This is the most scandalicious election of all time. I’m losing track of all the allegations and rumors. As a public service, I will use the persuasion filter plus some pattern recognition to give you my subjective impression of the odds of each rumor being true. I will do this in the form of poker hands.
Let’s play Scandal Poker!
Clinton had several political opponents killed
Trump is a puppet of the Russian government
Result: Tie. Neither is believable.
Trump made inappropriate sexual advances with women.
Clinton threatened her husband’s rape victims.
Result: Tie. Both damaged women.
Trump stiffed subcontractors and suppliers on one or more major projects.
Clinton had the Travelgate scandal
Result: Tie. Both did the deeds, but all within the law, as far as we know.
Trump raped a 13-year old girl
Hillary Clinton is knowingly married to a serial pedophile
Result: Tie. Neither is credible.
Trump university was a scam
Clinton made huge gains on fraudulent commodity trades thanks to a political ally.
Result: Tie. Both probably true.
Trump games the IRS code to avoid taxes
Clinton’s foundation is a pay-to-play scheme
Result: Tie. Both apparently true, and both probably legal (enough).
Clinton is hiding a major health problem.
Trump is secretly a racist/Hitler
Result: Trump wins this hand. Nearly everyone was a blatant racist 30 years ago, judged by today’s more enlightened standards. Many people improved since then. I see no signs of real racism from Trump in the past decade or two, and several examples of the opposite. What you see if you are not trained in persuasion is loads of confirmation bias that looks (to you) like evidence of racism. That’s because the Clinton persuasion game has succeeded in framing Trump’s nationalist policies and politically incorrect phrasing as racist “dog whistles.”
Clinton, on the other hand, is almost certainly covering for some sort of major health problem. We see that in her schedule, her demeanor at some events, her two excuses for her 9-11 collapse, and the more-than-one explanation of her persistent cough. Two explanations for one event is a tell for lying.
Clinton has a drinking problem
Trump has a temperament/ego/narcissism problem
Result: Tie. Both probably true. But if so, both of them got this far, so apparently they can control themselves enough to succeed.
Clinton and Huma are secretly a couple (implying Clinton is not proud of her sexual orientation)
Trump is a homophobe
Result: Tie. I am aware of no evidence to support either allegation.
Trump is a sexist
Clinton is anti-male
Result: Tie. Both claims are likely to be A LITTLE true, because they are human. But we don’t see it reflected in their public lives or policies.
Trump has a cocaine habit that causes his sniffling.
The Clinton family keeps 95% of the money donated to The Clinton Foundation
Result: Tie. Neither allegation is likely to be true. Trump is anti-drug to the core. The Clinton Foundation has high marks from independent charity graders.
Clinton allowed Benghazi to happen through incompetence or incapacitation.
Trump’s several bankruptcies prove he is bad at business.
Result: Tie. Neither is likely to be true. The most-likely explanation for Benghazi is that the government is keeping something from the public, but not necessarily for evil reasons. The Trump bankruptcies represent the kind of pivot/comeback we associate with the best business-people in a high-risk entrepreneurial environment.
I’m sure I’m forgetting a few dozen allegations and scandals, so I’ll update this if I think of anything else that is important.
Note: I now endorse Gary Johnson. He’s allegedly a stoner who doesn’t know much about Aleppo. I call that relatable. A vote for Clinton or Trump is support for an alleged abuser of women. I don’t need that on my brand.
Hear my full 7-minute interview with the BBC radio, about Trump.
You might love my book because it has no scandals. It is also the #1 best seller in its category today.