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. Most recent sense check, ENTRY #387. Next Sense Check will be Entry #400.
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 a ways away. The premise of a 5th US revolution in the 2020’s decade has not changed. Comments and suggestions welcome.
ENTRY #399: The past few entries have attempted to understand the cause of and whether to attempt to solve cognitive dissonance among many Trump supporters. The issue is not about different political philosophies. A democratic society should have at least two strong political parties. The difference is trying to understand why so many Trump supporters are willing to sacrifice the basic tenets of democracy for a known wannabe autocrat.
What does Trump offer that has created a cult-like following? When one steps back and analyzes the data, the Trump cult is getting nothing in return for following the Donald. So why follow the Donald? What is the appeal; what is the quid-pro-quo?
Despite no obvious benefit, at least to rational thinkers, why does the Trump cult do whatever the Donald wants? The Trump cult supports his actions even when the actions are contrary to the best interest of the followers.
It’s as if Trump is like the Great Oz, “I say the coronavirus is like the flu. You don’t need a mask.” And the followers don’t wear a mask. Or the Great Oz says, “Send money to me to help fight a stolen election.” And the cult sends money. Or the Great Oz says “Support a gigantic tax break for the wealthy and the benefits will trickle down to you.” And the cult believes in voodoo economics, even though the Federal deficit has ballooned and the children/grandchildren of the cult will be paying for the wealth transfer.
In some ways Trump reminds me of Charlie. Reminds me not of Charlie Tuna, although Trump’s body profile looks similar. But reminds me of Charlie Manson. Often times Trump seems as maniacal and crazy as Manson.
If you think the comparison to Manson is extreme, consider Trump’s actions to suppress efforts to control the pandemic. Also, consider the claims about the White House intentionally distorting info from CDC re the severity of the virus. Now, count the number of unnecessary deaths by Trump’s actions and compare the number to Charlie’s death toll. Still think the comparison is unfair?
As far as members of the cult, at least the women who hung around Charlie Manson, got satisfied sexually. Those who hang around Trump only get screwed economically.
How does the US society begin to address and re-educate members of the Trump cult? I don’t think we should waste our time. The cult members have been brainwashed and the major protagonist will fade away by late spring 2021. Unfortunately, the essence of Trump’s message may not fade as quickly.
Post inauguration, Trump will act like many bullies when their perceived power is taken away. He will melt like the Wicked Witch of the West. Oh, Trump might hold a few pep rallies and generate some noise, but nothing of any lasting consequence.
If Trump understands one thing well, that one thing is how to take other people’s money. When he was in debt for the failing casinos, he declared bankruptcy and walked away leaving the banks with the debt. Since no US-based bank would deal with him, beginning in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s Trump turned to sources outside the US to fund purchases of golf courses and hotel properties. While in Charlotte, NC to visit one of the Trump golf courses, Don, Jr. bragged that the Russians had become Trump’s primary funding source. And you still wonder why Trump’s nice to the Russians?
A recent example of using other people’s money was when it became clear that he was likely to lose the re-election to Biden. At that point Trump formed a PAC that was promoted to help him get re-elected in 2024 and to help finance the legal cost of lawsuits associated with what Trump kept promoting as the “rigged” 2020 presidential election.
The reality is the PAC is Trump’s new piggybank. Donors likely didn’t read the fine print. After a small percentage is allocated to the RNC and some for legal costs for the frivolous lawsuits, Trump gets to keep the rest. The money will stay in the PAC although Trump will control the disbursement of funds, including use for personal expenses. Keeping funds in the PAC should protect the PAC from creditors, who will likely force Trump into bankruptcy when the $400+ million loans on his properties come due in the next few years.
Whether the PAC funds can be protected from judgements for fraud is problematic. The State of New York has been investigating the Trump organization and Trump personally for tax fraud and possibly other crimes. The investigations may lead to indictments soon after Trump leaves office. State crimes are not overridden by a presidential pardon. Oops.
To convince cult members he will keep promoting his message, Trump has claimed he will create a new cable channel once out of office. The claim seems to be another ploy to attract funds from the ne’er-do-well supporters, who can least afford it. Trump will need an outlet since most credible media, save a couple of bloviators on Fox, have started focusing on the Biden administration’s plans to address mounting economic and social problems.
Like Charlie Manson’s followers, some of Trump’s supporters will stay in the cult no matter the circumstances or the evidence against the cult leader. Most followers, however, soon will migrate to another fringe Republican candidate who probably will be more charismatic than Trump but spew the same BS.
The biggest problem for the Republican Party is Trump’s legacy and how to recover from it. The damage to the credibility of government and the democracy caused by Trump’s corruption, cronyism and complacency has been significant.
For the Republican Party in particular, how long will a substantial portion of the Party believe the dis-information and fantasies, whether promoted by Trump or a follow-on Trump? How can the Republican Party put forth a credible platform of governance beyond “Just Say No” to whatever Biden or Democrats propose? Without a more reasonable platform the appeal of the Republican Party will continue to shrink.
A shrinking and ineffective Republican Party could become a major contributor to a 5th US Revolution, aka the Revenge Revolution? On the optimistic side it will take 10-15 years to repair the damage to the Federal agencies and the credibility of the government caused by Trump and complicit Republican Senators, Representative and state governors. During the period of repair, the chances of unrest increase. Trump cultists could be persuaded to revolt, whether or not Trump is still around.
For many years a small group in Texas has promoted secession. That group and the Trump cultists appear to share many of the same characteristics. The secession movement could move beyond the obvious candidates of former Confederate states. A broader secession movement could find support in the upper Midwest – for example in the northern part of Lower Michigan – as well as a number of other Midwest and mountain states.
The secession movement could grow even stronger if Biden steps down after one term, which seems likely, and Kamala Harris then is elected president. Given the harassment and death threats by Trump loyalists of the female elected officials, especially in Michigan – Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State – the Trump loyalists likely would consider stronger action against a Black female president.
As noted periodically in these entries, a well-coordinated widespread guerilla-warfare like attack could cause significant damage to property and result in a number of deaths. Think of Charlie Mason’s Helter-Skelter attack but on a much larger scale. The disruption would create significant angst among the general population. Once the guerilla warfare started, unless the federal and state governments quickly quelled the attacks, the country could start to spin out of control.
More about the possible Revenge Revolution in entry #400.