Quantcast
The Master Persuader Filter and Trump’s Schlong - Dilbert Blog

The Master Persuader Filter and Trump’s Schlong

If you are following the U.S. presidential campaign, you know that Donald Trump recently said Hillary Clinton got “schlonged” in her last campaign attempt against Obama. According to the standard 2D analysis on the news, this is the sort of vulgar gaffe that should hurt a candidate.

But you might be wondering if “schlonged” was a deliberate and clever move by a Master Persuader or just another in a long list of Trump vulgarities. Let’s look under the hood and see if the engine is purring or it is full of squirrels.

Here’s how I see it:

1. Schlonged has just enough deniability built into it (similar to saying someone “sucks”) that Trump could almost-sort-of-but-not-quite explain it away. That “almost-but-not quite” quality makes it news. That is precisely how one would engineer a sticky story. A future president (and potential role model) who uses vulgar terms is a “man bites dog” story with just the right amount of “maybe not” to keep people jabbering.

2. Schlonged has what I call the “Osso Bucco effect.“ When you hear about a pork dish called osso bucco, you have to repeat its name several times in your head. You almost can’t resist. Same with schlonged. That looks engineered to me. In hypnosis, this is a variant of the O.J. defense “If the glove fits, you must acquit.” The science of persuasion says a rhyme is more persuasive than a non-rhyme, probably because you repeat it several times in your head, like schlonged.

3. A strong majority of humans love schlongs. Men love schlongs because we have them. Lots of women like them too. Schlongs are not politically correct, but when it comes to popular body parts, they are in the top two. From a rational perspective, using a vulgar-sounding expression is a mistake. But the Master Persuader filter only cares about the reflexive associations you make in your mind. And on the reflex level, schlongs are a base-clearing home run. 

4. Schlongs also make you think of Bill Clinton and how hard Hillary must have tried to get a lock on his schlong. That doesn’t help her.

This past week, Trump used his schlong to absorb all the energy from the media while creating an association that is positive for him and negative for his opponent.

Conclusion: Schlonged is not just engineered; it is perfectly engineered. It might have been spontaneously engineered while he formed the sentence, but that is within his skill range. I’ve watched him engineer new and persuasive sentences during live interviews and he does it instantly. 

Also, keep an eye on the empty space. The empty space is the mistakes Trump should have made by now but has not. As an artist (by occupation, not talent) I always look for the blank space. Trump is creating a boatload of blank space where you think his mistakes should be. In a way, that non-story is the biggest story. And so far, only the Master Persuader filter explains Trump’s “baffling” blank space and his consistency in the polls.

The other explanation for all of this is that Trump has gotten lucky twenty-seven times in a row (or whatever) in a way that looks exactly like engineered persuasion. In other words, we can’t rule out the Lucky Hitler Hypothesis because we don’t know what is in the man’s head, and sometimes lucky things happen. That’s why it’s called luck.

Here I remind new readers that I am not endorsing Trump or anyone else. I’m not smart enough to know who would do the best job of president. They all look qualified to me. My interest is Trump’s persuasion skills.

Bonus Thought: Pay attention to how many times the pundits are using the word “persuader” to describe what a president should be. Did you hear that word as often in other campaigns? If you see more of it, that’s a tell for persuasion.