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.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Super Delegates are a Good Idea. The Republicans Wish They Had Had Some This Time.

Political parties in a democratic society do not themselves have to be democratic.

There is no contradiction in this claim.  The party is a private membership organization designed to win elections and pass legislation.  Anyone can join.  But only those who have joined have a legitimate claim to voice in its choices, especially of candidates.  And the wise leaders of that private organization sometimes need to overrule the choice of many voters if that choice would lose elections or make it impossible to pass legislation.

Democrats learned this the hard way in 1972.

Republicans have been so establishment-driven for, well, forever, that it never occurred to them than an insurgent could come in from outside the party to take over their under-protected candidate-selection procedure.

The same thing might have happened to Democrats this year, but the wise and timely invention of super-delegates kept a non-Democrat from seriously threatening to take the party's nomination.