If you don’t read Scott Adams’ blog, you are really missing something. Initially famous for his Dilbert comic book series, the guy is a real gem in the world of social psychology. His ability to observe and translate macro-level phenomenon into fairly accurate predictions is nothing short of amazing.
This blog post from a little over a month ago is a fantastic example of what I mean. And his whole blog is great, by the way. I am not a political animal but I predicted that Trump would likely win, without flinching for the entire election cycle. I think part of the reason for that is wrapped up in the content of this blog post. You see, I USED to be a political animal, and therefore I have a pretty good understanding of how politicians think and strategize. But I also associate with a lot of people who are what Kurt Schlichter calls “normals.”
My gamble was that candidate Trump would win precisely because the “normals” are less susceptible to the particular mass hysteria bubble that Adams discusses in his post. I work around people who are either “liberal” or “conservative” based on a bunch of nonsense, really, but all of them are part of the “deep state.” I am too, for that matter. The difference is, I know it, and I am trying to unplug myself from it as soon as I can, in order to live a more free life than I have now.
But both the democrats and republicans that I work around every day believe that President Trump is an unstable, racist buffoon who managed to fool all of the unstable racist buffoons across America to vote for him. It is impossible for them not to, and self-preservation is big part of that. Candidate Trumps talk about “draining the swamp” in the months leading to the election caused a lot of anxiety and you could hear it in the halls of the federal government–where I work. People–left and right believed we were all going to get pink slips on 21JAN. I would love to analyze how much of that comes from a place deep inside where they know that most of what we do is actually superfluous, but I digress.
From the beginning, I perceived candidate Trump as a guy who made no claims about being a moral leader, but who wanted to bring a specific set of skills to the white house in order to turn the country around economically, and in other ways. (Make America great again). The talk I was perceiving around my non-political, non-deep state friends was that this was a resonating message, and so I figured he would win using an electoral strategy that included winning states nobody imagined he would win.
And that’s exactly what happened. This does not make me a genius. It just means I was in a unique position to perceive the mass hysteria and avoid it myself. Being inside the bubble would have made it impossible to even entertain the thought of a Trump victory, and that is also exactly what happened.
Is the current dust up over millionaire crybaby psychopaths kneeling and black power saluting during the National Anthem a matter of president Trump vs the NFL? Hardly. It is only so if you are in the mass hysteria bubble. And many of the very same people who voted for him are now in that bubble. It starts to get confusing.
The worst part is the hysteria bubble, I think, is part of a series of concentric, ever increasing in scope bubbles, that becomes impossible to see yourself on the outside of anyway. For example, “conservative” America will eventually go back to professional sports. Right now, on social media they are all a flurry with memes from patriotic websites and Ted Nugent type red, white and blue flag wavers over the players protests. Most of the commentary from that side of the debate is framed by the meme squads as what the National Anthem is, or is not “about.” Framing is fine–everybody does it. But when you tell those protesters that the basis of their protest is invalid, you have now entered the realm of subjectivity and they are not going to hear you anyway. “The Anthem is about the men and women who died so you could have the freedom to protest and not about oppression” is not an argument to them. It doesn’t matter if you are right about that.
What I think will happen next, is the Anthem will be removed from sports altogether, and the argument will be that having it politicizes the sport (see that?). Then, some years in the future, “conservatives” will lament the loss of the “good ole’ days” back when they used to play the anthem before sporting events. There will be a short-term loss of customers, but they will eventually come back and still consume the product known as professional sports. That’s all “conservatives” are good for today–complaining about some “good ole days” that they did nothing to preserve when they had the chance.