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The Trump Immigration Surprise - the Trap is Half-Sprung - Dilbert Blog

The Trump Immigration Surprise – the Trap is Half-Sprung

As you know, Donald Trump has offended 90% of the media and nearly a third of the country with his idea of temporarily banning Muslim immigration. That’s some crazy Hitler stuff, say the headlines.

You might recall that I predicted in this blog an “immigration surprise” from Trump that follows the format of movies. In a typical three-act movie, you have these main parts:

1. In Act 1, something changes the hero’s life. (Trump surprises everyone by jumping to the top of Republican polls early.)

2. In Act 2, the hero enjoys the ride, and things are going almost “too well” until…

3. At the start of the 3rd Act, the hero is almost always scripted into an impossible bind. Then somehow – impossibly – the hero escapes and prevails. For Trump, his Mexican immigration issue was the third-act problem. I predicted that he had a surprise in store, and that when he escaped it would trigger our “movie pattern” brains and he would win in a landslide.

But instead of escaping his immigration “problem” for the upcoming general election, he seemingly worsened it by adding some religious intolerance to the mix by suggesting a temporary ban on Muslim immigration. You already thought he was Hitler, and he just handed you confirming evidence. Uh-oh.

That was the 2D analysis. By the 2D filter, where people use logic and reason to make decisions, Trump is dead and done. The body has decomposed. He can’t win.

But in the 3D world of emotion, where Trump exclusively plays, he has set the world up for the most clever persuasion you will ever see. 

Do you see it yet? Don’t read on until you spend a few seconds thinking about what he did here because you’ll be mad if I tell you first. It’s right in front of you.

Scroll down for the answer.

Answer: When polls show that Latino voters in America favor banning Muslim immigration, Trump has greased his path to a landslide.

I don’t think he planned the immigration surprise to happen this early. But he got the opening and he took it. (I predicted it would happen after the nomination.)

On a related note, I understand Trump is defending his Muslim immigration ban by telling the public they are thinking it but he said it. That’s the most powerful persuasion technique there is (literally, in my experience). The general form of it involves an educated guess about a person’s inner thoughts. When you tell people what they are thinking, while they are thinking it, and while they think their thoughts are mostly concealed, they hand you the keys to their brain. (It would take longer to explain why.)

Other candidates tell voters what they should think. Sometimes they say what voters do think, but they do so only for obvious issues such as voters preferring lower crime rates. You won’t see a vanilla politician tell you what your secret inner thoughts are, and get it right. The latter is industrial-grade persuasion. The former is just lips moving.

I think there is another immigration surprise planned for after the nomination, but this first one might be all he needed. In movies you often see the hero escape the 3rd Act problem only to fall into greater danger in the final minutes. So movies generally have a big escape followed by another clever escape in the final minutes. Trump might get to use his second immigration surprise toward the final stretch.

Or he’s Hitler. I can’t really rule that out. 

For the benefit of new readers, I don’t endorse Trump or anyone else. I am not smart enough to know which candidate would do the best job of being president. They all look qualified to me. In this blog I use the Master Persuader filter to see if it predicts the future better than the standard 2D analysis that has so far gotten everything wrong about Trump. 

Update1: Here’s a poll showing U.S. Hispanic opinions on allowing Syrian Muslim refugees into the country. See page 104 of the document. 63% oppose. One poll is not conclusive. So wait and see.

Update 2: In the tweet below, Trump uses a persuasion technique called “making you think past the sale.” Highly effective. 

Alert readers saw this “immigration surprise” too.

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Speaking of rational behavior…

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