Scott Adams, the cartoonist who draws Dilbert, has been making predictions about Trump’s candidacy since July 2015. He claims a 10 for 10 record, the only “pundit” who thinks he understands what Trump is doing. He bases his analysis on his experience as a certified hypnotist. He credits Trump with remarkable skills of persuasion.

Why call it “persuasion?” Adams describes his experience with hypnosis as “programming the moist robot.” He doesn’t mean trances, he means convincing someone at a gut level, without brilliant (or even logical) arguments. This idea of programming the moist robot falls in the category of manipulation or mind-control. It’s a Jedi mind-trick. So, has Trump gone to the dark side?

Maybe I haven’t seen enough of Adams’s blog entries. (I first found his blog a few days ago, binge reading a bit since then). Has he given any hints about how to defend your moist robot from random tampering, or even how to do some debugging? I just finished his recent book (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life), hence the blog binge. The book contains some hints, though he could make them more explicit. (I could give you some hints here, but I’m feeling lazy. Most of the programming stuff is about programming yourself to have a better chance at success. He gives experiences from his life as examples.)

Adams seems either confident of Trump’s benevolent intent or apathetic about what a Trump presidency would actually deliver. A year ago, I’d have said you could put Gandhi, Hitler, Mao or Forrest Gump in the White House and it would hardly make a difference. Apparently, we will soon test my hypothesis.

I’m not sure whether Adams’s analysis makes me more or less comfortable with the prospect of Trump as president. None of the candidates will keep their promises. Presidents tend to go from bad to worse. I guess we can wait and see. Adams at least makes the whole thing seem slightly less outrageous than my previous preferred hypothesis, which was that demons have possessed the Republican Party.

On the upside, consider the possibility that Trump may utterly destroy the credibility of the GOP. On the downside, will he destroy the party or remake it in his own surrealist image? Can we arrange for him to destroy the Democrats at the same time?

Penn Jillette, a magician who worked with Trump on The Apprentice and no fan of the Clintons, has pledged to campaign for Hillary if the Republicans put Trump on the ballot. This denies the conventional wisdom that casts politicians as having a sociopathic ability to connect to ordinary persons, epitomized by Bill Clinton’s purported ability to make anyone feel as if he is their new best friend the first time they meet him. If Adams is correct, Trump more resembles Steve Jobs. Jobs was able to create a “reality distortion field,” to make what he wanted seem inevitable, while terrifying or repelling many of the people who had to deal with him personally. If he gets elected, maybe Trump’s supporters will end up like Jillette, or like Dilbert with the ultimate pointy-haired boss.