Thursday, November 24, 2016

Nimrod in Winter

"Take a deep breath," says Maryland governor Larry Hogan, while we wait to see what The Donald does to calm the concerns that most Americans harbor over what our clunky process of selecting a President has cranked out. "But don't hold that breath," Hogan should have added, since the likelihood that a Trump presidency will succeed in assuaging those concerns is sadly dim, given the season we are in - Winter in the secular cycle of American history. 

Photo by Michael Taggart Photography
In their prophetic book, The Fourth Turning, Neil Howe and William Strauss, explain that Winter in the 80 - 100 year secular cycle always culminates in a climax of the crisis before moving us into Spring where rebuilding takes place. We have yet to endure the cathartic climax that will allow our country to put behind us the troubling period that began with the attacks of 9/11/2001, shaking our nation to its core. Only after we have emerged from the crisis will we be able to embark on a long-term rebuilding of our infrastructure and institutions. Crisis climaxes tend to be bloody and potentially devastating, lasting years, so Trump's Thanksgiving message encouraging America to come together to begin "a great national campaign to rebuild our country" is about five to ten years premature.   

More likely is a fight to the finish with countries who are not with us, and therefore, against us in the unresolved Global War on Terror. Iran comes to mind foremost. Alternatively, a financial crash or racial divisions could cause an internalization of the crisis, leading to a second civil war. Major war has historically been the venting mechanism for America's fourth turning crises. Each fourth turning war has been more vicious than those prior. If that trend continues, our nuclear arsenal may finally get its chance to shine.

That dreaded day seems more likely with a megalomaniac in charge. Strauss and Howe warn of the mistake of failing to align the country's efforts with the secular cycle. It is a waste of precious energy to attempt rebuilding at this stage, when there is currently no consensus on what we need or what is sustainable, just as planting vegetables in winter is a waste of time. Donald Trump, a modern day Nimrod, is the wrong man to take the reigns in this critical time. Perhaps he would have been a passable choice for post-war reconstruction, but what we need now is someone like Abraham Lincoln who can shepherd us through the storm, not someone who invokes Lincoln to calm the storm that he invigorated.

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