What Happens When an Author You Like Turns out to be a Jerk

Recently I have been thinking about writing my political opinions on the Internet. The reason mainly is that I have been on Twitter and it seemed my political posts were getting a lot more attention than my other posts. Unfortunately I am leery about commenting on politics on the Internet for two reasons. The first is that I am not a political wonk, I can probably easily be out-argued by someone who knows much more on the subject than I do. The second is that since not everyone will agree with my politics, I will inevitably alienate a portion of my readers. I have personal experience on this since I became extraordinarily disillusioned when I started reading Scott Adams’ blog.

Scott Adams is the creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip, which I enjoyed and found hilarious. I knew he had a reputation of being a conservative, but I just didn’t know how much conservative Kool-Aid he drank until I started reading his blog. He conveniently linked his blog with the site that hosts his comic strip, so when I started reading his comic strip on line I had the misfortune of reading his blog as well. I couldn’t remember the exact content of the first post I read, but it was a vaguely sexist portrayal of women, complaining about how he was forced to obey them throughout his life. I thought his complaints were ridiculous because none of the women I knew behave the way he described in his post.

But then came his “Trump Persuasion Series.” To be honest I never read through an entire post of his series, but I skimmed it. Basically he believed Trump uses “linguistic kill shots” to take down the opponent, and how ingeniously he plans his statements on Twitter to mastermind his political rise. I couldn’t believe what I was reading because Scott Adams was praising a bombastic blowhard who uses the crassest rhetorical strategies to appeal to the worst instincts of human nature.

I was as much shocked by Trump’s political positions as much as his public persona. Even if Trump were a liberal I would not vote for him because he has such a vile personality. He is a loose cannon firing his mouth wily-nilly without regard to who he harms, even members of his own party. He insulted John McCain for having been captured in Vietnam, got involved in a senseless fight with Megyn Kelly, acted like a bully to the other Republican candidates, threw a hissy-fit on Twitter when he didn’t win the Iowa Caucuses, and performed other public antics that showed how much of a man-child he is.

After skimming through some of Scott Adams’ “Trump Persuasion Series” I was no longer able to view “Dilbert” the same way. At first I enjoyed the humor of the comic strip, but it lost its innocence after a while. My mind became bifurcated between the part of me that loves “Dilbert” and the part of me that hates Scott Adams.

Then I did some further research and discovered that Scott Adams is a much more disgusting person than I originally thought. I decided to look up on the Internet to see if Scott Adams is truly sexist or whether it’s all an act. I found he once wrote a blog post sexist beyond what I thought could exist in the civilized Western world.

The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.Scott Adams

Wow. If believing that women should be treated like children isn’t the definition of sexism, I don’t know what is. Learning this makes the experience of reading “Dilbert” not as enjoyable as it used to be, it made me want to stop reading it altogether. (The above statement attributed to Scott Adams seems so extreme that it might not be genuine. Supposedly Scott Adams’ original blog post was so incendiary he had to take it down, so I can’t check his site to make sure the quote is authentic. If anyone can find evidence the quote is not genuine, please leave a comment and I’ll remove it.) The thing that bothers me most is that Scott Adams is so intelligent on so many other issues, but he has such a capacity to buy into such bullshit. The best parallel I can think of is Martin Heidegger, who was remembered as the man who changed 20th century philosophy and an enthusiastic Nazi. I’m not saying that Scott Adams is a Nazi, to do that would soil the good name of Nazis.

I would like to straighten out Scott Adams on his views of women, but the reality is that you should treat Scott Adams the same way you treat children and the mentally handicapped. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when Scott Adams makes asinine comparisons of women with children and the mentally handicapped. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.

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