In Trump We Trust?

Back in 2015 Vox Day identified Donald Trump as the best candidate for president.  He understood how Trump would handle the republican field and how he would connect with the American people.  Between Vox and Scott Adams I read about how a NYC billionaire was going to win Pennsylvania for the republicans for the first time since 1990s.  And they were right.  And eventually everyone found out they were right.  And the right wing rejoiced.

But believing in Donald Trump seems to be difficult for many people.  They expect a traditional politician and he’s anything but that.  And they doubt his conservative bona fides.  And it’s easy to understand.  If you’re a dyed in the wool Second Amendment advocate then the bump stock sacrifice may seem an unforgivable sin.  Or if you are a fiscal conservative the budget deal probably looks like an abomination.

But what you have to remember is that in a war sometimes tactics allow you to survive to fulfill your strategic goals.  President Trump is adept at dealing with bad optics.  He knows when to deflect and when to distract and he knows when a tactical retreat may be needed.  Basically, he knew that the gun control furor required a gesture.  He provided one.  But it’s a small retreat if it deflects the main assault.  And in the long run the Supreme Court (if appointed by someone like Trump) could find the bump stock provision unconstitutional anyway.

Right now, plenty of people on the right are throwing in the towel and declaring the end of the Trump presidency.  I guess I understand their low morale.  They’ve been conditioned by the entire post-Reagan republican experience to expect failure.  But what they don’t understand is they will never have a better chance of actually reversing some of the damage that thirty years of liberals has already done.

So now Vox is naming names for the record ( ) and asking that the record be kept.  And once again, I agree with him.  In Trump We Trust.  He may be defeated by the Deep State and drowned trying to drain the swamp.  But at least he’ll go down swinging.  So good for you Vox Day and long live the God Emperor, Donald Trump.  And here’s hoping the faint of heart may soon recover their hope.  Because Trump is our last best hope.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: A Book Review

Scott Adams is best known as the creator of the Dilbert comic strip.  In the 1990s and 2000s it was one of the most widely read and enjoyed parts of the common culture.  Every cubicle dweller in the western world could commiserate with the trials and tribulations of this geeky everyman.  Any engineer of whatever stripe could empathize with the bureaucratic idiocy that Dilbert navigates at every turn.

What people might be less aware of is that Scott Adams has written some other books that are more in the vein of self help.  I was unaware of it.  The only recent information I had about Adams was his commentary about Donald Trump’s candidacy.  Apparently he is somewhat on the right end of the spectrum (although his exact shade is not defined in the present book).  But through an article I read on his recent book I became interested to see what kind of advice I could get from Dilbert.

After reading this medium length book (~250 pages) I will say I’m very impressed.  It combines advice on health and career in a surprisingly integrated fashion.  Without regurgitating the details of the book he ties together diet, exercise, work, play, psychology, innovation, socialization and happiness into a coherent hierarchical plan.  The book is laid out into a narrative following the details of Scott’s life from his childhood on.  It shows how each of his various failed endeavors contributed to his understanding of what he was doing wrong and what he had learned.

I found the writing style funny and very readable.  What really surprised me was how convincing his arguments were.  I found myself agreeing with the logic of his perspective on a lot of these topics.  Most surprising was how enthusiastic I felt in response to this book.  Individually, none of these topics is profound.  But wrapping them together I think they provide a powerful stimulus to someone interested in enhancing his own peace of mind and prospects for a happy life.  There are all kinds of self help books out there.  Some better, some worse.  Scott Adams has written one for the everyman who is navigating a world filled with confusing, unhealthy and frivolous choices that distract us from what we need to do (and not do) to be happy.

Because of how positively I viewed the book I decided it was necessary to test my reaction by consulting with the most skeptical authority on life known to man, my wife.  I described the thesis of the book in short outline and she provided a rapid decision.  It was all just common sense.  I objected that the way the advice was presented made it much more valuable than Ben Franklin’s, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”  She still scoffed at my enthusiasm.

So there you have it.  It’s a man’s book.  Women are the ultimate pragmatists and have little use for common sense handbooks because they already live by simple rules that life dictates for them.  I guess men naturally think rules don’t apply to us and therefore allow us to defy common sense and make our own rules.  Fine.  But I think I did not sufficiently detail the sections of the book that addressed the advice on maximizing success and innovation.  Here I believe Scott captures some behaviors and ideas that are applicable to almost anyone who wants to break out of the hum-drum existence of modern day corporate life and build something of his own.  If I went over this with my wife I’m sure she’ll tell me it’s just another way of saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Damned pessimists.  Once I’m rich, powerful and famous she’ll change her tune.

Bravo, Scott Adams, bravo.