(Originally written) Sunday, December 25, 2005
Beware the man who flatters you by saying he's not going to flatter you because you're too smart for that.
Smart persuaders often bank on one's image of oneself as being 'realistic', 'unromantic', etc. If someone is trying to sell you something and says it's a bargain, you'll want to know what's in it for him, and a good salesman will have a good cover story, like the car salesman who says "I just have to make this one more sale by tomorrow to win a trip to Hawaii."
Purveyers of political philosophies, from Randians to Republicans to Marxists will tell you "We're just hard-headed realists, unlike those sentimental utopian Marxists, Democrats, or Saint-Simoneans (or Social Democrats)."
[to be continued]