The Charlottesville Fake News Was the Best Persuasion Play of the Past Year - Dilbert Blog

The Charlottesville Fake News Was the Best Persuasion Play of the Past Year

Now that some time has passed, and emotions have subsided a bit, I can tell you about the best persuasion play of the past year. The credit goes to the anti-Trump media. They convinced much of the world that the President of the United States referred to a bunch of racists with tiki torches in Charlottesville as “fine people.”

What President Trump did say is that some “fine people” were at the event. I see only two ways to interpret that statement. One interpretation is completely ordinary and the other is batshit crazy. The batshit crazy interpretation is the one the anti-Trump media persuaded you is the real one. They would have you believe that the President of the United States publicly and unabashedly sided with self-labelled racists who were chanting anti-Jewish slogans. We are asked to believe President Trump took sides with the anti-semitic chanters despite having a Jewish daughter, Jewish grandkids, Jewish son-in-law, and several Jewish top advisors. We also know President Trump is so popular in Israel that they are considering naming a train station after him. And Netanyahu gets along with President Trump great. Probably has something to do with President Trump’s decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem.

Amazingly, the anti-Trump media successfully persuaded half the public in this country that President Trump intentionally and publicly took sides with racists who have intense hatred for his family and close advisors. President Trump clarified soon after his first statement on Charlottesville that he disavowed the racists. But the haters didn’t believe it. They were locked in their hallucination bubble.

Let’s compare two interpretations of President Trump’s “fine people” statement.

Batshit Crazy Interpretation: President Trump is so dumb, and so racist, that he decided to publicly side with racists against his own family and his closest advisors. And yet, while being so dumb, he somehow succeeded in multiple fields and became President of the United States with no prior experience. This interpretation also requires that Israel, his family, and his closest advisors are so dumb that they haven’t noticed how racist President Trump is against them.


Totally Ordinary Interpretation: President Trump assumed there were some non-racist Republicans at the event for their own reasons, such as supporting historical landmarks, or supporting free speech no matter how awful it is. And he was right, although there were not many of them. Here’s a clip of some “fine people” who were in attendance. They say they like free speech and they hate racists.

We all know President Trump has a track record of speaking out on a variety of topics without having all the details. That’s one of the few things that both his supporters and his detractors can agree on. So compare the hypothesis that he decided to side with racists against the interests of his own family, in public, while President, to the hypothesis that he thought (correctly) that some non-racist Republicans were also in attendance.

Which of those two versions of events seems most likely to you?

Is it even close?

Man tries to distinguish an apple from a banana and fails

I don’t blame the public for falling for this well-orchestrated persuasion scheme by the anti-Trump media. Their collective persuasion on this point has been solid. Lately, the people opposing Trump simply list Charlottesville as one of the many “proofs” of his racism, as if no further explanation is needed. I can’t tell if the pundits believe their own interpretations or if they simply think the public will. It would look the same.

I propose a test to see if anti-Trump news professionals and pundits who consider Charlottesville as proof of President Trump’s racism will commit to their positions in public. You can test this at home with your Trump-hating friends. Simply print out my blog post and ask them to read the two interpretations I listed and ask them to tell you which one seems most likely. If your subject tries to change the topic, you have your answer.

I predict that 100% of people who believe President Trump called racists “fine people” will change the subject as soon as you make them read the two competing interpretations of events in close proximity. That’s your tell.

And if you want to rub it in, ask your Trump-hating subjects if they believe President Trump would NOT have pursued the birther issue against a white opponent if the opportunity had been the same. Remind your subject that President Trump uses every weapon available to him, all the time, no matter what. He not only accused Ted Cruz of being born in Canada but he suggested Cruz’ father might have been in on assassinating Kennedy.

I tested the birther argument today on Twitter when a critic brought it up. He changed the subject.


I started a Patreon account to fund — via micro-donations as low as one dollar — the expansion of my Periscope content on the topic of persuasion, usually about politics. Step One involves converting my Periscope videos into audio-only podcast form for greater reach. That work is in progress. I’ll work on topic indexes next, and perhaps topic summaries in text form. YouTube is a lower priority because fans already post my Periscopes there. At some point I might do that myself.

Patreon funding will motivate me to express my opinions as often as practical without worrying about the sensibilities of sponsors, advertisers, or corporate bosses. I appreciate all of you who are making this happen.