"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

A Coming G.O.P. Apocalypse is Foretold by David Brooks, Scrying Into His Orbuculum at The New York Times

David Brooks at the New York Times writes marvelous fact-based articles, but can nevertheless go astray in his political conclusions, based on the facts that he himself so cogently presents. Take politics, demographics and the generation gap as an example.

Using a crystal ball here is difficult because our political, social, economic and legal world is variegated and complex. Events do not follow clear rules of simple logic. Otherwise, any bright analytical thinker could make our current world understandable to us -- and -- could easily also foretell the political future.

Alas, it is not so.
The world of diversity, as Brooks writes, is approaching. But no one really knows how it will manifest itself politically in the future.
After all, as an example, who could predict the coming of the era of Trump?

In his most recent article, Brooks, scrying into his orbuculum, foretells a Coming G.O.P. Apocalypse -- basing that conclusion on very clear demographic data.

It is a nice article, foretelling the political future in an increasingly developing Age of Diversity. Such diversity is everywhere apparent, which arguably bides ill for the Republican Party of the United States of America. So where is the hitch?

I am here reminded of the old adage, whose origin is apparently unknown, that "many young people find it difficult to believe that they will ever have enough sex and that they will ultimately vote Republican, but such is the case".

As "younger generations" get older, their possibilities, responsibilities (especially responsibilities !), financial status, ideas, alliances and voting behavior may tend to change to suit their standing in life. Personal retention of and the sustainable security of what one "has" and "has achieved" will become ever more important.

Consider, for example, that the wealth of the world is "inherited" by new generations, on average, about every 33 years (our estimate of the era of a generation, borrowing from Sir Isaac Newton's Chronology).

This passing on of real and personal property from one generation to the next arguably has a massive impact politically on many of the inheritors.

We would suggest that "haves" invariably vote like "haves" (i.e. people of property and means) down the road of life, whereas the "have nots" vote like "have nots" who have less to secure, unless they are pulling rank on groups they view to be even more lower-ranked socially, economically and/or politically.

In the space of generations, inheritance and the passage of wealth surely change the politics of the political parties to which one swears allegiance, putting the pressure of change on political party platforms. We see this process in action today -- around the world -- as "populism" becomes the prevailing force of political change and restructure. The world is adjusting to substantial changes in its social, legal, economic, political and territorial infrastructure.

The mainstream "establishment" G.O.P may, as Brooks writes, indeed face difficult times in the future due to the powerful vector of voter demographics, but the present-day somewhat laid back Democratic Party also has problems, as its heroes, leaders and Presidential candidates are relatively on in years.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who enjoys unsurpassed cult status among her liberal admirers, was born in 1933. Congressional House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was born in 1940. Politically "independent" former Senator and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was born in 1941. Former U.S. Vice-President and Presidential candidate Joe Biden was born in 1942. Only former President Barack Obama, born in 1961, falls to any degree out of the "oldie" mold. Perennial contender and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, born in 1947, is at the beginning of her 70's but remains a potential "enabler".

We have nothing against AGE per se, being a 1946 birth ourselves, but finding the voice of the future for the Democratic Party and for the voting populace among these unquestionably experienced but "other-generation" role models is difficult, given a generation gap electorate and the party's young base age-wise.

Indeed, the Democrats currently function as the virtual "status quo" party, riding on a platform of the (liberal) "good old days" and championing the doing of what the Dems have always done, while ignoring the trend of the times, which requires new faces and new solutions to mankind's many problems.

U.S. President Donald Trump, although born in 1946 (as were also Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) is by contrast in his political actions functioning like a "young-thinking" revolutionary who DEMANDS the "CHANGE" that Barack Obama envisioned, but struggled to achieve. Indeed, there is no doubt that Trump is in fact achieving change on a massive scale, regardless of whether one is for the direction that change is taking, or against it. CHANGE is happening.

Accordingly, there will always be separate political camps for liberals and conservatives, but the face of the corresponding political parties as such, have recently changed and will continue to change, due to the demands of our increasingly technological era.

As a consequence, American political parties will likely become more like the political parties in Germany, where the German conservative party of Angela Merkel would be seen by many in America as having socialist tendencies. It just depends on how one defines these things.

One example here is the young public in the USA who were very favorable to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her virtually "liberal" keynote speech at the recently held Harvard University commencement. The labels of liberal or conservative are simply not helpful in this context in trying to understand the political allegiances, social problems and controversial world matters at issue.

In other words, we believe that the entire political spectrum will shift overall in the future, whereby political views based on the individual age of the voters will continue to be highly differentiated -- with the older-becoming citizens tending increasingly to favor political platforms on major issues that reflect their own personal standing in life, as also the lives of their families.

The major political parties may not prevail under their present names, who knows, but the split of societies into two major political camps will prevail. So our opinion.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.