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 if 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 a few days after the dinner meeting with Gelly, JC and Greenie.  (Lead-in.  Last comment in conversation, Entry #253, JC said,  “But like the movie director in the ‘Godfather,’ Trump refused, which left the FBI no choice but to take him out and save the country.” (Series “Who Took Out the Donald?’ begins Entry #244.) 

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “Unfortunately, by the time the FBI took Trump out, the damage to the country was too great…and we had the Revenge Revolution.”

JC:  “Agreed.  And I never thought I’d be saying this, but…”

Jordan:  “…can’t wait to hear this one.”

JC:  “…you’re excused for interrupting.  I never thought I’d be saying not all of the problems were the Donald’s fault.”

Greenie:  “JC, have you gone Republican on me?  Sounds to me as if you’ve been brainwashed.”

092615_2031_Characters1.jpgJC:  “Think about it…and I know you realize this.  The Donald was more of an enabler for the Revenge Revolution rather than the cause of the Revenge Revolution.  For 20+ years before Trump, the Republicans had been moving farther and farther right.  The Donald let the Republicans do a really hard-right turn.”

Greenie:  “They also did a masterful job disguising the hard-right turn from many of their base voters.  As much as I hate to give them credit, the disguised hard-right turn was brilliantly executed…at least for a while.”

Jordan:  “You mean like fooling the people to vote Republican who would be most negatively affected economically by their policies.”

BrainwashedGreenie:  “Exactly.  I know you think the comment about brainwashing was tongue-in-check but I really believe many who claimed to be Republicans were brainwashed.”

JC:  “Brainwashed?  Brainwashing that many people seems impossible…until, of course you look at history and realize brainwashing large segments of the population was not all that unusual.”

Matt:  “I agree brainwashing is possible…but it just seems so unlikely.”

Jordan:  “Here’s an example of brainwashing that has baffled me for decades.  It’s an example from graduate school.”

JC:  “You mean that place in Cambridge that gave you remedial training?”

Jordan:  “Such a charmer.  The short version is this.  At the beginning of the semester, class members were assigned to a group.  Each week the group was given a problem to solve.  The last problem for the semester was to negotiate a nuclear arms disarmament agreement with another group.”

Greenie:  “Any rules?  How did a team get points…or whatever was being measured.”

Jordan:  “A few guidelines – for example, only 2 people could meet with the other team’s reps, time limit for each round, etc.  The way points were generated was interesting.  If two teams negotiated successfully, then the combined total was the most…say 1,000 points.  I don’t remember exactly.”

092615_2031_Characters11.pngMatt:  “So the total was 1,000 but I guess each team earned 500…right?”

JC:  “And what if the teams didn’t settle?”

Jordan:  If one team strung along the other team, then bombed them at the end, the team that bombed would get the most points as a team…say 750 points…but the combined total would be less than the 1,000 points for those that negotiated successfully.”

JC:  “So, if a team wanted to win the most points individually, they’d string along the other group and then at the end, say ‘SURPRISE, we’re bombing you.’”

NegotiateJordan:  “That’s exactly what happened.  One team negotiated supposedly in good faith…and then at the last allowed negotiating session told the other team they were being bombed.”

Matt:  “Why do you think this was an example of brainwashing?”

Jordan:  “Two reasons.  #1, the professor was an expert in how people were brainwashed, including military personnel.  Looking back, a number of problems we had to solve were associated with the effects of ‘group think,’ ‘peer pressure,’ ‘intimidation,’ etc.  #2 reason was the members of the group that bombed did not think through the potential consequences.”

JC:  “C’mon.  It was a game.  You think there were repercussions?”

Casino NightJordan:  “After the class found out about the bombing, people no longer trusted members of the group that bombed.  The change was immediate.  The entire class has a casino party on Saturday night, the day after the bombing.  Some members of the group that bombed staffed the casino tables – dealing cards, for example.  And guess what?”

Greenie:  “People wouldn’t go to those tables.”

JC:  “OK, but that was the next night.  What about long-term?  I still keep thinking it was only a game.”

traitorJordan:  “I can still tell you the names of the key players in the group that bombed.  What’s more I can tell you their careers were not much different that their behavior in that group.  I’m still friends with two of the three key guys but I would never work with them.”

Matt:  “So what I’m hearing is a few members of one group…”

Jordan:  “…three as best I recall…”

Matt:  “…three members of one group convinced other people in the group, all of whom were highly educated, to take action that was clearly negative.”

JC:  “I still come back to it was only a game.  I mean really.”

Greenie:  “Was this early or late in the semester?  You said the last class.”

Jordan:  “That’s an important point.  By this time in the semester the class had been exposed to a number of problems affecting individual and group behavior.”

Greenie:  “The exercise sounds more like an informal final exam than a mere exercise.”

Trump KingMatt:  “Alright, so you had an interesting exercise or even informal final exam.  Now bring that exercise back to the Trump administration.  You think there were parallels?”

Greenie:  “Let me guess.  The personality profiles of key members of the Trump Administration seem very similar to profiles of the bombers.”

Jordan:  “Greenie, you’re good at this.  The profiles not quite cookie cutters but close.”

JC:  “Building on Matt’s question, if you think about it, the personality profiles of the Republicans leaders of the House and Senate have been the same since maybe the mid-1990’s.  I’ll exclude Boehner, at least the last couple of years before he retired.”

Matt:  “Let’s be fair.  Democratic leaders were not all warm-and-fuzzy, goody two-shoes types.”

WolfJC:  “Agreed, but the Democrats didn’t seem vicious like the Republicans.”

Greenie:  “Until the Donald, the White House and some key influencers seemed to hold the Republican leadership in check.”

JC:  “Then comes the Donald, who has absolutely no clue how Washington, or any large organization, really works.  Intentionally or not, he becomes the enabler of the crazies of the alt-right.”

Matt:  “I must confess, the brainwashing idea seemed farfetched when I first heard it.  The more we talk about it the more logical it becomes.”

Greenie:  “I’ll give you an example that should convince the most die-hard Trump fan…well, maybe not the most die-hard but close.  The health care bills drafted by the House and Senate to replace Obamacare.”

Matt:  “Agreed.  Those proposals decimated health-care coverage for a wide swath of Republican voters.”

Screwed-GuyJC:  “Republican leaders crafted the proposals to reward the very wealthy and screw the very people who voted them into office.  I recall one of the Republican senators who crafted their bill in secret making the following statement, ‘Medicaid does not pay doctors enough per visit.’  Followed by ‘The proposed bill cuts Medicaid payments by hundreds of millions of dollars.’  Duh, oh wise senator, do you understand what you just said?”

Greenie:  “To use phrase from the Donald’s extensive vocabulary, ‘that’s sad, very sad.’  What really was sad is many of the Trumpsters never did realize how much they were going to get the shaft.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Fortunately for them, Trump had so many other personal conflicts that affected the presidency, especially financial links to the Russians, the FBI had to take him out.”

Matt:  “Well, you got me convinced about the FBI and the Donald.  And I also need to go.  Greenie, OK if I call you with some other questions about the Revenge Revolution?  You’ve written more articles than anyone.”

Greenie: “Of course, Matt.  Call any time.”