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Bernie Sanders Turns on the Iowa Afterburners

    As I have taught you, persuasion can be ranked like this:

    1. Identity (best)

    2. Analogy (okay)

    3. Reason (useless)

    Bernie Sanders had been operating in the lower two categories along with Hillary Clinton. But his new ad, set to a Simon and Garfunkel tune, is pure identity (America!) and pure gold.

    That should put him over the top in Iowa, according to the Master Persuader filter.

    I don’t think Sanders can beat Trump in the general election. Remember, Trump hasn’t turned his canons on Sanders yet. And Sanders looks like a target-rich environment for Trump. But Sanders does have a puncher’s chance if he stays in the top layer of persuasion like this. 

The Candidate Supporter Stereotypes (Master Persuader Series)

    Under the Master Persuader filter, where reason is an illusion, I like to watch how stereotypes are shaping up in order to know what’s really happening.

    Forget about policies for now. Let’s look at the stereotypes we are starting to form in our minds for the major candidates.

    For Trump, we have the “angry white male racists” stereotype for his supporters. As with all stereotypes, it has enough grains of truth to hold it’s shape, but it isn’t an actual truth. 

    Likewise, in the stereotyped world of our biased brains, Hillary Clinton’s supporters fall into three groups now:

    1. Women

    2. Unarmed men

    3. Rapists

    Ted Cruz’ supporters are mostly Canadians and ultra-conservative Republicans who can’t get past Trump’s haircut. Again, this is just the cartoon versions forming in our minds, not any kind of truth.

    But Bernie Sanders is the interesting one. His strongest base of support is people in their early twenties. As stereotypes go, that’s a good one. In our biased minds, Bernie doesn’t have supporters who are racists, rapists, or Canadians. His supporters are young, healthy, college kids.

    Advantage: Sanders

    But here’s the funny part. And I wonder if you already see it. What distinction do the young have – as voters – that is different from the racists, rapists, Canadians, angry white men, unarmed men, conservative Republicans, and women?

    Answer: The young are the stupidest voters

    I say this with affection. I was once young myself. And I know how little I understood about the world then, compared to now. My IQ was about the same, but in terms of wisdom and perspective, I was operating at about 10% of my potential. That’s probably true for everyone. We start ignorant and we improve with age.

    Just to be clear, what I’m saying is that even if Sanders supporters were ALSO racists, rapists, Canadians, ultra-conservative Republicans, women, and angry white men – they would be the dumbest among that grouping. The young are the dumbest (in terms of politics) in EVERY group.

    In a world of reason, the candidate with the strongest support among young (i.e. dumb) voters would seem the most ridiculous. Instead, we see it as the best possible situation for a candidate, in terms of the optics of it. It looks great to have the young on your side, with their energy and optimism.

    When you think of Sanders – and whether you like him or not – you probably have in your mind that he’s the adult in the conversation. He doesn’t seem to intentionally say things he knows to be untrue. You can question the math of his policies, or the practicality, but it does look as if he means what he says. And what does Sanders get for being so rational and reasonable?

    He gets the dumbest supporters.