Ask A Genius 521 – Asshole Leaders Are Bugs, Not Features
July 21, 2019
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Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How can you apply the Sunk Cost Fallacy to the political landscape of the United States now?
Rick Rosner: Trump’s base gets more and more entrenched. The more he shows himself to be an incompetent leader and a terrible person, and a racist; the bigger a hole he digs for himself. The more his base invests in him. The more he costs in terms of integrity and dignity among his base, then the more he costs them. He keeps violating norms.
You have to work harder and harder to rationalize his bullshit to yourself. It is a huge investment. Paradoxically, it brings his base closer. To anyone looking at Trump objectively, in terms of the most objective evidence about him, he generates more and more fairly objective evidence. He is what he seems to be, which is a megalomaniacal scumbag who is 73-years-old in not good shape.
He used to be a not stupid man because his hardware is slowly decaying. He’s the worst president in American history, by far, and the question to ask and the question I am going to ask Lance tomorrow, “Has a leader like in history ever proven himself to be of benefit to his nation by being this way?”
I can think of a bunch of bad examples off the top of my head, e.g., the terrible, super corrupt emperors of Rome. The previous most corrupt U.S. president, Harding, or Hitler, Mussolini, Berlusconi. There have been plenty of corrupt, arrogant, and asshole leaders throughout history. But I can’t think of an example in which an asshole leader has been of clear benefit to his country.
Lance knows more history than me. Maybe, he can think of somebody who was a benefit or was a secondary import to the good things that they did for their country. This is all I have on this. I would hard-pressed to see where a crazy asshole has ever saved his country.
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American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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