Monday, June 06, 2016

Election or Revolution? (Rev 2)

South Burlington, VT

I don't like writing about politics on this blog. However, in this case I have been waiting for many months for someone else to write and publish this essay, but I haven't seen it. So I feel compelled to point out what I think is an obvious and important point that is not being discussed.

Why does half the country support Trump for President?
Trump acts like a bull in a china shop.  He is reckless.  It baffles most Democrats and many Republicans. It doesn't make sense, if you view Trump as a leader. But if you view Trump not as a leader but as a weapon, it makes more sense.

The key to understanding is to shift your focus from Trump to Trump supporters. Of course, not all Trump supporters are alike.   They have a variety of reasons.  This post discusses what I believe to be the reasons of the majority of Trump supporters.

What do they want? 
I believe that a very big segment of the country is very unhappy with government, especially the Federal Government.  They are in a revolutionary mood.  But violent overthrow of the US Government is not in their thoughts.  This is a non-violent revolution.  

In my opinion they would like to accomplish the following:
  • To destroy the political parties that have ignored them.  Especially the Republican Party that betrayed them.
  • To stomp on American Democracy (which has served them so poorly.)
  • To seriously disrupt or even to topple the government. 
Their actual list of grievances and the source of dissatisfaction was best explained IMO by "Trump's America" by Charles Murray.  I am very impressed by Mr. Murray's essay.  You should take the time to read it.  

Deep and widespread dissatisfaction with government is the fuel upon which social upheavals and revolutions feed.

This was all expressed poignantly by one Trump supporter with a sign that said, "Burn Baby Burn".  I think that well expresses the mood of many Trump supporters.

If you view Trump as a weapon of the revolutionaries, rather than as their leader, it all makes more sense.

A non-violent revolution: what would that look like? 
Violent revolution is not likely to be seriously proposed ever in our lifetimes. It is illegal. Even advocacy of violent overthrow is expressly forbidden in The Constitution. Yet the right to do so is expressly cited as our inalienable right in the Preamble To The Declaration of Independence. I even wrote a book about that apparent contradiction. It is called Jefferson's Right.

It is not a question of possession of firearms. Modern people are just too indoctrinated in obeying the law to think about violent revolution. Non-violent revolution is therefore the only choice, but what the heck does that mean? There are no provisions in our constitution or our law for non-violent revolution. Nobody teaches us in school how to go about it. So suppose you had a lot of people in a revolutionary mood but with no idea about how to go about it, but having no leader, no direction, what then?

My theory is that they would just want to lash out and do whatever they could to hurt and punish the government and the country. Electing such a divisive person as President would certainly do that. So in that light, I find that Trump's support is perfectly sensible and logical.  Trump is not the leader of the dissatisfied, he is their weapon.

Revolutions are intrinsically destructive. 
Trump opponents often ask Trumpsupporters, "What happens if he does get elected?" That ignores the dynamics of typical revolutions. Revolutions focus first on destroying what they don't like. The constructive part, building something better post-revolution is considered only after-the-fact. In Jefferson's Right, I showed a list of 405 revolutions in history. Very few of them started with a plan of what to do post-revolution. My point is that it makes no sense to ask the Trump supporter revolutionaries what happens after the election. They would like to topple the government, but they do not want to think about what happens next if they succeed.

This non-violent revolution will fail because the revolutionaries don't control the language
We live in an information age. Information is all powerful. The idea of a revolution is dangerous to the self interests of all politicians, all political parties, and all media outlets. But those are the people who control the language of what we see and hear in public. They insist that what we are experiencing is not a revolution, but rather a simple election. You may hear Trump or Sanders supporters speak of "revolutionary reforms", but the simple noun revolution and what that implies is not spoken.

Without control of the language, the revolution will not attract supporters from the skeptical.  I really believe that if the headlines described the events of 2016 as a revolution rather than just another election, that the revolution would gain much more support.

Brilliant Strategy???:
Suppose Trump wins, becomes President, and starts carrying out the things he threatened to do.  What effect would that have on the American public?   Well, I think it is pretty obvious that the liberals would become even more outraged than they are today by Trump's candidacy.  They would also conclude that they want to topple the government.   In effect, they would be swayed to join forces with the conservative revolutionaries.  A revolution supported by 35% of the people could gain support of an additional 35%.  That would be unstoppable.

Wow, how brilliant is that as a strategy? But brilliance is not a word that we can apply to a movement that lacks a leader and organization.  There is no one planning strategy.  If I am right, this revolutionary movement still lacks any leader, any spokesman, any organization.

So, what do I think should happen? 
I don't know. I am very libertarian. I would like to see the size and power of government much reduced. But I do not want true revolution and anarchy. If the day comes when the revolution confronts me with the question "Are you with us or against us?" I'll have to say with.  But for now, I have more than two options, I'm afraid that my option of choice for this November will be to vote for Deez Nuts.


  1. I'm stunned that you don't think Obama 'I have a pen and I have a phone' as THE MOST devise president & the worst we've had! At least since WWII!

    1. Good point New. Trump is so breathtaking,he made me forget even Obama.


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