by Jim Quinn, The Burning Platform:
At each of these great gates of history, eighty to a hundred years apart, a similar generational drama unfolded. Four archetypes, aligned in the same order – elder Prophet, midlife Nomad, young adult Hero, child Artist – together produced the most enduring legends in our history. Each time the Grey Champion appeared marked the arrival of a moment of “darkness, and adversity, and peril,” the climax of the Fourth Turning of the saeculum. – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe
In September 2015 I wrote a five part article called Fourth Turning: Crisis of Trust. In Part 2 of that article I pondered who might emerge as the Grey Champion, leading the country during the second half of this Fourth Turning Crisis. I had the above pictures of Franklin, Lincoln, and FDR, along with a flaming question mark. The question has been answered. Donald J. Trump is the Grey Champion.
When I wrote that article, only one GOP debate had taken place. There were eleven more to go. Trump was viewed by the establishment as a joke, ridiculed by the propaganda media, and disdained by the GOP and Democrats. I was still skeptical of his seriousness and desire to go the distance, but I attempted to view his candidacy through the lens of the Fourth Turning. I was convinced the mood of the country turning against the establishment could lead to his elevation to the presidency. I was definitely in the minority at the time:
Until three months ago the 2016 presidential election was in control of the establishment. The Party was putting forth their chosen crony capitalist figureheads – Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. They are hand-picked known controllable entities who will not upset the existing corrupt system. They are equally acceptable to Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, the military industrial complex, the sickcare industry, mega-corporate America, the moneyed interests, and the never changing government apparatchiks. The one party system is designed to give the appearance of choice, while in reality there is no difference between the policies of the two heads of one party and their candidate products. But now Donald Trump has stormed onto the scene from the reality TV world to tell the establishment – You’re Fired!!!
The linear thinking supporters of the status quo are flabbergasted and outraged by Trump’s popularity. The ruling classes never anticipate the mood shift of the peasants as they look down on the masses from their gated estates and penthouse suites. The country is looking for someone who can tear down the entire fetid, corrupt, rotting structure. The onset of phase two of this Crisis in 2016 will produce a populace more desperate, less trusting of the establishment and likely to turn towards someone like Trump, in despair. – Fourth Turning – Crisis of Trust (Part Two)
Strauss and Howe wrote their prophetic tome two decades ago. Their prognostications have played out exactly as they prophesied. They did not know which events or which people would catalyze this Fourth Turning. But they knew the mood change in the country would be driven by the predictable generational alignment which occurs every eighty years. Our regeneracy is now solidly under way.
“Soon after the catalyst, a national election will produce a sweeping political realignment, as one faction or coalition capitalizes on a new public demand for decisive action. Republicans, Democrats, or perhaps a new party will decisively win the long partisan tug of war. This new regime will enthrone itself for the duration of the Crisis. Regardless of its ideology, that new leadership will assert public authority and demand private sacrifice. Where leaders had once been inclined to alleviate societal pressures, they will now aggravate them to command the nation’s attention. The regeneracy will be solidly under way.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning
Linear thinking pundits, politicians, businessmen, bankers, bureaucrats, and citizens fail to grasp the cyclical nature of history. They think themselves progressives, falsely believing humanity and history move forward in a straight line. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is why they throw hissy fits when their predictions and beliefs are thrown into disarray by events and mood changes in the country.
The linear thinking establishment is losing their proverbial minds over Trump’s landslide electoral victory, they never saw coming. They’re flabbergasted, angry, and living in denial as history tracks a path it travels every eighty years or so. As the Greatest Generation departs this earth, there are few left who lived through the last Fourth Turning. That’s why the living generations are always surprised when another predictable crisis arrives. We never seem to learn the lessons of history.
Perpetual progress is a myth. Average American households haven’t seen economic progress in decades. Education continues to deteriorate, as the young become progressively dumber. Well-paying goods producing jobs have been shipped overseas, replaced by low paying, no benefits service jobs. Government is corrupt, inept, and discredited. Our culture is degraded, decadent, depraved, and despoiled.
Progress has devolved into regression. We’ve entered our saecular Winter and there is no turning back. It arrived with ferocious blizzard like conditions in 2008, and had been in a debt induced lull until this election. A bitter fierce wind has begun to whip across the plains and black swirling clouds portend a tempestuous future. As the gathering storm looms, the Grey Champion appears on the mountaintop.
“Americans have always been blind to the next turning until after it fully arrives.
Most of today’s adult Americans grew up in a society whose citizens dreamed of perpetually improving outcomes: better jobs, fatter wallets, stronger government, finer culture, nicer families, smarter kids, all the usual fruits of progress. Today, deep into the Third Turning, these goals feel like they are slipping away. Many of us wish we could rewind time, but we know we can’t – and we fear for our children and grandchildren.
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