Editor’s Note: I bought and read Niall Ferguson’s book Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power last year. It was a great book and I really enjoyed the documentary.
“There is a mysterious cycle in human events,” said Franklin Delano Roosevelt, accepting the Democratic nomination for president in Philadelphia in 1936. “To some generations much is given. Of others much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”
In the 20th century, many sociologists and historians flirted with the idea that generational changes could explain U.S. politics. The historians Arthur Schlesinger Sr. and Jr. wrote about “cycles of American history,” arguing that, as the generations turn, American politics rotates inexorably between liberal and conservative consensus. More recently, a new generational scheme has come into vogue. William Strauss and Neil Howe’s theory of the “fourth turning” predicts a crisis and a major political realignment every 80 to 90 years. (Strauss and Howe were briefly in the spotlight in 2016 after Steve Bannon praised their work.) …”
I’m a firm believer that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.
The ground is prepared for the next FDR. This is what the electorate was grasping for when it elected Blompf to Make America Great Again. It was the strength of the populist and nationalist vote along with moderates in the center of the electorate that propelled him over his rivals and into the White House. Blompf ran in 2016 as FDR, but has governed in office as Herbert Hoover.
“As a liberal graduate student and a conservative professor, we rarely see eye to eye on politics. Yet we agree that the generation war is the best frame for understanding the ways that the Democratic and Republican parties are diverging. The Democrats are rapidly becoming the party of the young, specifically the Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Gen Z (born after 1996). The Republicans are leaning ever more heavily on retirees, particularly the Silent Generation (born before 1945). In the middle are the Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1980), who are slowly inching leftward, and the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), who are slowly inching to the right.
This generation-based party realignment has profound implications for the future of American politics. The generational transition will not dramatically change the median voter in the 2020 election—or even in 2024, if turnout among young voters stays close to the historical average. Yet both parties are already feeling its effects, as the dominant age cohort in each party recognizes its newfound power to choose candidates and set the policy agenda. Drawing on opinion polls and financial data, and extrapolating historical trends, we think that young voters’ rendezvous with destiny will come in the mid to late 2020s.
Today, the older generations have a lock on political power in Washington. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are members of the Silent Generation. So are Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who lead in nearly every poll of the 2020 Democratic primary. President Donald Trump and the median senator and representative are Boomers. Of the nine justices on the Supreme Court, two are from the Silent Generation and six are Boomers. Yet the median American is 38—a Millennial.”
I’m 38 years old.
Who am I supporting for president? Blompf?
There were two events in my youth that shaped my view of politics. The first was George W. Bush’s disastrous Iraq War which has colored my view of neocons and our foreign policy ever since. The second was the Crash of 2008 which was driven by the housing bubble and the deregulation of Wall Street. Both had the effect of firmly discrediting mainstream conservatism in my eyes.
I’m an authoritarian social conservative who believes in economic fairness. This is why I am populist voter, not a progressive voter. I swung behind Blompf in 2016.
“By contrast, from the perspective of pure demographics, the GOP seems to be playing a losing hand. Unless Republicans can find a way to stop young voters’ slide to the left in the 2020s, the party will survive only if it can pull older voters—Boomers and the remaining members of the Silent Generation—to the right fast enough to compensate for the leftward shift of the young.”
The GOP is accelerating its demise by relentlessly pandering to Israel and running on the “capitalism vs. socialism” theme in 2020. It would be an understatement to say the messaging has backfired with younger populist and moderate voters who supported Blompf in 2016. Occidental Dissent is supporting Andrew Yang. The Daily Stormer is supporting Bernie Sanders. Presumably, everyone else in the electorate under 38 is less “racist” and “anti-Semitic” than we are, so … you do the math.
“Young people then struggle to stay above water financially after they graduate. The net worth of the median Millennial household has fallen nearly 40 percent since 2007. This is not because they eat too much avocado toast; it is because student loan payments consume the income that they would otherwise save. Headline unemployment figures show that the labor market is humming. It does not feel that way for Millennials, who have never experienced a “good economy.”
The GOP currently has Tomi Lahren on FOX News titillating the Boomers while telling Millennials who work as Uber and Lyft drivers to drop dead – people who will unquestionably lose even that job in the gig economy once the self driving cars are rolled out over the next decade.
BTW, Larry Kudlow is singing the praises of Goldilocks on FOX News because his fellow Boomers are so much wealthier due to the rise in the stock market, but virtually the entire stock market is owned by wealthy and the elderly so that is just another thing pisses off Millennials.
“Even young Republicans have been caught up in this philosophical leftward drift. Gen Z Republicans are four times as likely as Silent Generation Republicans to believe that government should do more to solve problems. And only 60 percent of Gen Z Republicans approve of Trump’s job performance, while his approval among all Republicans hovers around 90 percent.
In short, Ocasio-Cortez is neither an aberration nor a radical. She is close to the political center of America’s younger generations.”
Who are the Republicans who are not supporting Blompf?
The answer is obvious … it is the so-called “far right” or what used to be called the Alt-Right who are the disaffected populist and nationalist voters who are actually in the middle of the electorate. It is this crowd that is swinging over to support Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders.
“On the other hand, turnout rates are declining across the board, and it is the 30-to-44-year-old age bracket that has seen the steepest decline over the past four decades. Unless Democrats can show younger voters that their votes translate into policy change, they could find themselves trying to mobilize a generation that is permanently apathetic and politically disengaged.”
What if there was a Democratic candidate running for president on $1,000 a month, Medicare for All, humane capitalism, a massive infrastructure spending program, democracy dollars to end the oligarchy, student loan debt forgiveness and so on? Now, what if this candidate was a likable and moderate Asian man who doesn’t want to pick fights over political correctness and other polarizing social issues. What would happen then? Could such a candidate unite 74% of the electorate?
“So Republicans are racing against the clock to pull nonaligned Boomers into the coalition. (It doesn’t hurt that Boomers now comprise fully two-thirds of the House Republican caucus.)”
Yes, the GOP is all a bunch of old windbags like Mitch McConnell. Those people have never done a single thing for us. They have spent their entire careers grandstanding in the Senate and trying to feather their own nests and pushing the agenda of the wealthy donors. It will be no real loss when they are gone. After all, they mainly accuse and condemn us as “racists” and “anti-Semites” anyway.