First-time readers, this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020).  Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution.  More about Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment whether Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office in Washington. Jordan meeting with JC, who has agreed to propose causes of the Revenge Revolution for Greenie, a mutual friend, who is an author.  Greenie is recovering from short-term illness.  Conversation started #191.

Jordan:  “Greenie asked if we could come up with 9-10 possible causes of the Revenge Revolution.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “We need a couple more.  I had the last idea, your turn.”

Jordan:  “Not sure of the answer but the question could be a good topic.”

JC:  “OK, what’s the question?”

Jordan:  “Go back to 2016.  What were the causes of such wide-spread support for Bernie Sanders and The Donald?”

JC:  “Interesting question.  Both sets of followers seemed to the antithesis of the candidate.”

Jordan:  “There’s Bernie, an old Jewish guy from Brooklyn transplanted to Vermont.  And what does he do?  Attract huge crowds of Millennials.”

JC:  “Feeling the Bern was like voting for your crusty old grandfather.  You’d expect the Millennials to gravitate to some dynamic Millennial-like candidate.”

Jordan:  “And exactly the opposite happened.  The Millennials support an old, sort of frumpy guy.”

JC:  “The same with supporters of the Donald.  Here’s a NY real estate guy with lots of money and a high life-style.  And who are his primary supporters?”

Jordan:  “Lower-income, middle-age white guys.  Most of them probably had never been to NY, let alone shop on 5th Avenue near Trump Tower.”

JC:  “Or been to Palm Beach and shopped on Worth Avenue.”

Jordan:  “You’d think the Millennials would be attracted to Trump and the middle-age guys would be attracted to Bernie.”

JC:  “But just the opposite happened.  The attraction must have been the message.”

Jordan:  “What about the messenger, which seems to be a big concern in politics?”

JC:  “Well, Bernie and the Donald proved that looks are unimportant.  Bernie in his Trumprumpled suits.  And the Donald who looks like a cartoon character.”

Jordan:  “Plus, the delivery was not extraordinary either.  Neither could match the delivery of JFK or Reagan…or even Bill Clinton.”

JC:  “While the Donald was a bit of a flame thrower, he was anything but eloquent.”

Jordan:  “So, she says, the key must have been the content of the message.  But do you think people actually listened to the message?”

JC:  “Yes.  Both Bernie and the Donald realized the message from mainstream politicians was ‘broken.’  So, they took a different tact.  Throw out the sugar-coating and the euphemisms.  Bring in straight talk.”

Jordan:  “Both talked about problems and issues that mainstream politicians sidestepped.  You might say Bernie talked about the donkey in the room and the Donald talked about the elephant in the room.”

JC:  “Both were effective, although I must say the Donald was less than tactful much of the time.  Clearly Millennials and future generations faced a set of circumstances that needed to be addressed, which Bernie tried to do.  And middle-aged people…white and black…faced a problem of no longer having decent-paying factory jobs.  And that problem needed to be addressed.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “To show you how the job market has changed…and how old I am…when I got out of undergrad, I had 10 job offers.  Not all great but 10 offers.”

JC:  “10 offers?  You?  You fooled that many companies?”

Jordan:  “Thanks for the vote of confidence.  When Bernie and the Donald were campaigning, for a college grad to get a couple of decent job offers, let alone 10 offers, was more like a pipe dream.  A fairly high percentage of college graduates were getting no credible offers.”

JC:  “At the same time, a high percentage of middle-aged people had been in a job that was eliminated and then could only find a job that paid significantly less.  In a way, it was the same dilemma that recent college graduates faced.”

Jordan:  “So the lesson for Greenie is message is more important than the appearance of the messenger.”

man_with_piggy_bank_2JC:  “Yes.  I’d add one other lesson from the Bern and the Donald – fund raising.”

Jordan:  “They both broke the traditional model of who fed the piggy-bank.  Neither Bernie nor the Donald had support of any PAC and both started with virtually no field organization.  Bernie had no appreciable financial assets but still managed to raise millions of dollars from small donors.  Raised money like Obama but took it to another level.”

JC:  “The Donald spent his own money and then leveraged the media better than anyone before him.  Think about all the free coverage he got.”

Jordan:  “OK, lesson #2.  Traditional funding and traditional field organizations are not required to gain wide-spread support.”

JC:  “Here’s what I’m still having trouble with.  The last topic we gave Greenie – the effect of internet myopia – and this topic – lessons from the Bern and the Donald – did these factors really contribute to the Revenge Revolution, or were they merely side issues?”

Jordan:  “I think Greenie is going to find the Revenge Revolution is like most boiling_potrevolutions.  There is no single cause.  Revolutions follow an accumulation of many events and frustrations.  I agree that at some point the pot boils over and there is a revolution.  But the cause of the pot boiling over is not the last few minutes before it boils over but the build-up of heat over a much longer period.  Consider all the events we’re outlining as throwing wood on the fire.  With more wood the fire keeps getting hotter and hotter…”

JC:  “…until the water boils over.  Then we have a revolution.  And speaking of water about ready to spill from the container, I need a break.”