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.  (Series “Who Took Out the Donald?’ begins Entry #244.) 

092615_2031_Characters7.gifGelly:  “Wow, what a pleasant surprise.  Two civilized people in the office.  Didn’t think you’d still be here.”

JC:  “It was tough to put up with Jordan this long, but we survived.”

Greenie:  “Tell us where you’ve been Gelly…well, tell us what you can.”

Gelly:  “The briefing was about an upcoming Congressional hearing studying the Trump Administration.”

010414_1635_16TeachingS1.jpgJC:  “More about scandals?  That seems pretty well researched by now.”

Gelly:  “No, the study is a bit unusual for a Congressional committee.  The topic is understanding why so many initial Trump supporters continued to support him despite the widespread scandals and his behavior that was considered so un-presidential by almost all standards.”

Greenie:  “Is the study bi-partisan?  I know that since the Revenge Revolution Congress has shown more willingness to work across the aisle, but the study could be a resistance point for many Republicans.”

Jordan:  “I agree.  What’s the rationale for rehashing the impact of Trump’s behavior on the populous?

Gelly:  “The underlying theme…if I interpreted the briefing correctly…is that somehow a very high percentage of the initial Trump supporters seemed to be brainwashed.  The study will attempt to confirm the premise…and if confirmed, then attempt to understand how they were brainwashed.”

092615_2031_Characters2.jpgGreenie:  “I agree it’s unusual for a Congressional committee to be exploring such a topic.  Is the hearing going to be open to the public?”

Gelly:  “No decision as of yet.  Obviously a very sensitive topic, even with Trump out of office.”

Jordan:  “Any restriction on talking about the hearing?”

Gelly:  “For now we’re supposed to be discreet and limit the number of people we talk to about it.  But no outright prohibition.”

JC:  “So you won’t be put on double-secret probation if you talk to Greenie and me about it?”

Gelly:  “You guys are OK for the general information.  But as I know you will, please be extremely discreet in discussing this with anyone else…at least until we get further instructions.”

TurtleneckJC:  “Any idea what sources of data will be used for the study, aside from our expert witness here?”

Jordan:  “I’m not sure why I’m even on the short list for prospective witnesses.”

JC:  “Maybe you’ll be a subject of the study.  Just kidding.  Actually, brainwashing a portion of the population is not all that unusual.”

Jordan:  “OK, I’m game, tell me your theory.”

JC:  “In grad school I wrote a paper about how certain religions have been able to effectively brainwash followers.”

Greenie:  “Interesting topic.  I don’t think you ever told me about the paper.”

PreachJC:  “My conclusion was that people who follow religions that preach or instruct congregants to follow strict rules or believe that certain statements are absolutes that should not be questioned…the people who continue to follow the religion have been brainwashed.”

Greenie:  “By that definition, then you’re saying the ‘fundamentalists’ of most every major religion have been brainwashed.  In the US, that covers the more hard-core Christians, Jews and Muslims.”

Gelly:  “Don’t fundamentalists of each religion believe that only they have all the answers and you must follow certain rules and never question certain absolutes?”

JC:  “Yes, and those that don’t stand-up and salute are branded as categorically wrong.”

Jordan:  “Did your study include any non-religious examples?”

JC:  “Lots of them, although I had to limit the scope of the paper.  Otherwise, I never would have graduated.  When you really begin to delve into the topic, you discover that a number of segments of the population appear to have been brainwashed.  People who seem to be brainwashed include many categories – buyers of commercial products, other family members, political parties…its surprising how widespread brainwashing really appears to be.”

AppleGelly:  “You mean like people who insist on buying only Apple products, even though Apple costs more and might not perform as well?  Or those people who vote only for one party no matter how flawed the candidate?  Are you considering these people brainwashed?”

JC:  “Exactly.  I know some of this might sound like good marketing…and to some extent brainwashing probably is good marketing.  What really surprised me, though, was the predilection to brainwashing was not correlated to IQ.  Brainwashing seemed correlated more closely with personality type.”

Greenie:  “You mean the ‘down-2-over-4’ personalities who insist that everything must be just so.  No deviating from the standard or you will be punished.  That kind of personality?”

Gelly:  “They seem like they’re brainwashed.  What about people who are not ‘down-2-over-4’ types?”

Connect DotsJC:  “Another group that seemed prone to brainwashing was the group that ‘can’t connect the dots.’  The ‘no-dots’ crowd seems to view each event as discreet and somehow not linked.  They cannot fathom that somehow someone might be manipulating them.”

Jordan:  “What about predilection to brainwashing among different cultures?”

JC:  “Cultures that seem to exhibit more structured behaviors and those that are dominated by a very structured religion seem more prone.”

BrainwashedGreenie:  “The idea of modern-day mass brainwashing is scary stuff.  I never really considered the possibility being so widespread.  I mean, there’s always been some portion of the political parties that was effectively brainwashed.  The old Blue-dog Democrats, for example, and the more recent alt-right Republicans.  But you’re paper implied a higher percentage of the population.”

Gelly:  “Did your study determine the method used for brainwashing?”

JC:  “I’ll give you my conclusion after I get a coffee refill.  Greenie, I know we said we were out of here but let’s stay a few more minutes, OK?”

Greenie:  “Alright by me as long as you’re buying the refill.  Wonder why I didn’t know about this paper.”