If you thought it was impossible that Donald Trump was going to win the US election, Wednesday proved you horribly wrong.
Despite pundits, media organisations and pretty much every outside the country believing there was little chance of the real estate mogul-turned-reality TV star-turned Presidential candidate winning, he did just that. And comfortably.
So how did he win despite all the lies, and constantly being caught out? The writer of the legendary Dilbert cartoon strip, Scott Adams, has an explanation for it, which he wrote in a blog:
Trump changed the way we view reality
Adams wrote: "Last year in this blog I told you that Trump would change more than politics. I said he would forever change how you view reality. I’ll prove that to you today with a fun experiment."
"At the end of this post I will give you a link to a very short video clip showing Hillary Clinton getting off her jet and into her car. Trump supporters will say she looks like she is drunk, or unsteady for some other health-related reason. And they will say it is obvious. Now try showing the clip to a Clinton supporter and watch how they see nothing wrong with the way she is walking."
How did it happen?
Adams said despite viewing the video you have no way of knowing which fact is true.
He writes: "Personally, I can see it both ways, depending on what frame of mind I’m in. When people on Twitter say she looks drunk, and I look at the clip immediately after they prime me, she indeed looks drunk. When my Clinton-supporting friend says he sees nothing unusual about her walking, suddenly it looks fine to me too."
How that changes things
Adams wrote: "There might be an objective reality in our world. But our brains didn’t evolve to be able to see it."
"Our brains only evolved to do the job of keeping us alive so we could procreate. That means the reality you see – the movie in your head – can be totally different from mine, and almost certainly is. Yet we can both get by in this world."
Trump capitalised on that and got away with lies
Adams said: "Last year, when many observers were saying Trump was a stupid, under-informed clown, I was saying he was a Master Persuader."
"Pundits said he ignored facts because he didn’t know them or because he was a liar. I said he ignored facts because facts are useless for persuasion. Trump could learn lots of facts if he wanted to do so. But he knew it was a waste of time."
Such a beautiful and important evening! The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2016
So how did that work?
"These are two totally different views of reality. And yet they did not conflict."
"Clinton supporters still see the stupid, under-informed clown and I still see the Master Persuader. We live in totally different movies and yet we can still interact with each other, still eat and drink, still procreate when necessary."
But don't lose hope and learn how it works
"Reality isn’t what you thought it was a year ago. Your movie isn’t my movie. But the good news is that you have the power to rewrite the coming scenes of your movie. And those scenes can be anything that isn’t ruled out by your own observations."
"Now watch this Clinton video and notice how Clinton’s walk matches your expectations, no matter what your expectations are. That’s confirmation bias. And it is the most important thing you will ever learn."