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.  

ENTRY 407 BEGINS: I promise this will be the last entry about the stupidity of the Republican Party. Well, I hope this will be the last entry.

Why spend time on this issue? Many will say, “Who cares if Republicans do stupid things? Let the Republican Party fade into oblivion.“

As frustrating as it seems sometimes, the US democracy does need two viable political parties. Without two, we the people face an increased likelihood of an even more severe revolution. The old adage, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is true and applies to Republicans and Democrats. Having two viable parties keeps the power of both parties somewhat in check.

What’s happening now is an implosion of the Republican Party. Actions by most Republicans in Congress are 180° from the people who elected them.

Since the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act during LBJ’s administration, the Republican Party has seen an influx of lower-income white voters, especially in the south. At the same time, many black voters have shifted to the Democratic Party.

Fast forward to today. Where are the voters who shifted to the Republican Party in the 1960’s/1970’s? They’re still Republicans as are many of their children and grandchildren.

How are these voters faring in the pandemic? While the number of people being inoculated is increasing, new COVID-19 infections remain above the highs of last summer. Further, the economy continues to languish with about 9.5 million jobs lost compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The job loss has fallen disproportionately on lower-income workers, many in the service sector. Even though some service sectors are starting to recover, claims for new unemployment remain extraordinarily high by historic standards. What’s not being counted in the unemployment rate are the many people who have left the labor market since the beginning of the pandemic. Why? Many have given up on finding another job.

Soon after taking office, the Biden administration formally proposed what could be characterized as a 2nd-phase pandemic “relief program.” Key provisions of the program as proposed included extending unemployment benefits and direct payments to middle and lower-income families. The proposal also included raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.00/hr., the first increase in 12 years. The proposal had wide support among Democrat and Republican voters.

So what do Republicans in Congress do? Support funding to make the vaccine more available? Support funding to help localities open schools? Support extending unemployment benefits? Support increasing the minimum wage? Support any part of the bill to help their constituents, many of whom favored the legislation? Of course not. The Republicans response was, in effect, “Let them eat cake.“

In the House, every Republican voted against the bill. In the Senate, every Republican voted against the bill, even after the provision for a higher minimum wage had been removed. The House bill was tweaked in the Senate and finally passed 50-49 because a Republican was absent. Otherwise the vice president would have cast the tie-breaking vote.

It is hard to over emphasize how stupid the Republican’s response to this relief package has been. We all know what happened to Marie Antoinette after she uttered the phrase, “Let them eat cake.” Does no one in the Republican Party read history? Pardon me for the rhetorical question.

Where will these Republican voters go in the 2022 elections? While some lower-income Republican voters will stick with the Party no matter what, others will look at their pocketbooks. Why would you vote for someone who refused to offer some financial relief to the working stiffs? Money does talk.

What about Republicans who truly are concerned about certain economic and social principles? Will they continue to support the party of Trump wannabes? Even the Wall Street Journal has dumped on Trump, blaming him for the loss of the presidency and the loss in the Senate.

The frustrated lower-income workers could turn to the far-right groups. What used to be considered fringe groups have become more mainstream with many Republican voters.

As stated in several earlier entries in this blog, the far-right groups present a real danger to the US democracy. The groups can employ guerilla tactics to attack members of Congress, the judiciary and others who the groups believe oppose their views. Guerilla attacks are incredibly difficult to prevent and ideal to create angst among the populous.

The solution to the dilemma of the Republicans? As crazy as it sounds, the Democrats might need to help Republicans re-form their party. And the effort should begin sooner than later to help mitigate the potential breadth and depth of the 5th US Revolution, the Revenge Revolution. More ideas in the next entry.

Booklets you might find interesting: