Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Heroes Emerge

Nearly as shocking as the election victory of Donald Trump was the seemingly spontaneous emergence of high schoolers in the public arena to protest that victory. We didn't have any of that at the high school I attended in the early 1970's, though colleges were commonly besieged by protests against the Vietnam war. Back then, Trump had his own conflicts to deal with as he was being sued by the Justice Department over discrimination against black rental applicants. The Selma to Montgomery freedom marches of the prior decade probably made some impression on the young Trump, but not enough for him to allow blacks to rent from him. He will probably also too quickly dismiss the kids marching against his pending presidency as spoiled, unfair, and provoked by agitators, but miss the threat that they pose to his longevity in that position.
Photo by Matt Wagers

Many city high schools had walkouts yesterday by demonstrating students, including some in Silver Spring, Maryland. Some combined their numbers with nearby colleges. These high school and college students are largely from the millennial generation, which, according to Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy, belong to the hero archetype:
Heroes come of age during a time of great crisis... [They are] "heroes" because they resolve that crisis, an accomplishment that then defines the rest of their lives. 
Our most recent previous hero generation was the one that fought and won World War II.

A comparable challenge faces the millennials. Many have been proving their hero designation in the wars in the Middle East. Those joining the campaign to reject Trump are going to be a formidable force on the home front. I would expect to see many more of these high-school walkouts in the coming days and weeks. If they succeed, they will also be the ones we rely on to consolidate the ideological victory and then to carry us through the transition to a more localized, earth-friendly society. If they don't succeed in dethroning Trump and his administration (and, perhaps, even if they do) that transition will be forced on us, at great cost, through cascading catastrophes.

Featured Post

A Coming War We Must Strive to Prevent

S ome anger smolders over generations. It depends on the offense. Whatever the eldest of the Paddock boys endured because of his father'...