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 the Revenge Revolution, a list of earlier revolutions and the author, Entry #1.
Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether in the next few years, a revolution in the US is still possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. With all that’s happened lately in Washington, I wrote a special sense check, Entry #332.
One of the contributing factors to the Revenge Revolution will be a technology tsunami, which I believe is rapidly headed toward US shores. Fifteen recent entries addressed various aspects how the tech tsunami might: (i) affect the US economy and family incomes; (ii) be mitigated by taking certain actions. The series of entries is available as an eBook. (19 05 19 Tech Tsunami Booklet)
The first draft of this blog entry was an attempt to convince Trumpsters to ask themselves why they continued to support behavior that if exhibited by a Democrat would have caused them to be apoplectic. With each passing month I have become more perplexed why and how Republican thinking switched 180 degrees from categorizing certain behavior as unacceptable in pre-Trump to categorizing the same behavior as acceptable under Trump. What caused the definition of “acceptable behavior” to change? Formerly unacceptable behavior has become the norm with only a whimper of protest from a few Republicans. Why?
The blog entry got delayed because of activities surrounding Memorial Day weekend…fortunately. Why fortunately? There was a fascinating opinion piece in the “Review” section of the 05/26/2019 NY Times, titled, “Why Fiction Trumps Truth” that seemed to explain how some people willingly allow clearly untrue assertions to affect some of their behavior, yet act rationally much of the other time. The article noted that people who compartmentalize seem to accept more readily claims that are truly bizarre and outlandish.
Whether the author’s analysis is completely accurate, I don’t know. I am not a trained psychologist, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst. Some people think I’m just psycho. However, the writer’s premise and support seems plausible and helps me understand what can best be described only as irrational behavior. In previous blog entries, I’ve suggested the cause of such “compartmentalized” behavior by Trump supporters was some form of brainwashing.
Part of the brainwashing could be attributed to such talking heads as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh who fill their airtime not with questions and analysis but with declarative statements and claims unsupported by facts. An even more influential source for the brainwashing is Trump, who if nothing else, is a master of making and repeating false statements, offering no context or support for his claims. After a while, people here the lie often enough, they get brainwashed and believe the lie.
While Republicans under Trump seem to have taken the compartmentalizing phenomenon to the extreme, the phenomenon is not unique to Trump supporters or the Republican Party. We are all probably guilty of some degree of “compartmentalizing” irrational behavior, even if such behavior applies only to a favorite sports team.
Please read the opinion piece using the link above. Given the degree of compartmentalization, the question now seems to be, “How does US society get out of this mess?” Other than a catastrophic event, such as a revolution, is there any to convince “compartmentalized” voters, left and right, to come out of the closet, err compartment?
While both parties have voters in such compartments, the degree to which Republicans have begun accepting as normal, behavior that for decades had been considered “highly unacceptable,” is startling and hard to explain. Why do Republicans without any protest whatsoever allow Trump to enable the Attorney General, if he so chooses, to disclose publicly any and all sources of intelligence information, domestic and foreign?
Whether the Attorney General ever discloses the sources doesn’t matter. The damage is already done. The fear by the source of being “outed” will cause most every source to no longer provide information. In many countries, any type of disclosure for a source has a severe negative consequence – imprisonment, torture and possibly death. Trump’s action, which was done purely for political reasons, is a direct threat to national security. And where were protests from Republicans, who claim to be the party of national security? No response!!!!!
Where are all the Republicans who clamored for putting Hillary Clinton in jail for using a non-government server? Where’s the protest Representative Jim Jordan Ohio? Guess you’re not such a tough guy wrestler after all. Trump seems to have you in a choke hold. Where are protests from Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader? Cat got your tongue? Where are Republican supporters of the military when Trump tweets that Russia and North Korea are not really threats?
I’ll tell you where Republicans are. Clamoring for an investigation of the people in the FBI and CIA who found out people in the Trump Campaign were dealing with the Russians before the election. And, no, Trump supporters, there was no attempted coup. First, Trump and supporters should thank James Comey for handing Trump the election with the press conference chastising Hillary Clinton.
But, no, in Trump world everything is backwards. Good is bad and bad is good. Next, go read the Muller Report, not Trump’s or Barr’s misinterpretation. If you still need convincing that Trump just might be acting in violation of US law, look at all the financial information from Trump’s tax returns, phony foundation, money laundering through Deutsche Bank and elsewhere.
Despite overwhelming evidence, Republicans in a classic flip flop compared to demands for say Clinton, insist any financial information not be disclosed. Why? The information would be used for political purposes. Republicans would never do such a thing but Democrats always do. Well then, let’s use this argument. The law requires the IRS to turn over tax returns to specified members of Congress. Using a standard Republican argument about complying with the law, if Trump’s done nothing wrong and has nothing to hide, why not let people view the information who are charged in the Constitution with oversight of the Executive Branch? If you have questions about the House’s authority, please read Article I of the Constitution.
OK, I’ve ranted enough and probably not changed a single Republican’s mind. I do hope, however, that everyone reading the blog (Republicans and Democrats) will at least read the opinion piece in the NYT and step back and ask, “What irrational behavior (fiction) am I ‘compartmentalizing’ and allowing to influence my behavior that I would otherwise consider unacceptable?” Also ask, “How can each of us change behavior to avoid what seems to be the inevitable road to the Revenge Revolution?”
Comments and suggestions welcome. Thanks for your time.