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I Wake You Up for the Presidential Debate - Dilbert Blog

I Wake You Up for the Presidential Debate

Here’s a little thought experiment for you:

If a friend said he could see a pink elephant in the room, standing right in front of you, but you don’t see it, which one of you is hallucinating?

Answer: The one who sees the pink elephant is hallucinating.

Let’s try another one.

If a friend tells you that you were both abducted by aliens last night but for some reason only he remembers it, which one of you hallucinated?

Answer: The one who saw the aliens is hallucinating.

Now let’s add some participants and try another one.

If a crowd of people are pointing to a stain on the wall, and telling you it is talking to them, with a message from God, and you don’t see anything but a stain, who is hallucinating? Is it the majority who see the stain talking or the one person who does not?

Answer: The people who see the stain talking are experiencing a group hallucination, which is more common than you think.

In nearly every scenario you can imagine, the person experiencing an unlikely addition to their reality is the one hallucinating. If all observers see the same addition to their reality, it might be real. But if even one participant can’t see the phenomenon – no matter how many can – it is almost certainly not real. 

Here I pause to remind new readers of this blog that I’m a trained hypnotist and a student of persuasion in all its forms. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to learn the tricks for discerning illusion from reality. And I’m here to tell you that if you are afraid that Donald Trump is a racist/sexist clown with a dangerous temperament, you have been brainwashed by the best group of brainwashers in the business right now: Team Clinton. They have cognitive psychologists such as Godzilla advising them. Allegedly.

I remind you that intelligence is not a defense against persuasion. No matter how smart you are, good persuaders can still make you see a pink elephant in a room where there is none (figuratively speaking). And Clinton’s team of persuaders has caused half of the country to see Trump as a racist/sexist Hitler with a dangerous temperament. That’s a pink elephant.

As a public service (and I mean that literally) I have been trying to unhypnotize the country on this matter for the past year. I don’t do this because I prefer Trump’s policies or because I know who would do the best job as president. I do it because our system doesn’t work if you think there is a pink elephant in the room and there is not. That isn’t real choice. That is an illusion of choice.

Trump represents what is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring real change to a government that is bloated and self-serving.  Reasonable people can disagree on policies and priorities. But Trump is the bigger agent for change, if that’s what you think the country needs. I want voters to see that choice for what it is.

And it isn’t a pink elephant. 

If you are wondering why a socially liberal and well-educated cartoonist such as myself is not afraid of Trump, it’s because I don’t see the pink elephant. To me, all anti-Trumpers are experiencing a shared illusion. 

Pause here. 

Before you scoff at mass, shared illusions as being unlikely, keep in mind that everyone with a different religion than yours is experiencing exactly that. Mass shared illusions are our most common experience. 

Back to my point. As a trained persuader, I can see the “Trump is Hitler” illusion for what it is. Where you might see a mountain of credible evidence to support your illusion, I see nothing but confirmation bias on your part. I have detailed that confirmation bias in other posts.

Remember my rule from above. If you see something unlikely – such as a new Hitler rising in the midst of America – and I see nothing remotely like that – I’m almost certainly right and you’re almost certainly having the illusion. I say that because the person who sees the unlikely addition to reality is the one experiencing the illusion nearly every time. Trump as Hitler-in-America is an addition to reality that only some can see. It is a pink elephant. It is a classic hallucination.

I’m not trying to say I’m smarter than anyone else. I just don’t see the pink elephant. Nor do perhaps 40% of the country who prefer Trump as president. And when that many people don’t see a pink elephant in a room, you can be sure it isn’t there, no matter how many do see it.

If you are a Clinton supporter, you might think Trump supporters see the same pink elephant that you do, and you rationalize that by saying Trump supporters prefer the pink elephant because they want it to stomp all over minorities.

Some Trump supporters are racists. That’s a fact. Racists are in every group. Perhaps they see the pink elephant too. If so, they probably do want that elephant to stomp all over minorities. But in this case, the racists are sharing the same illusion as Clinton supporters, seeing the same pink elephant. The majority of Trump supporters – as far as I can tell – simply don’t see any pink elephant at all. They just want change.

I don’t believe in Santa Claus.

I don’t believe in ghosts.

I don’t believe in a traditional god.

I don’t believe in luck.

And I don’t see Donald Trump as dangerous. 

In my elephant-free view of the world, Trump is a guy who uses provocative language (as New Yorkers do) while succeeding across several different fields. And he knows risk-management. You can see that in everything he does.

If you are an anti-Trumper, you might reject my point of view as manipulative or naive. I can’t change your mind with a blog post. But you can change your own mind. Just ask others if they see the addition to reality that you see. If others don’t see the pink elephant in the room, and you do, the elephant isn’t there.

Look for that pattern. Once you see it, you’re awake.

Then vote for whoever has the policies you like. 

You might enjoy my book because you are almost awake now.