- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams told his large following on social media this week that President Trump’s critics are running out of psychological “trap doors” to explain his effectiveness.

One of the first social commentators to predict Mr. Trump’s campaign success says his historic meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is likely to produce large amounts of cognitive dissonance.

“It may be my imagination, but I thought in the last few days online on Twitter that the level of vitriol and insult for Trump supporters and anybody who says anything about him is higher than I’ve seen in awhile,” Mr. Adams said Tuesday morning. “Instead of trailing off because good things are happening — you’d expect people to say, ‘oh, OK, I’m not going to criticize the president this month because good thing are happening’ — it went the other way, didn’t it? It — just in the last few days — it looks like it spiked.”

The author of “Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter” said previous demonstrations of cognitive dissonance included blaming Mr. Trump’s 2016 election win on Russian hackers or a larger-than-expected number of racists.

“[Critics are] going to be talking in this weird, speculative, imaginary ways about things that have gone wrong or could go wrong,” Mr. Adams said. “They don’t have a good trap door — not one they can just walk out. They have to conjure up an imaginary door just to get out of the room in their head, and I think it’s going to cause a tremendous amount of distress.

“Here’s the tell for that cognitive dissonance, and you’re going to see this on Twitter,” he continued. “Look for the Twitter responses that are the laundry list of Trump criticisms. … Instead of talking about one thing or one problem you’re getting this laundry list. … If you see the list and nothing on the list looks directly related to the topic, that’s your tell.”

Mr. Adams‘ “Dilbert” runs in over 2,000 newspapers around the world. He is a trained hypnotist who holds an MBA from UC Berkeley.

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