9.12.16

AN UNLIKELY GRAY CHAMPION?

Strauss and Howe's Generations, page 11, had this to say about the incoming president.  "[Early Baby Boomers] may feel some disappointment in the Dan Quayles and Donald Trumps who have been among your first agemates to climb life's pyramid, along with some danger in the prospect of Boomer Presidents and Boomer-led Congresses farther down the road."  Here we are, a quarter-century on, with Mr Trump about to be sworn in, and the Senate leadership and the House Democrat leadership older still, albeit with younger Republicans leading the House majority.  And the authors used Mr Trump as prototype for the earlier Boomers generally, page 303.   "Like Donald Trump, a prototype Boomer sees himself capable of becoming a titan of whatever world he chooses fully to inhabit  -- providing cover for personal disappointments or (as a Boomer might put it) "deferred" ambitions.

But as Gray Champion?  Consider Nathaniel Hawthorne's words.
The people had been drawing nearer and nearer, and drinking in the words of their champion, who spoke in accents long disused, like one unaccustomed to converse, except with the dead of many years ago. But his voice stirred their souls. They confronted the soldiers, not wholly without arms, and ready to convert the very stones of the street into deadly weapons. Sir Edmund Andros looked at the old man; then he cast his hard and cruel eye over the multitude, and beheld them burning with that lurid wrath, so difficult to kindle or to quench; and again he fixed his gaze on the aged form, which stood obscurely in an open space, where neither friend nor foe had thrust himself. What were his thoughts, he uttered no word which might discover. But whether the oppressor were overawed by the Gray Champion's look, or perceived his peril in the threatening attitude of the people, it is certain that he gave back, and ordered his soldiers to commence a slow and guarded retreat. Before another sunset, the Governor, and all that rode so proudly with him, were prisoners, and long ere it was known that James had abdicated, King William was proclaimed throughout New England.
Hawthorne's Champion appears to be New England specific. And yet, "Long, long may it be, ere he comes again! His hour is one of darkness, and adversity, and peril. But should domestic tyranny oppress us, or the invader's step pollute our soil, still may the Gray Champion come."

A site called The Burning Platform asserts, Donald Trump is the Gray Champion.
In most cases the Grey Champions are not revered or glorified until decades after the Crisis is resolved. Lincoln was and still is despised by just about everyone living south of the Mason Dixon line. Outraged businessmen attempted to convince Smedley Butler to lead a coup against FDR. Large swaths of Americans believe he is responsible for creating our welfare state and the unfunded liabilities which are playing a large part in this current Fourth Turning. The unintended consequences of decisions made in previous Fourth Turnings often become the catalysts for the next crisis.

The Grey Champion or Champions are Prophet Generation leaders who command respect due to their age, attitude and warlike demeanor. They were born shortly after the previous Great War Crisis and became the narcissistic young crusaders during the Awakening, driven achievers during the midlife Unraveling, and principled moralists summoning great deeds during the next Crisis.
Unlike in Hawthorne's tale, though the Champion is not necessarily an honored prophet.
As ancestral generations entered the constellation that reoccurs every eighty years, elder warriors FDR, Douglas MacArthur, and Winston Churchill appeared to revive the spirits of their countrymen and fight the scourge of fascism.

No one can make the argument these three Crisis leaders were likeable. In fact, their personalities were grating and they were detested by friends and foes alike. What they did was ignore protocol, feelings, and minutia, to focus on the only thing that mattered – prevailing at all costs.

The previous two Grey Champion leaders – Lincoln and Roosevelt – are still reviled by many Americans, as they were by millions during their time. Unconstitutional policies and executive actions during the gloomy ambiguous days of the Civil War, Great Depression, and World War II left a long lasting impression on the country and play a major role in our current crisis.
Yes, the resolution of the saecular crisis doesn't settle all social questions for once and for all, no end to the Hegelian dialectic. Nor will the contemporary version of Governor Andros go quietly.  That's the next part of the Burning Platform argument.
In an increasingly chaotic world, normal working class Americans in flyover country were seeking a leader who could bring order, defeat the corrupt establishment, make tough decisions, and capture the zeitgeist of this moment in history. The ruling elite oligarchs and their fawning minions, occupying their strongholds in New York, California, Illinois, and D.C., are infuriated the peasants have dared to resist. In their secretive secure spaces, the elites are plotting with one purpose in mind – this uprising must be quelled.
But the elites might be in more trouble than Governor Andros was, and the optimism of Dow 20,000 might be short-lived.
Will [Mr Trump] follow the same failed policies used after 2008 – NIRP, QE, and saving Wall Street at the expense of Main Street?

Or will he level with the American people, allow Wall Street banks to go bankrupt, let the free market purge the system of trillions in bad debt, tackle the unfunded entitlement liabilities, and have Americans endure a Depression in order to reset our economic system? It will take a Grey Champion with a high level of moral fortitude and courage to demand such sacrifice from the citizens of this country.

With the left already trying to provoke a race war, once the Depression takes grip and the social safety net of entitlements begins to fray, the civic decay in the urban ghettos will reach a tipping point. Cities will burn, looters will run roughshod as police refuse to enter lawless neighborhoods, and commerce will grind to a halt.
That's your worst-case scenario. Or perhaps that's the best-case scenario?

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