Boycott Valentines Day?

    Let’s say you’re a Democrat, and male, and you can’t imagine voting for a Republican. But at the same time, you can’t stomach the fact that Hillary Clinton is playing the Gender Card.

    How do you vote? 

    One suggestion is to vote for Clinton and announce in advance that you plan to boycott Valentine’s Day for as long as she is in office. (In this scenario, I assume your spouse also votes for Clinton.) That feels like a measured response. Under this plan, you can enjoy all of the policy benefits you wanted from a Clinton administration while feeling you stayed principled about the Gender Card. You save yourself 4-8 years of Valentines’ Day bullshit, and you make your point too.

    The trick is to state your plan to boycott Valentines’ Day NEXT year. That gives your spouse time to adjust to the reality of it. If you try to do it alone, or do it this year, all you will get is divorced. But if it becomes a national movement, you have some cover.

    Personally, I would be okay with a Clinton presidency, and I’m okay with Valentines Day too. But I’m not okay with both. You have to draw a line someplace. That’s my line.

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.

Men: Confess Your Support for Hillary Clinton

    I had a strange realization this morning: I have never had a private conversation with an American man who said he would vote for Hillary Clinton for president. And most of my friends and business acquaintances are liberal.

    In personal conversations, men often tell me they support Trump or Sanders or Cruz. But no man has ever looked me in the eyes and said he would vote for the candidate who believes – and actually says out loud – that men are less capable than women.

    I realize there are plenty of good reasons to vote for the presumptive Democratic candidate for President. But it seems a bit odd that I haven’t encountered even one male supporter of Clinton in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not one.

    Is that a coincidence or something else?

    So I put it to my readers. I don’t want to hear any third-party stories about your co-workers or your brother-in-law. I am only looking for a man who will say in a simple declarative way the following:

    1. I plan to vote for Hillary Clinton.

    2. I am aware of her comments about men being less capable than women.

    That’s all I am looking for. I don’t want to hear about your love of Sanders or your wish that “someone else” will run. All I want to know is whether there exists a human male American who has already decided to vote for Hillary Clinton if she makes it to the general election.

    Do you exist? Let’s see in the comments.

Comparing the Candidates (Using the Master Persuader Filter)

    As you know, I have been blogging about Trump’s persuasion skills. But what about the other candidates? We need some equal time here. Today I will tell you everything I know about the others. I have to confess I haven’t been following them closely. I only know what the headlines have been telling me, but I think that’s enough.

    Bernie Sanders

    Let’s not focus all of our attention on Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders has been running a strong campaign on his theme of not talking about Hillary’s damned emails and not wanting to talk about Bill Clinton’s sex life. I think he also wants to raise my taxes and give the money to Denmark for health care. I might have the details wrong, but that’s all I remember about him. And dandruff.

    Chris Christie

    Chris Christie has almost been ignored by the media. That’s not fair because he is a passionate advocate for not paying attention to Donald Trump. I believe he is also opposed to bridges, salad, and Obama.

    Ben Carson

    As a doctor, Ben Carson once separated conjoined twins, which is awesome, unless he did it without asking. But I’m almost positive he had permission from someone. He also attempted to stab a guy to death but was totally thwarted by a belt buckle. There are rumors he holds up his own pants with a rope because belt buckles prevent him from passing through doorways.


    I don’t remember his first name, but I think he has one. Rubio is handsome, young, and unusually moist under pressure. He enjoys drinking water. He also has policies and positions, but I’m not sure if he told anyone yet. He is the Republican elite’s best hope to thwart Trump.

    Ted Cruz

    Ted Cruz is one of the smartest of the candidates. He is running a disciplined campaign under the umbrella theme of “Please, Donald Trump, don’t talk about me. I will do anything you ask. Say something about Rubio. That guy is sweaty.” Cruz has other ideas too, such as miscellaneous and etcetera.

    Carly Fiorina

    Carly Fiorina has run a strong campaign, powered by intelligence, hard work, and principle. She opposes dead babies, well-run corporations, and smiling.

    Bill Clinton

    I don’t know the details, but I think he’s in the race now too, primarily to meet women.

    Hillary Clinton

    Unlike Donald Trump and his divisive campaign messages, Hillary Clinton is a more inclusive candidate. Clinton is running to be the president for ALL women, not just the rich, white ones. Her campaign promise is to keep her husband’s junk on a short leash while bombing her own thyroid with medication until she has enough energy to take away your guns.

    Rand Paul

    Rand Paul has many smart things to say about the Fed and… that’s all I remember. And I don’t exactly know what the Fed does. But they must be doing it wrong. I think Rand Paul is still running, right?

    John Kasich

    John Kasich made a name for himself as a congressman and a governor. Lately he is more famous for doing his impression of a giant turtle that can’t find its own shell. He also talks about policies and whatnot. I don’t know the details.

    I might be leaving out a few candidates, but it’s not my fault if they can’t make it into the headlines.

    This is parody, obviously, but it isn’t far from the impression that Trump and his winged monkeys in the media have painted of the competition. As a humor writer, I’m trained to ignore the details and pick up the general vibe of things, because the vibe registers as reality to us, not the details.

    (Note: True story – I wrote everything above this comment before remembering that Jeb Bush is still running.)

    I will reiterate for new readers that I’m not endorsing Trump or anyone else. I am not smart enough to know who would do the best job as president. But I don’t think there is any doubt who is doing the best job of campaigning, for whatever that is worth.

Master Persuader Scorecard Update – Clinton Top?

    On December 13th I used the Master Persuader filter to predict that Clinton had topped in the polls compared to Trump and would start drifting down.

    The latest national poll shows Trump and Clinton in a near statistical tie for the general election.

    One poll is not credible on its own, but it is consistent with prediction.

    So far, the Master Persuader filter has accurately predicted…

    – Trump’s “inexplicable” rise in the polls (I predicted it in August)

    – The Jeb Bush top (because “low energy” – everyone knows now that the linguistic kill shot worked, but I predicted it first)

    – The Fiorina top (after she paired her own image with a dead baby)

    – The Carson top (after Trump did his famous belt-buckle speech)

    – The Clinton top (after Trump noted how many women her policies have allegedly killed)

    So far, I have made no wrong predictions under this filter. And keep in mind that I am not simply making yes/no predictions; I’m predicting when as well. Much harder.

    Keep in mind that smart people are still favoring what I call the Lucky Hitler explanation of Trump’s success. Under that filter, Trump is just loud, and racist, and in the right place at the right time. Can’t rule out that explanation yet. I don’t know what is in the man’s head. 

    Also keep in mind that all of this is for entertainment. I don’t endorse Trump or anyone else.

Funniest Pundits

    My favorite pundits this election are Diamond and Silk. This tweet had me laughing all morning. It only works because of their comic sensibilities. Look at the perfection of the photo expression and body language. I would love to know how many pictures they took before they got that one.

    I don’t think this is luck. These two have skills.