First-time readers, the dialogue in 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, Washington, DC, start of work day.  (Conversation starts Entry #225))

Gelly:  “Jordan, what was that word you just used?  Some kind of ‘tocracy’?”

Jordan:  “Kasistocracy.  Means government run by unsuitable people or a government that is unsuitable.”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “Are you suggesting the Trump Administration was a…say that word again.”

Jordan:  “Kas-is-toc-racy.”

Gelly:  “Yes, the Trump Administration was a kasistocracy.  Is that what you you’re implying?”

Jordan:  “That’s not just my assessment.  Many people in the US feel that way as do many US allies.”

Gelly:  “I admit many actions by the Trump Administration at the beginning were a bit unusual.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Gelly, you’ve gone from being blunt a few minutes ago to being Ms. Diplomat.  You think the actions were just ‘a bit unusual’?”

Gelly:  “OK, I’ll be less PC.  The actions, starting with the Trump Transition Team, were stupid.”

Jordan:  “Now, at least Trump is getting the same treatment I get from you and JC.”

Gelly:  “Whoever was advising Trump, and likely Trump himself, had no clue about the breadth and depth of the task that needed to be done before Inauguration Day.”

Jordan:  “The turnover of staff made it worse.  The coup de gras…maybe the coup de gras of stupidity…was the VP-elect Mike Pence, who was supposed to be heading the transition team full-time, deciding to remain governor of Indiana until just before Inauguration Day.”

goofy006Gelly:  “Pence deserved the ‘Stupid Is as Stupid Does’ award for that move.  He reminded me Goofy.  What was he thinking?”

Jordan:  “Unfortunately, the Trump Administration dug itself a hole so deep before Inauguration Day it was never able to recover.  It’s not as if the Obama Administration and others inside the Beltway didn’t try to help.  Most of the people and many of the ideas were just ignored.  Instead, I think most of the appointments were more like Trump lap dogs.”

Gelly:  “The Trump kasistocracy…I love that word…increased frustration among trump-youre-firedvoters, especially those who thought Trump was going to change Washington in a good way.  So voter frustration increased…and voila, the Revenge Revolution…and Trump was fired.”

Jordan:  “What’s the lesson from the Trump Administration so a kasistocracy does not happen again?”

Gelly:  “Maybe the US needs to drop the Electoral College and go to a system where the presidential candidate with the majority of votes is declared the winner.”

Jordan:  “Think that would prevent a kasistocracy?”

Gelly:  “I don’t know.  But in the span of 16 years there were two presidents elected who did not win the popular vote – Bush 43 and Trump.  Do you know the last time that happened before Bush 43?”

Jordan:  “As a matter of fact, I do.  In 1888, Benjamin Harrison beat Grover electoral-collegeCleveland.  It happened a couple of other times before 1888.”

Gelly:  “Harrison to Bush 43 was 112 years.  Then Bush to Trump was 16 years.”

Jordan:  “If presidents were elected based on popular vote, I think that would quell some of the frustration of the side that garners the most votes but ends up losing the election.”

Gelly:  “Agreed.  However, I’ll bet people could live with the Electoral College if the quality of the candidates improved.”

Jordan:  “The lesson might really be – improve the quality of the candidates.  If so, then how?”         

publicly-funded-electionsGelly:  “This might sound naïve but educating the public about issues would be a great start.”

Jordan:  “As part of that plan, what about eliminating private funding of presidential elections?  Let the Federal government fund presidential elections.”

Gelly:  “Wouldn’t public funding be contrary to the Citizens United case?”

Jordan:  “Yes, but we are post Revenge Revolution and have a new Congress…well, mostly new.  Let Congress pass a bill to have the Federal government fund presidential elections.  I can’t think of any Constitutional issues that can’t be addressed.”

Gelly:  “If there is Federal funding, there should be an increase in the number of presidential-debatesdebates.  And the debates should be about real issues.  If public debates were increased and public advertising decreased, then the candidates could speak in more depth about issues.  If they phrased an answer awkwardly or even made a mistake, they could correct the mistake in a subsequent debate.  A minor slip now gets blown way out of proportion.”

Jordan:  “Along those lines but a bit more esoteric, is the need to eliminate false equivalency.”

not-equal-symbolGelly:  “False equivalency meaning…”

Jordan:  “When groups, and even the media, claim that two opposing positions on an issue should be considered equally legitimate.”

Gelly:  “You mean like global warming?”

Jordan:  “Good example.  And like certain tax policies.  There are other examples as well.”

Gelly:  “What needs to be done to eliminate, or reduce, false equivalency?”

Jordan:  “Both sides need to be challenged to provide evidence to support their position.”

Gelly:  “So, for global warming the people who claim global warming has been caused by the effects of the industrial revolution, or at least made worse by the Industrial Revolution, they could use such data as the rate of increase in temperature-mean-globalmean temperature per year over the last 125-150 years and/or the slope of CO2 concentration over the same period.  The increase in the slope of both those curves indicates a major change has occurred.”

Jordan:  “Compare that data set to those who claim global warming is a hoax perpetuated by 3,000+ scientists, a hoax by the Chinese or some other sinister group.  Where are the data to support the argument?  None exists.”

Gelly:  “So you’re saying why should the naysayers get any airtime until they have some evidence, right?”

Jordan:  “The naysayers can get airtime but the media need to be relentless in proddingprodding the quacks to provide evidence.  No allowing midnight tweets, including the president’s tweets, to be considered credible evidence.”  

Gelly:  “OK, then what about tax policy?  Deciding which arguments about appropriate tax policy seems less clear.”

Jordan:  “I agree that there is no hard evidence on some issues.  But for other issues there are lots of solid data.”

Gelly:  “Such as?”

Jordan:  “Take trickle-down economics, or as Bush 41 called it, ‘voodoo voodoo-2015958economics.’  Bush 41 was spot on.  There is no credible evidence of any country experiencing sustained economic growth based on trickle-down economics.  Concentrating tax cuts with the rich does not trickle down and create significant job growth.  Tax cuts for the rich concentrates wealth and can make the country poorer, not richer.”

Gelly:  “Really?  There’s no supporting evidence for trickle-down economics?”

Jordan:  “Think about the theory?  Give more money to the rich and they will field-of-dreamsmagically create jobs.  Why would they?  No reasonable company or CEO is going to expand a facility or build a new facility without the prospect of an increase in demand.  People need more income if they’re going to increase demand for goods and services.  The only time trickle-down economics works — ‘build it and they will come’ — is in the movie, ‘Field of Dreams.’”

Gelly:  “You need to tell me more.  This is an important lesson.”

Jordan:  “Let’s take a break but remember the letters MPC.”

(To be continued)