Why Scott Adams is so popular

From Scott Adams’ Periscope https://www.pscp.tv/w/1yNGaXyVWDDKj

I agree with the beginning of the video, that America’s system of government has proven to be surprisingly resilient.

But more interestingly, Scott takes a neo-liberal view, praising America’s ‘checks and balances system’ and how the media (by acting as a defacto branch of government) shaped Trump’s policy regarding his signing of an executive order barring separation of illegal immigrants’ families, yet despite such optimism Scott is highly respected by the far and alt-right. Had I expressed similar views, I’m sure most people would disagree, either on the left or the right. I suspect Scott is able to ingratiate himself so well when no one else can, because he exudes intellect, credibly, open-mindedness, and authenticity. But Scott could go on even a Neo-reactionary community and repeat his Periscope argument verbatim, and still he would get maybe only a mild backlash, with any disagreement very civil.

A similar pattern is also observed with Bryan Caplan and Tyler Cowen. Although they are moderates or only slightly right-of-center, are respected among the high-IQ and non-mainstream right, because they have interesting ideas that challenge mainstream convention (such as democracy always being ‘good’, or that voters are rational, or that markets are smarter than governments, etc.), but also because they are objective, fact-based, and well-informed, and by associating with them, one’s own intellectual credibility is boosted, rather than sounding like just another angry internet demagogue.

So you’re probably thinking, so what. Why does this matter. It matters because it’s evidence that people form bonds–not only out of agreement on issues–but possibly more importantly, on shared narratives (discussed here many times) and signaling value. Because Scott is so smart and open-minded, even if one disagrees with him ideologically or on specific issues, by associating with him, some of his worldliness and intellect rubs off. You are signaling to others you value objectivity and impartiality over identity politics, even if you are internally biased.