Woodman, it looks like you’ve assessed Wil Wheaton correctly. He’s actively calling for fighting back against The Next Hitler™. The problem is that’s still reacting to dog whistles. As reminder, a dog whistle is where you focus on the surface and ignore what’s been done in the past that show the surface matches consistent behavior over time.
One such dog whistle is the immigration orders recently issued. The surface is “Trump hates Muslims and/or all immigrants”. The history is this is a negotiation with two other parties. One party is the side that says this is too extreme. The other party is the side that says it doesn’t go far enough. So what do you do? You make an opening offer that you know will not be your final offer. There will be negotiation. There will be arguing and compromises. But you get to that final offer and it’s not the same as what you started with. That’s by design.
We’re going to see more of this. As Scott Adams puts it, Trump is still in the “new CEO Move” phase: Look for opportunities that are “visible, memorable, newsworthy, true to his brand, and easy to change.” Coupled with that, Trump is making more decisions more rapidly. We’re not used to that from a President. We’re used to new Presidents taking a while to get things going and a lot of it happens in the background that we don’t hear about.
This President operates differently. His decisions and opinions are more visible, though he does need to learn that not everything needs a Tweet. That casts an image of being reactionary rather than someone who makes well-thought-out decisions. But this also works in his favor because he knows everyone’s going to pounce on everything he does so he’s flooding the playing field. The overall impression once things settle down will be, as Adams puts it, “He sure got a lot done” and were the other Presidents even trying their first few weeks in office.
Adams also provides a warning. We have half the country convinced we’ve elected The Next Hitler™. We’ll find out shortly if this is true. If it is, we’ll see clearer evidence in Trump’s behavior. If it isn’t, then those millions of people have to face that not only they were wrong, but they were very wrong.
That’s hard to do. They know they’re not wrong, so naturally they’re looking for proof that they’re not wrong. It’s called “cognitive dissonance”. Rather than evaluating new information and seeing if you need to adjust your beliefs, you don’t accept that new information. And while they’re looking for proof that they’re not wrong, they’re doing what they believe in, which is to protest against someone who they know is bad.
But if those protests start getting violent, eventually there has to be a forceful response, such as having to bring in the National Guard to deal with riots. Bam! They have the proof they knew was always there. A not-Hitler wouldn’t have needed to dispatch the National Guard. QED.
Once they’ve got their proof, they’ll have the justification they were right all along. But they won’t realize that they caused the very thing they were trying to prevent. In trying to stop The Next Hitler™, they would have created the very situations that required the President to take steps that confirmed in their mind he is The Next Hitler™. That way, they won’t be wrong and won’t have to know that being wrong was so publicly on record for so long.
Be careful what you wish for. Think about whether your actions will bring about the very thing you’re trying to prevent.