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Presidential "Skipping" of Silents/Gen X
#41
(10-02-2020, 10:58 PM)linus Wrote: Well, of course, the fact that former Vice President Biden (a Silent) and his running mate, Kamala Harris (an xer - by Strauss and Howe's definition), are currently favored to win the presidential contest.

Joe Biden has done what the Silent have done in imitation of the GI Generation -- staying fit and connected.  That is good for having a long period of 'retirement age', although that has its limits. Let's not forget that Barack Obama is much more like the 60-something Reactives who ordinarily take over as the Crisis winds down.... or soon afterward. Howe and Strauss suggest that Silent men often put together masculine traits of both the prior Civic (GI) and the following Idealist (Boom) generations. Could Obama have put together masculine traits of the GI's that he knew and the Idealist generation? Both might do better in appealing to the Millennial Generation (the GI Generation can largely be ignored as a political force except from almost entirely beyond the grave. 

Quote:If you look at Stephen Skowronek's book and theory, "the Politics Presidents Make," the first "wild card" presidency was Andrew Johnson (ie a presidency which was in some sense a zombie form of the past majority order, the zombiefication of the Andrew Jackson Democrats, and occurring after a reconstructive/realigning presidency - Mr. Lincoln), but possibly the second was Carter (occurring after a possible 1968 Republican realignment, crystallizing under Reagan) - and I'm not assigning him a moral judgment (being a liberal, and hopefully others will in a basic and objective sense realize that whatever they thought of his presidency he went on to do some virtuous things). But the third I think is Mr. Trump - and here's hoping for his health and well being, and that of his family - who resurrected the Nixon/Reagan ideology after the Obama realignment. If I had to guess I think it was the fact that in both the case of Carter and Trump it's because Americans are living longer, and therefore political coalitions last longer. 

Reagan succeeded in getting young adults (late-wave Boom and early-wave X) to lower their expectations in life -- to work longer and harder, get less and pay more.  That is how one defeats stagflation: people must produce more and demand less. I could suggest that the advice of guidance counselors and others told kids -- whatever you do, do not work in a factory -- was an excellent way of ensuring that talented people stayed out of production of goods. Many smart people ended up finding that the jobs that they might have gotten into five years earlier now required five years experience to even get an interview, so they ended up working retail. 

Trump is Reaganomics taken to its logical conclusion, and the logical conclusion of any ideology is usually something ineffective or horrific. The American political system has gone as far as it can with neoliberal economics and politics in maximizing elite incomes and squeezing everyone else. It means the rot of most of Flyover Country and of any place that isn't a high-rent district. We have a dream world for slumlords and executives, people who do not generally create wealth as take it. Add to that, Trump is many of the cultural values of Boomers at their worst. Cerebral types cannot get along with him. 

Coalitions may last longer, but the new immorality is much the same as the old immorality.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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