Readers: The focus of this blog since 2013 has been if a 5th revolution in the US would occur around 2020, give or take a few years. The caveat was whether the time between previous revolutions, approximately 50 years, would hold again.
The previous revolutions were: #1, the American Revolution, which ended with the War of 1812; #2, the Civil War: #3, the “industrialization and migration/immigration” revolution of about 1910-1915; #4, cultural revolution from 1965-early 1970’s. (For more explanation about the revolutions, Entry #1.)
Well, no need to speculate any more about a 5th US revolution. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, the 5th US revolution has started.
One might argue that a 5th revolution, which early on I labeled as the “Revenge Revolution,” began with the election of Trump. And Trump’s election might be a fair starting point.
Clearly many people were upset and thought someone with no political experience and no credible business experience could make changes they thought necessary. (Trump supporters if you disagree with the statement that Trump had no credible business experience, do some research with good sources. You’ll understand why the statement is true.)
Trump became president because of a fluke in the Constitution. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 3 million votes. Nonetheless, Trump gained the White House via the Electoral College.
Whether or not the Revenge Revolution started with Trump doesn’t matter for this conversation. The Revenge Revolution has started now, and on multiple fronts – economic, social, medical, and certainly political. The fronts are interrelated, although some discreet elements exist in each.
The coronavirus scourge seems to be the catalyst for the revolution. For starters, Covid-19 has demonstrated how disjointed, dysfunctional and discriminatory the US medical system is. Even if there are underlying genetic traits that make groups more susceptible to the virus – blood type A, for example – the treatment available to those needing hospitalization for Covid-19 has varied from adequate to warlike conditions where supplies are short and treatment has to be rationed.
Attempts to control the spread of the virus have also demonstrated how certain classes of workers could be classified. Many highly educated workers were considered “non-essential” and therefore temporarily, if not permanently expendable. Among workers considered “essential” were many less educated, lower-paid, minorities, often from Trump’s “shit-hole” countries list. Mmm, how did so people from those countries become “essential”? The Trump administration forgot to explain.
Attempts to control the virus also resulted in unprecedented closings of businesses, employee layoffs, and a record decline in GDP. While a percentage of people have been rehired, the rehiring could be temporary as the rate of infections accelerates in some areas. The pattern of a quick uptick (in this case, employment) followed by a rapid decline sometimes is referred to as the “dead-cat bounce.”
The social leg of the Revenge Revolution has been simmering for more than 100 years. What brought the simmer to a boil was the video of the Minneapolis Police killing George Floyd. Release of the video precipitated protests and some looting, not seen in such volume and intensity since the 1960s.
Unlike like many previous social protests, which often faded rather quickly, the current protest seems to be gaining momentum. Actions being proposed range from reducing funding of police departments to eliminating statues of Confederate generals (these generals fought against the US after all) to changing the names of certain sports teams – Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians, e.g.
The Trump White House has taken a stand that ignores the growing Revenge Revolution. Trump claims repeatedly that the coronavirus will “just go away”; that the economy will bounce back stronger than ever; and that the protests are being led by leftist, fascist, thugs.
Donald and his supporters can think whatever they want about the revolution but the revolution will only gain momentum, which in turn will lead to even more change. Exactly what will change is hard to predict. No pattern has emerged other than a likely shifting of political power to Democrats following the November election.
Since today is Independence Day, I want to end on a positive note. Revolutions often result in major technological advances. After the US works through the Revenge Revolution, there could be a burst of Innovations in the industrial and medical sectors with the potential of generating significant employment gains and improvement in life span.
There’s a great opportunity ahead. We need the right people at the top to manage the transition and capitalize on the opportunity. Stay tuned. More to come.
Other information. Some of the blog entries are part of a series. Several series are available as easy-to-read booklets for download:
- Working with Lee Iacocca after he left Chrysler, 2019Q3 Iacocca Personal Observations.
- GM EV1 — behind-the-scenes events affecting development and introduction of the GM EV1, the first modern electric vehicle. 2020Q1 GM EV-1 Story Behind the Story Booklet
- Coming technology tsunami and the implications for the US, Tech Tsunami Booklet with Supplement
- Trump Supporters Brainwashed? A series discussing why Republics have abandoned basic principals, Are Trump Republicans Brainwashed 2020Q1
- Who took out the Donald? Who/what groups are most likely to “take out” Trump? Who Took Out the Donald Entries with Update
- Revenge Revolution — description of what form the revolution might take, 20 01 07 Start of Revolution