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“Nice Guy” - Part of my Trump Persuasion Series - Dilbert Blog

“Nice Guy” – Part of my Trump Persuasion Series

The press is reporting that Trump is being uncharacteristically kind to Ben Carson. People seem confused about it. The press reports over and over that, Trump has gone so far as to call Carson a “nice guy.” 

This is quite a puzzler to the press. Why would Trump be so kind to this one challenger?

I hope all of you just shouted out the answer in your heads.

No, not that, you racists. The OTHER thing you just shouted in your head.

Right. That.

“Nice guy” is a linguistic sniper shot. It is engineered to take out its target without revealing where the shot came from. It is not a casual choice of words. It is deeply engineered.

Think back to my past posts about how Trump sets an anchor for any negotiation by staking out the extreme before you open your mouth. That way only Trump gets to decide where the middle is, should you later decide to meet halfway.

Now think about the two anchors Trump has offered.

One anchor is that Trump is worth $10 billion, even though observers are highly skeptical of that estimate. That’s the number that pops up now when you think of him, just as Trump planned. 

Trump has also branded himself as an experienced international business person, a tough negotiator in a world that needs just that, and a man who can’t be bought. 

The anchor Trump dropped on Carson is that Carson is a “nice guy.” The press picked it up and can’t stop repeating it. Repetition is persuasion. Trump deputized the winged monkeys in the media to repeat “nice guy” until it will literally be the only thing you think of when you see Ben Carson’s face. 

Hello, China! Here comes our nice guy to do some negotiating! You better run!

What are the first two words an American voter hears in her head after “Nice guys…”?

In America, a familiar saying is “Nice guys finish last.” If you are familiar with the saying, you probably automatically add those two words when you hear “nice guy.”

Remember, this is a long-distance linguistic kill shot. You aren’t supposed to know where the shot came from. The finish last portion of the thought is literally being created by you, in your head. And it rewires you with repetition. 

Did Trump intentionally rewire your brain so you would think of his rival as the   nice guy who always finishes last? 

Not as far as you know. All you saw was a flash in the distance and your head exploding a few seconds later.

On an unrelated topic, if your friend wants to set you up with someone who is “nice,” does that sound like a good thing to you? It does not. And if we are being honest, one-third of the public probably votes for whoever they find sexiest. If you were going to date Ben Carson, I’ll bet you would be impressed by his good looks (he really is a beautiful man) and probably his keen mind and good humor. What might be the ONE thing you worry about when you ask yourself if you will have good chemistry with this magnificent creature?

No, not that, you racists. I mean the other thing you are thinking. 

You wonder if perhaps he’s too nice. Because that looks weak. Too much niceness shouldn’t bother you, you tell yourself. But it does. Sex is more linked to power than niceness. Trump projects power. Carson projects niceness.

And Trump isn’t done. If the polls narrow too much, Trump might say…

“Ben Carson wants you to promote him from doctor to president.”

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Donald Trump.

Also keep in mind that Carson is still an option for Trump’s running mate. Trump wants him limping but not dead. I think it will either be Carson or Cuban on the Trump ticket. Trump wins it all with either one. But with Cuban it would be the biggest margin of victory in your lifetime.

History buffs will remember that Bill Clinton did a similar “nice guy” play on Bob Dole during their election cycle. Clinton made it clear that he liked Bob Dole. He even thanked Dole for his service to the country. Thanking Dole for his service makes you think of Dole in the past tense. It was a way to call him old and done. That was a linguistic sniper shot you did not see.

Scott