Paging Mr. Scott Adams. Over the course of the 2016 campaign, the creator of the 'Dilbert' cartoon has written a series of fascinating blog posts describing how Donald Trump is using methods of persuasion gleaned from the field of stage magic to upend standard political discourse.
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Donald Trump demonstrated that Adams' analysis is at least describing something about the candidate Sunday in an interview with 'Fox News Sunday' host Chris Wallace. Wallace asked the GOP frontrunner if the fact that he says the U.S. spends too much money on overseas wars means that he is the "dove" in the race. "That sounds more like a liberal Democrat," Wallace mused. "It almost sounds like you would be, as a general election candidate, you would be criticizing Hillary Clinton from the left?"
Trump does not want to be characterized as a dove, saying he will be much "tougher" than Hillary Clinton, but that if she and Obama had spent "365 days a year at the beach" instead of in the War Room the world would be much better off.
"We are spending all of our money in the Middle East," Trump said. "Numbers that are crazy, and on top of that we're defending the world. Policeman to the world, this country can't afford to do it."
Trump noted that other countries fear this idea, so that proves he is tough. "In fact, I read today where they're very concerned with me, they feel I'm very strong, very tough and they're very concerned."
"That's a psychological thing, which frankly is good," he said. "Let them be a little concerned."
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TRUMP: ISIS now has Libyan oil. You know, it’s among the finest oils in the world. ISIS now has the Libyan oil. We don't even do anything to --
WALLACE: Mr. Trump --
TRUMP: We don’t even do anything to stop it. They're making a fortune with Libyan oil.
WALLACE: Let me pick on this --
TRUMP: And if we would have left Gadhafi, you wouldn't have that.
Look, every move we made in the Middle East was wrong. And a lot of times, they want me to get these great foreign advisors and these great geniuses and they've been involved for 15 years. I don't want the people that have been involved for 15 years because those are the people that have absolutely -- what they've done to this country and our country and on top of it we owe $19 trillion in debt.
WALLACE: But let me pick up on this because when you talk about, you know, we need to stop spending money overseas and spend it at home, that sounds more like a liberal Democrat.
And the question I have is, you talk about the mess -- your words -- that Bush and Obama and Clinton have made in the Middle East, interventions in Iraq and Libya. It almost sounds like you would be -- as a general election candidate, you would be criticizing Hillary Clinton from the left, that we should be less intervening in the rest of the world.
TRUMP: I want to rebuild our country. I want to rebuild our military, make it bigger, better, stronger than ever before. I want to take care of our vets.
We have to handle education. We have to get rid of Obamacare. You know, our education system is a disaster and we've got to get rid of Common Core which is absolutely no good.
WALLACE: So, would it be fair to say that Hillary Clinton would be the hawk in this race?
TRUMP: But, Chris, we have so many things to do with our country, we can't have this anymore. We are spending all of our money in the Middle East. We’re spending numbers that are crazy.
WALLACE: So, Mr. Trump --
TRUMP: And on top of that, we're defending the world. We’re the policeman to the world.
WALLACE: Would it be fair to say --
TRUMP: And this country can't afford to do it.
WALLACE: Would it be fair to say that Hillary Clinton will be the hawk in this race, and you’ll be the dove?
TRUMP: No, I’ll tell you what? I’ll be much tougher than her, I will have much more respect than her from foreign countries. In fact, I read today where they're very concerned with me, they feel I’m very strong, very tough and they're very concerned.
So, that's a little opposite of what you're telling me.
That's a psychological thing which frankly is good. Let them be a little concerned.
Look, we're defending Germany, we’re defending Japan, South Korea, we’re defending Saudi Arabia with all of that money and we’re not getting properly reimbursed.
We don’t have any more and we’re defending -- we're like the policeman to the world. What's going on is crazy.
We’re going to strength on our military big league -- by the way, it's the cheapest money you can spend -- and we've got it pulled back because that is just a big mess. That's a revolution, that's a civil war, that's a religious war going over there. We're in the middle of it.
For 15 years, we've been wasting time, killing lives, and I mean lives on both sides, OK? Hundreds of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of people have been killed because of horrible decision-making by our presidents.