“History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted. The Fourth Turning necessitates the death and rebirth of the social order. It is the ultimate rite of passage for an entire people, requiring a luminal state of sheer chaos whose nature and duration no one can predict in advance.” – (Neil Howe –The Fourth Turning)
As far as I know, there are no historians who have managed to pull off what Neil Howe and William Strause accomplished in their books “Generations” and “The Fourth Turning.” Like archeologists in search of buried treasure, they discovered a vein of gold quite unexpected: a pattern that predicts with prophetic accuracy the ebbs and flows of historical occurrence. Both immensely qualified, William (American author, playwright, theater director, and lecturer who received a Master in Public policy at Harvard) and Neil (BA in English Literature at UC Berkeley, Master degrees in both Economics and Philosophy at Yale) have done their readers a favor. They have laid out the “Rosetta Stone” of historical interpretation for all time. If you have not read “The Fourth Turning,” I highly recommend it! Genius work!
Here We Go Again
Neil Howe predicted the coming Crisis in these direct quotes from “The Fourth Turning”:
“A Fourth Turning lends people of all ages what is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to heal (or destroy) the very heart of the republic.”
“Just after the millennium, America will enter a new era that will culminate with a crisis comparable to the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II. The very survival of the nation will almost certainly be at stake…”
“Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.” (from the Fourth Turning)
Right now we are in the middle of another Fourth Turning, which takes place every 80 years or so. Things are looking risky and unpredictable, which is par for the course in the Fourth Turning cycle.
With the arrival of the Covid-19 Pandemic, a path was created to steal the US election in November 2020, which in turn has spun off a number of crises that have put America and the world on the precipice. The CRISIS, predicted by Strauss and Howe in 1997, is clearly in motion.
The Gray Champion
In one of his essays, the great American author Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote of a “Gray Champion” that appears during the Crisis to speak words of challenge and hope to a nation in distress. I have provided an audio excerpt of the essay below.
Previous Gray Champions are George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and FDR. Each one belonged to the “Prophet” (Boomer) archetype, rising to lead the nation through a crucial period in the nation’s history when a crisis of monumental proportions happens.
- The last Crisis was the Great Depression and World War II. The Gray Champion: FDR.
- The previous Crisis (80 years prior) was the Civil War. The Gray Champion: Abraham Lincoln.
- Go back another 80 years and you have the Revolutionary War. The Gray Champion: George Washington.
Who Is Our Gray Champion?
Who is America’s Gray Champion of the 21st Century? The first person that comes to mind, and rightly so, is Donald J. Trump. The moment he came down the escalator in 2015 to announce his candidacy for President, the MAGA movement began. In spite of all the speed bumps along the way and even the stolen election, the movement has grown deeper and stronger. As I have told my kids, we see a leader like him only once a century, and in the case of DJT, we will never see anyone quite like him again. This man is a Titan who has managed to accomplish quantum levels of success in spite of unprecedented levels of resistance and scorn from those who oppose him.
Lincoln, too, was scorned. The political elites of his day called him every name in the book, They derided his appearance, his style of communication, and what they considered to be his complete lack of credentials. He also threatened the power base of the day: those who were entrenched in the big business of slavery. Yet Lincoln’s persecutions don’t hold a candle to Trump’s. Even in this department, Trump tops the list.
Are There Others?
Is President Trump the only Gray Champion rising amidst this crisis? The answer is no. Two other Gray Champions, worth noting, have emerged: General Michael Flynn and Gregg Phillips. Phillips is a central figure in the production of 2000 mules and has emerged as a strong voice for election integrity. Like a prophet, he is calling out the Deep State fearlessly. We have only begun to hear from him, though he has been at work beneath the surface for decades. Let’s remember that Moses spent 40 years onthe backside of the desert before he suddenly appeared at Pharoah’s door to read him the riot act.
An oft-quoted phrase of the MAGA movement is “The Storm Is Upon Us.” When tornadoes form, they tend to come in clusters. The emergence of Gray Champions, those wise, seasoned souls who rise from among the people to catalyze and encourage them into action, can also happen in clusters. The crisis we face is so massive, let’s hope and pray that many more champions will arise and that an ever-increasing majority of Americans will follow their lead.