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The Oddest Thing About Trump - Dilbert Blog

The Oddest Thing About Trump

Whether you love Trump or hate him, you probably wonder why he never apologizes and never changes his story, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that he should. Trump seems otherwise intelligent – he graduated from an Ivy League school and built a business empire. So what the hell is up with not admitting when he is wrong?

  • Is it narcissism?
  • Is he mentally unstable?
  • Is he a big liar?
  • Does he use hyperbole just to get the media involved?

He does use hyperbole for effect, but the deeper explanation is simpler. It is Persuasion 101.

The first rule of persuasion is that you nudge the other person, but you NEVER let them nudge you. Let me repeat this word a few times: NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER.

That’s exactly how often a good persuader should admit a wrong: NEVER.

If you show a willingness to get nudged, you lose your power in the negotiation. Your opponent will try to nudge you from that point on, and you will be on defense. Once you get nudged, it never ends. A good persuader is always the nudger and NEVER the nudgee. You want to keep the opponent off-balance.

Have I said NEVER enough?

Probably not, because you might be thinking that anyone who fails to acknowledge a truth that is right in front of their nose is probably a narcissistic, mentally unstable liar who is just saying things for attention.

Like Trump.

In the 2D world, Trump appears to be all of those things. In the 3D world, where you NEVER want to let yourself be nudged, it is a sign of a Master Persuader.

What you see in the 2D world is Trump the egomaniac who “can’t admit when he is wrong!” What I see in the 3D world is the most disciplined persuader I have ever seen. Trump intentionally accepts the scorn of many as a cost of winning. And it works.

Ask yourself if you could withstand the types of criticisms Trump withstands every day. It would kill a normal person with a fragile ego. One can only endure that type of abuse when you see ego as a tool, not a character trait. Trump doesn’t mind the criticism because people are attacking his choice of tools, not his personality. Only Trump knows his inner thoughts, and apparently he’s okay with them.

Always remember this: Ego is a tool, not a personality trait. You can manipulate your ego, as Trump shows us, to gain advantage in this world. I took the Dale Carnegie course years ago and they teach this very thing. Today when I embarrass myself in front of millions of people – which I do about once a week – it just seems funny to me. 

Now keep in mind that Trump is running to be the Dealmaker in Chief for the country. If we citizens make him apologize and correct himself, we are disarming him before battle. If he is to be our next president, we want him nudge-free from start to finish. The rest of the world is watching. Congress is watching. Special interest groups are watching.

And they are scared to death, because Trump has not nudged once. They see what is coming for them.

Here I remind readers that I don’t endorse Trump or anyone else. All of the healthy candidates look capable to me. My interest is in Trump’s persuasion skills. I’m not able to predict what happens if he gets elected. That depends on what happens in the world at the same time.

See more on ego manipulation for success (and our moist robot existence) in my book.