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Con artist with a heart of gold?

December 7, 2016

Scott Adams surveys the recent election: “Trump ignored facts, science, and even common decency… and still got elected. … The only thing that matters is persuasion.” Scott supported Trump, and happily tells us to “expect facts to influence Trump when they do matter.” In short, Trump is the con artist with our best interests in heart. And having conned enough people in rural states, he gets to decide what those interests are. Adams doesn’t seem to think that the dissonance between speech and fact does any violence to democracy. Other Trump boosters are equally happy to see the dismissal of facts as relevant.

Hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson is quite tickled that Trump, who campaigned on draining the swamp, is instead working happily with the alligators:

I can take glee in that — I think Donald Trump conned them. I worried that he was going to do crazy things that would blow the system up. So the fact that he’s appointing people from within the system is a good thing.

The thing about a con game is that there usually is a winner. We all will have to wait to see whether Trump’s pretensions are benign, or as Evan McMullin worries, something more sinister.

James Fallows and Jack Shafer note that we are not well prepared for a politician who is a bullshitter, and each make suggestions on how the news media should respond. Fareed Zakaria has suggestions for Democratic politicians.

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