There’s a fascinating book out by Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” cartoons which satirized corporate life so effectively. Many of us have had a “pointy-haired boss” at some point (pun intended) in their career. The book is called “Win Bigly” and it argues that Donald Trump, who seemed to have no chance of winning the Presidential election of 2016 as he made (seemingly) blunder after blunder during his campaign, is a master “persuader” who knew exactly what he was doing all along. Adams is a trained hypnotist and “persuader”, and he forecasted Trump would win, in awe of what he identified as his incredibly strong persuasion skills.
“Win Bigly” is running through my mind today, because the BBC ran a piece about Trump’s upcoming first “Presidential medical”, a tradition whereby once every year, the sitting President is given a reasonably thorough medical examination. The piece speculates on the state of the President’s health, stating that sources close to the President have recently said that his cholesterol is good (169, to be precise), and that a typical evening meal might include two big macs, a filet-o-fish, and a milkshake. The President has also stated that he doesn’t exercise, because he believes that a human being is like a battery, with a predetermined and finite “shelf life”. Could all this be true? There is a slim chance that it is so. Yet, I think it is much more likely that Trump is not being truthful about his diet, and that he eats much more healthily than he pretends to. Why the talk about fast food? It’s a persuasion technique, designed to make his voter base of older Americans feel that he is like them, and to present himself as a kind of superman. Adams also points out in his book that you have probably never seen a picture of Trump in anything but a suit, though I think golf course attire is also a possibility, and that this is for a reason – to implant a carefully controlled image of him as a stern and effective leader. Come to think of it, it is also very rare to see him smile, except for ironic smiles. I think this is probably deliberate.
I recommend the book, as we might now see more politicians emboldened by Trump’s very bold and controversial “persuasion” style in future. Know yourself, and don’t be too proud to admit that your vote or political opinions might be swayed by factors you are not consciously aware of.