Readers: some of the dialogue in this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Entries addressing events in the the future assume 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. Entry #400 was the most recent “sense check.”
Some of the entries are part of a series. Several series are available as easy-to-read booklets for download:
- 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 Related article published 10/07/20. Op-Ed piece in NYT about how people bend their thinking to justify beliefs. Example is Fox News Information about Covid-19, 20 10 07 Fox News Still in Coronavirus Bubble aka Brainwashed
- Who took out the Donald? Who/what groups are most likely to “take out” Trump? The booklet was written early in the Trump administration but still worth a read. Who Took Out the Donald Entries with Update
- Revenge Revolution — description of what form the revolution might take, 20 01 07 Start of Revolution
- 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
Beginning #378 the entries began focusing on a post-Trump administration and a post-Coronavirus world. We’re headed to a post-Trump world and post-COVID world, even if post-virus is a ways away. Comments and suggestions welcome.
ENTRY #401: Blog entry #400 was a “sense check addressing whether a 5th US Revolution was likely, or even possible. Well, we didn’t have to wait long for confirmation.
On January 6th, in a rally outside the White House, Trump egged on a group of supporters to go to the Capitol and disrupt the counting of the Electoral College votes by the Senate. The Trump mob, many with either a Confederate flag or a banner with Trump’s picture superimposed on an American flag, then stormed the US Capitol.
The group overwhelmed the Capitol Police and broke into the House and Senate chambers. Some proceeded to damage artwork and then ransack offices, most notably the office of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. A number of people were injured and 5 killed, including a Capitol police officer.
Trump’s reaction? He claimed the seditionists were really patriots. Reactions of high-profile Republicans? Some were genuinely outraged but many seemed to shed crocodile tears. A surprising large number of Republican Representatives and Senators have continued to support Trump, while criticizing the Capitol Police for failing to hold off the mob.
When the House and Senate reconvened in the early evening of January 6 to resume counting electoral votes, did Republicans continue to object to the votes certified by states, even if the certification was by Republicans? Of course they objected. Republicans claimed that the ballots supporting Biden were fraudulent, even though those same ballots resulted in the election of those protesting. Only in Trump world could one use such logic.
These Republican Representative and Senators continued with Trump-world logic. Comments went along the following lines, “What did Trump do that was so bad? I mean, the last time anyone invaded the Capitol was in 1812. And it was the British. They burned the Capitol to the ground. Trump’s group merely protested and rearranged some papers and furniture in a few offices. No big deal. All you liberals quit whining.”
Even more frustrating than the logic of the Trump Republicans in Congress was the reaction of some supposedly educated people I know. I have purposely maintained Facebook friendships with some hardcore Trump supporters. Several of these people I’ve known for many years and decided not to let some idiot like Trump ruin a friendship. In addition, viewing their posts does provide some idea of how Trump supporters think.
The posts following the storming of the Capitol were interesting as well as baffling. One person claimed that the insurrectionists were not really Trump supporters but liberals trying to make Trump look bad. She had proof that one participant had been at a climate change rally on the West Coast. Not only was her “proof” quickly refuted – the alleged “climate change” participant was a hard-right group member – but apparently it never occurred to her that one or more participants at the Trump rally might have tried to disrupt the climate change rally. Oh no, Trump supporters would never do that.
Reaction from another friend was more drawn out. I received an unsolicited email from the individual stating the Trump should leave. I responded by agreeing, then discussing how Trump’s behavior could accelerate the split in the Republican Party, with more principled Republicans leaving the party and forming a third party with members of the Lincoln Project. The “Lincoln” Republicans could gain considerable influence by aligning with more moderate Democrats. Such an alignment would effectively render the far right of the remaining Republican Party as a non-entity politically.
The reaction to my rather straightforward comments? No direct response. Instead, the response focused on Democrats, stating that Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and Stacey Abrams were evil. Not sure why they are considered evil, especially Abrams who currently holds no political office.
The next day I received another email with a link to a right-wing blog. The author of that blog, of course with no data, proved the media had caused the US population to split politically.
While the logic stream in the emails was confusing at the least, one point was true. The media have contributed to the split in the population. But not the media the writer intended. The split has been caused in large part by Fox News, Limbaugh and some social media sites rather than the media the writer considered.
Like a few Facebook friends, Trump couldn’t stop and think. He continued to tweet, encouraging supporters to protest at state capitols and protest during the Inauguration of Biden/Harris. Trump made sure supporters knew he would not attend the swearing in. Implicit in Trump’s tweet, “Have at it boys. Fire away, I won’t be nearby.”
The adults in positions of power have reacted to Trump’s insurrection. The House is preparing articles of impeachment. Pelosi contacted the Joint Chiefs about making sure Trump could not order use of nuclear weapons without additional review. Twitter has banned Trump from ever having an account. Other social media sites have banned Trump as well.
Some people in Congress have suggested not pursuing Articles of Impeachment. “Why bother since Trump is so close to leaving office?” In an interview on PBS News Hour, Representative James Clyburn, D, SC and the House Whip, was quite clear. I’m paraphrasing, “If someone breaks the law, they need to be held accountable. It does not matter whether there is one day left in their term.”
As far as the 5th Revolution, if storming and occupying the US Capitol is not the act of revolutionaries, I’m not sure what is. How long will Trump be able to lead the revolution? Likely he will fade rapidly once out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
There may be a Trump-incited rally or two over the next month or so but that will be it. Like most bullies who lose power, he’ll become a nobody. Plus, the minute Trump leaves office he faces significant legal and financial challenges. And no pardon can protect him at the state level. The icing on the cake might be the town of Palm Beach enforcing a prior agreement that limits the number of days he can stay at Mar-a-Lago. If the agreement is enforced, he’ll have to find another place to stay.
With Trump out of the White House, with no Twitter account and with no real financial resources, Trump supporters, especially the insurrectionists, will be seeking a new spiritual leader. No one is on the horizon. Cruz and Hawley are anything but charismatic.
What may be the most concerning, however, is actions of small bands of Trump crazies to punish alleged enemies. Targets could include Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, state officials considered “unfriendly’ to Trump – governors, secretaries of state, e.g. – and Federal judges who dismissed Trump’s lawsuits claiming fraud. Even VP Pence, a Trump lapdog for 4 years, is on the persona non-grata list of the hard-core Trumpsters.
As the US military has learned repeatedly, trying to prevent small groups from attacking specific targets is exceedingly difficult. Such attacks would cause widespread angst among public officials and citizens.
As noted in some other entries, the 5th US Revolution — the Revenge Revolution — will include some major cultural shifts. More about cultural changes in the next few entries. Hang on. The upheaval in decade of the 2020’s could easily rival the upheaval of 1960’s/early 1970’s.