It has been three years since I last explored this.
I’ve been joking lately about my emotional disconnect from current events. By nearly every metric, we’re objectively in the vortex of a major historical crisis. Events are moving rapidly. And yet, I am utterly bored with the news cycle. I haven’t felt like covering or writing about it since around March.
- The former president and leading Republican presidential candidate being indicted and arrested twice and likely two or three more times has me yawning.
- The biggest land war in Europe since World War II has broken out and could potentially spiral out of control at any moment.
- Normies have radicalized over the past three years under Joe Biden.
- Most people in the country now expect a Civil War to happen in their lifetimes.
- Polarization is off the charts.
It still feels like nothing is happening though.
The scenario depicted by Neil Howe in The Fourth Turning back in 1997 is coming true: severe, authoritarian Boomers who lead rival values camps leading America into an abyss in the 2020s that will destroy the post-World War II order. He was imagining that would happen when Bill Clinton was president.
I can now easily imagine three scenarios which could bring on the climax of this Fourth Turning or whatever you want to call it. This is how the shit could really hit the fan.
- Something happens on the ground in Ukraine or possibly in Taiwan that triggers a war between NATO and Russia and China.
- Trump is CONVICTED and INCARCERATED in prison before the 2024 election
- The 2024 election ends up being really close and one side feels cheated and rebels.
In hindsight, the arc building up to the roller coaster ride will be obvious. The trends are unmistakable. The system is destabilizing and losing its legitimacy. Millions of people are poised for revolutionary change. It still feels like it is taking forever to get to the roof collapsing though.