17.10.02

FOURTH TURNING ALERT: A Fourth Turning is that period of history in which a civilization faces one big crisis, during which ideals are championed. N. Z. Bear's comments on the Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto certainly have that ring to them. Consider first

"WE SHALL study closely the statements and actions of our elected officials and candidates. Recognizing that this conflict is the defining crisis of our age and a danger which renders all other issues secondary, we shall judge our politicians first and foremost by their stance on this war. We pledge to cast our ballots for those leaders who we believe are best suited to guide our civilization through this crisis, regardless of disagreements we may hold with them on other issues." If, indeed, the struggle with Islamofascism is The Big Problem (much as World War II was at the end of the previous Fourth Turning), that values regime that best is able to conduct that struggle will govern for the duration of the struggle. The Republicans in the United States are acting as if Islamofascism is the big problem. The Democrats are not yet there. I am not yet convinced that the Democrats are being postseasonal (continuing to act as if it's 1993) or the Republicans preseasonal (which, historically, they have not been since 1860.)

"WE SHALL apply our powers of persuasion to the fight; pouring our passion into our writings and striving to convince those who still doubt. We pledge to argue not for the beauty of our own rhetoric; not for the applause and admiration of our colleagues, but to lend clarity to the critical debates that face our civilization. We shall strive to ensure that our conviction does not overwhelm our own humility, and will remember that sometimes, the path we initially believe is right will be proved wrong. Some questions which face us now present obvious solutions; with others, the course is less clear. Through honest, open, and impassioned debate, we will provide the heat --- and light --- in which our civilization's decisions may be forged.

"WE SHALL watch. We shall consider carefully, and argue wisely, to the best of our abilities. We will exercise the very rights which our enemies would see taken from us: to speak freely, and to choose leaders who will represent and defend us
."

These two paragraphs clearly champion ideals. In a Fourth Turning, those decisions quite often forge a new social contract. Previous Fourth Turnings brought Independence, Emancipation, and V-E and V-J days. These promise to be interesting times.

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