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What Will Come of This 4T?
#1
The U.S. is now at least halfway through the 4T (going by Howe's start date of 2008) and it's not at all clear which side's ideas will triumph, or how those ideas could form the basis for a new 1T consensus. While COVID-19 has rapidly strengthened popular support for drastic, immediate public action and perhaps for "big government" of a kind, we are still heading into a tossup election with the potential to leave our federal government yet more gridlocked and public confidence in it less sturdy than ever.

I was a member of the old Fourth Turning forums about 12 to 14 years ago, when I was a teenager. At the time, the major debate among us was whether the 4T had yet begun. In fall 2008, it became eminently clear to me we had entered the 4T. Liberal Millennial idealist that I was, I hoped to see Obama usher in a new era of progressive government. While he had meaningful legislative successes, the 2010 midterm elections upended those hopes and brought the federal government to new heights of dysfunction. Then came the 2016 election and (with it) the legitimation of isolationism, strongman politics, and blatant up-is-down falsehood in American politics. All of this was very 4T, of course, but with Trump losing the popular vote by 3 million and the Democrats regaining the House of Representatives in 2018, any hopes that Trumpism could form the basis for a new public consensus were thankfully dashed as well.

Nevertheless, a 4T is supposed to launch new public institutions and hopefully more effective government. There seems to be a powerful streak of anti-elitism and anti-plutocracy in U.S. politics that was a bit dormant before 2008, but with Republicans continuing to back fiscal policies that favor the wealthy, I don't see a 2020s New Deal around the corner. Expanding health care access, taxing the rich, and promoting renewable energy are all causes with majority support, but which are fiercely opposed by a party that wins half the votes and half the seats in Congress (and Democrats are unlikely to go full Bernie Sanders if they win a bare Senate majority on the backs of anti-Trump suburbanites in key states). At the moment, a critical mass of the American public cannot agree on basic facts, let alone solutions to complex policy questions like health care and climate change. How does government get anything done in this environment? How does either side remain in power long enough to enact an ambitious 4T agenda around which the 1T is organized? How does a 4T resolve in an age of hyper-polarization?

I note that Millennials at the moment remain lopsidedly Democratic-leaning, and that even Republican Millennials tend toward a more internationalist and socially progressive orientation than their elders. (This is also true in the UK and a number of other democracies.) Is generational replacement the simple answer to my question?
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Messages In This Thread
What Will Come of This 4T? - by namentstone - 04-15-2020, 08:49 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Warren Dew - 04-15-2020, 09:35 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by sbarrera - 04-15-2020, 11:22 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Warren Dew - 04-15-2020, 11:56 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by sbarrera - 04-15-2020, 11:24 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by David Horn - 04-15-2020, 01:19 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by namentstone - 04-15-2020, 05:10 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by David Horn - 04-16-2020, 09:26 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by pbrower2a - 04-15-2020, 11:58 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by pbrower2a - 04-16-2020, 04:07 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by sbarrera - 04-16-2020, 06:27 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by beechnut79 - 04-16-2020, 09:42 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Warren Dew - 04-17-2020, 12:19 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by David Horn - 04-17-2020, 09:41 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by sbarrera - 04-17-2020, 11:40 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by David Horn - 04-17-2020, 12:11 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Warren Dew - 04-17-2020, 05:40 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by pbrower2a - 04-18-2020, 02:51 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by pbrower2a - 04-17-2020, 05:30 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Blazkovitz - 04-18-2020, 09:12 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by David Horn - 04-18-2020, 10:22 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Ghost - 04-18-2020, 10:53 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Blazkovitz - 04-19-2020, 03:46 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Ragnarök_62 - 04-21-2020, 01:05 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by David Horn - 04-21-2020, 09:57 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by pbrower2a - 04-22-2020, 10:19 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Isoko - 04-19-2020, 12:44 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Warren Dew - 04-19-2020, 05:27 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Isoko - 04-20-2020, 09:45 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Blazkovitz - 04-20-2020, 10:42 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Warren Dew - 04-20-2020, 05:01 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by pbrower2a - 04-21-2020, 02:00 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Isoko - 04-20-2020, 10:55 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Blazkovitz - 04-21-2020, 10:24 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Isoko - 04-20-2020, 11:01 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Isoko - 04-21-2020, 04:53 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Isoko - 04-21-2020, 10:40 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by David Horn - 04-22-2020, 03:27 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by pbrower2a - 04-22-2020, 03:37 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by Warren Dew - 04-22-2020, 07:22 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by pbrower2a - 04-22-2020, 09:54 AM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by mamabug - 01-13-2021, 03:34 PM
RE: What Will Come of This 4T? - by mamabug - 01-15-2021, 04:25 PM

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