Friday, July 22, 2016

The Revolution Fizzled Out Already

South Burlington, VT

In June I posted Election or Revolution? making the argument that Trump's supporters were actually attempting to make a non-violent non-organized revolution against the US Federal Government.  I said that the revolution was likely to fail.

Now, with the Republican Convention over, I say that the revolution has already failed.  One of its prime goals was to split and destroy the Republican Party.  That didn't happen this week.

But I can't help to prognosticate some more.  (Why not?  Bloggers don't have to ask anyone for permission to say what they think.)  I don't know who will win Trump or Clinton.  I don't know how I or Libby will vote.  However:

  1. If Trump wins, the immediate reaction will be regret and a feeling by Trump's supporters that they reached too far.  I compare it to the Brexit vote in that way.  Longer term, everyone will try to limit what Trump does.   But four years from now, a liberal democrat will be virtually guaranteed to win a presidential race.  The country will swing left for generations.  It will be historic.
  2. If Clinton wins, the angry people will become angrier.  The next time a surge in anti-government anger coincides with a national election, the angry people could say, "We tried working within the system with Trump.  That didn't work.  Violence is the way."   The word civil war sounds extreme, but something coming close to that could happen.
In last night's acceptance speech, Trump did say one thing that could greatly mitigate the anti-Trump emotions should he win.  He talked about government screwing the people.   Suppose that as President, he used the power of executive orders to squash the worst behavior of federal employees?  That would be wildly popular.    For just one example, think of the IRS.   The President could say to IRS, "Any rule that you can not explain properly over the public telephone hot line, you may not enforce.  You shall not collect any taxes based on rules that the man in the street can not understand."  Actions like that would be wildly popular, and it could change many people's opinions of Trump.

If the Supreme Court upholds Obama's executive orders on immigration, it would pave the way for hundreds of executive orders by the next President circumventing Congress.  

"We live in interesting times."  Unfortunately (fortunately?) for me, most of the consequences of 2016 will occur after I'm gone.

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