of someone who is a sitting senator," Adams said of the nickname. "Automatically your brain goes to how seriously can I take that?"
When show host Smerconish asked Adams if Trump himself could be felled by a "linguistic kill shot," Adams was not so sure. "The trouble is, he's so good at this persuasion game that I think he could get out of almost anything," he said.
As an example of where Trump’s comments can lead, Adams mentioned Trump’s comments about how Hurricanes Maria and Harvey might affect economic growth. Adams said, "He said, well it was 3%, but I think it could have been 4%, except for the hurricanes. It'll probably be 4% later. In other words he's actually thinking the economy into that state."
"The first thing you want to do, if you want to persuade, is you want to move people's attention and energy to where you want it. And that maybe because you're moving it away from something you don't want them to be talking about.”
Months before the November 2016 election, Adams -- who is also a trained hypnotist -- predicted Trump would win in a landslide.
Spero News writer 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.