Monday, July 25, 2016
Strongmen Want a Conflagration
Howe and Strauss' theory of generations has long predicted the "Crisis of 2020." The cycle of generations is now ripe for aging Baby Boomers to launch a crusade about something, which compliant Millennials will fight.
The theory does not predict that a bad thing will automatically happen in 2020. Rather, it says that bad things happen all the time, but only when we have leaders looking for a fight and young people willing to take orders do we have the conditions that, time and again, have led to the major crises of U.S. history.
The rise of strongmen around the world is the first precondition. Putin is the scariest, but Erdogan follows the pattern, too. And Trump is the most likely American strongman - long on aggressive rhetoric, short on any actual plan to do something. And to each provocation, his response is bellicose. In response to a single man driving a truck through a crowd in France, Trump said he would declare world war.
The strongmen, and the angry base behind them, want a big fight - whether it actually addresses their problem or not.