Readers: The entries in this blog are built around the assumption there will be 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 a revolution in the US is 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. See list at end of this entry.
Beginning #378 the entries began focusing on a post-Trump administration. We’ve started a post-Trump presidency and working toward a post-COVID world, even if post-virus is a ways away. Comments and suggestions welcome.
ENTRY #402: The inauguration of Joe Biden reminds me, and apparently many others, of a long-ago Alka-Seltzer commercial, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it (he) is.” Within hours of Biden/Harris being sworn in, there was a noticeable change in the attitude of the White House and a change in the attitude of government agencies.
Adults were back in charge. Rational policies were being outlined and some implemented. Biden issued a series of Executive Orders restoring many policies of previous administrations – from Obama to Bush to Clinton and even some policies as far back as Nixon – that had been overturned by Trump.
The Biden administration also began talking honestly about the problems trying to get everyone vaccinated against COVID-19. A solution to every problem was not forthcoming but most adults started feeling more at ease. The anxiety level in the US and worldwide dropped precipitously. Biden may become known as the Alka-Seltzer president.
Will the Alka-Seltzer reduce the likelihood of the Revenge Revolution? The Revenge Revolution began with raid on the US Capitol. What remains unclear is the next step for the raiders. Interestingly, very shortly after the inauguration, some on the far right – Proud Boys, for example – began distancing themselves from Donald Trump, calling him weak. Soon after the Proud Boys declaration other far-right groups began distancing themselves from Trump.
With Trump out of favor, and out of power, some in the Republican Party have started auditioning to replace Trump – Senators Cruz and Hawley, e.g. But so far no high-profile individual has emerged as the clear leader.
Does the lack of a leader reduce the danger of the far right militia groups? I would characterize the lack of a leader, especially one inside the Beltway, more as a temporary pause in activity rather than any change in attitude by these organizations. Only the most naïve would assume the groups will become true patriots rather than wanna be fascists.
The religious right is also searching for a leader. Even though president Biden has a long history of commitment to Christianity – a commitment orders of magnitude more than Trump – some on the right, most visibly Franklin Graham, cannot allow themselves to support the Biden administration. Franklin Graham went so far as to support the attack on the US Capitol.
Give the remarks of Graham et al, one has to ask, “What does the religious right want in a president?” Apparently, even though Biden represents well over 90% of what the religious right believes, the religious right seems to demand the president support them 100% or be defeated. How the religious right reconciled supporting Trump I still don’t understand since his behavior was antithetical to virtually every tenet of Christianity.
Fringe groups and wackos are not new to the United States. Most of the time the fringe groups received little support and/or little publicity. That is until Donald Trump encouraged far-right groups, militant and religious to overturn the will of the populous and enshrine him as dictator.
With the Alka-Seltzer president calming nerves and seeking unity rather than division, some Trumpsters sympathetic to the fringe groups are likely to migrate toward the center. This migration may push the fringe groups farther right.
Another push right could come from reaction to many of Biden’s Executive Orders, which were aimed at immigration and/or disadvantaged groups. Examples of EO’s include lifting the ban on Muslims from various countries from entering the US; extending protection for DACA entrants and a number of other programs. In addition, the Biden administration has discussed and/or proposed legislation addressing a number of other cultural and economic equity issues.
How will the fringe groups react to Biden’s EO’s and a more centrist approach? The fringe groups are not going to disappear. Unfortunately, if the groups do not find a leader inside the Beltway, they could become more reactionary and more dangerous. Without a charismatic leader, the groups could begin to operate locally.
The invasion of the Michigan Capitol then the US Capitol demonstrated how hard it is for law enforcement to prevent gorilla skirmishes. Given the number of people with military backgrounds who have been arrested for participating in the raid on the Capitol in Washington, many of the smaller cells are likely well trained in military tactics. As a result, it will be nearly impossible for law enforcement to prevent groups from carrying out targeted raids.
One of the most difficult tactics to prevent, and one of the most devastating, would be snipers trying to assassinate key Congressional leaders and/or key state officials. Even a few such attacks over a number of months would create nationwide chaos.
The Biden administration has made a great start toward bringing the country back together. One example is the boyfriend of the woman who stole Nancy Pelosi’s laptop. She was found not because of the FBI investigation but because he turned her in.
Is the action of the boyfriend a single data point or maybe a change in attitude by many people? Numerous people who participated in the raid on the Capitol were turned in by family and friends. Maybe, just maybe there is enough change there would be significant backlash by family and friends to actions by or even participation in far-right groups.
Hate is not going to disappear but can be managed more effectively with a concerted effort by participants in all levels of government, the media and the general population. With such an effort the Revenge Revolution will be more of a cultural revolution and less of a fighting revolution. Without a concerted effort, the US could slip into another civil war. We’ve already witnessed the danger to democracy during the Trump presidency and with the attack on the Capitol. [End of #402.]
Booklets you might find interesting:
- 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