Donald Trump is going to be president, and he will cruise to victory in the biggest, hugest landslide the American electorate has ever handed any candidate.
That’s what cartoonist and Dilbert creator Scott Adams is predicting—with a whopping 98 percent certainty.
Over the past few weeks, Adams has been devoting a chunk of his blogspace to his unified theory on why Trump can not only succeed at locking up the Republican nomination, but win the White House in a mega-landslide. He acknowledges his argument puts him in a diametrically opposing position to Nate Silver and other data-driven election-cycle prognosticators.
“I believe I am alone in that prediction, at least among the talking-head/pundit/writer set,” he wrote late last month. “I realize that a healthy chunk of voters think he can go all the way. But the smart professionals almost universally expect him to flame out.”
Adams, who has classified Trump as a “Clown Genius” and an “unstoppable” master of persuasion, couches much of his analysis in the idea that Trump is an expert at “linguistic kill shots” (think: “low-energy” Jeb Bush) and that his months of political fortune have defied virtually every prediction the American pundit class has hurled his way.
“This has nothing to do with any logic,” Adams told The Daily Beast. “But history has turned on a few people—like the Founding Fathers and Jesus Christ come to mind—who used the same tricks: They describe to people a better vision of themselves. And Trump fits into that [model] in the most direct way you could possibly do. He’s saying, ‘You’re an American, I’m going to make you feel great.’”
The 58-year-old cartoonist and satirist isn’t a betting man, so he’s not putting on money down on his bold prediction, even with a supposed 98 percent certainty. Nevertheless, he sees Trump battle against the rest of the crowded 2016 GOP field as a “guy who brought a flamethrower to a stick fight”—and he’s thinks the flamethrower will prevail this time.
“The reason I believe this is because I see Trump employing a series of linguistic maneuvers that display such a high level of talent in that area that nobody sees it coming,” he continued. “Also there’s a whole lot of lucky circumstances that position him as the luckiest player on a chessboard that looks like it was designed for Trump to win.”
In his many years of composing corporate and political satire (and Dogbert, can’t forget about Dogbert), Adams has come to know and love an America where the dead-seriously political and the frivolously pop-cultural would inevitably fuse into one.
“I would point out that if you were to combine the TV shows Shark Tank, The Apprentice, and Judge Judy, you would have formed an entire functioning government,” he remarked. (The Donald is the executive branch in this horrifying scenario.)
Adams, as you might have guessed, is not a Trump supporter, though he commends the Republican presidential frontrunner on his “strategic mastery” and for “managing his brand well.” He doesn’t consider himself a Democrat, neither, nor is he on Team Hillary.
“My political position is basically to do everything I can [to] not to be a joiner,” he explains. “The moment you join a group [or party], you start to identify your identity with the group’s identity, and then you merge, and the group’s opinion starts to become your own—and then you lose all credibility.”
In decades past, Adams didn’t spend nearly this much time thinking about Donald Trump, or where the real-estate mogul fit into America’s proud, sordid political history. He did, however, manage to incorporate Trump into at least a couple of Dilbert panels. “There was a Dilbert comic in which there are two talking dogs—one is a communist, the other is a capitalist,” he recalls “The capitalist dog explains capitalism by saying something like, ‘Donald Trump is our god.’”
Here’s another one from January 1991, where Trump is pictured wearing a tux and bowtie, and generously described as, “[NOT] THE MOST FEARED AND HATED CREATURE ON EARTH.”
We’ll know soon enough if Adams’s analysis somehow manages to pan out into unprecedented reality. But Trumpmania isn’t going away any time soon, and Adams, like so many of us, remains transfixed and fascinated.
“If you’re keeping score, in the past month Trump has bitch-slapped the entire Republican Party, redefined our expectations of politics, focused the national discussion on immigration, proposed the only new idea for handling ISIS, and taken functional control of FOX News,” Adams blogged, frighteningly. “And I don’t think he put much effort into it. Imagine what he could do if he gave up golf.”