A Civil . . . . What?

A Civil . . . . What?

By Anne Doherty

Generations, The History of America’s Future (1991) and The Fourth Turning (1997) are books by William Strauss and Neil Howe that use cycles in the character of America’s generational cohorts (Boomer, Millennials, etc.) to anticipate future behavior and events. These books anticipate that sometime around 2020 the US will either engage in a Civil War or with an external force--as with WWII--that will unite us.  “The Crisis of 2020 will be a major, turning point in American history, and an adrenaline–filled moment of trial. At its climax, Americans will feel that the fate of posterity--for generations to come--hangs in the balance.” (Generations.)  To exemplify their point, every “four score” years or so, we endure such a time; first the Revolutionary War,  the Civil War,  World War II, and finally today. 

Since these writers are so influential, it's easy to believe that powerful people know and have exploited some of the concepts within their books. For example, it's easy to imagine that folks at the World Economic Forum think that the US, or the western world for that matter, would unite over something like “climate change” (now “crisis”), Covid and/or the Ukraine war.  Perhaps they think we would unite so much that we would hand over our freedoms and not notice they are in fact the external force on the attack.  

Indeed, one might ask how right-leaning, rural states with small populations--states where their money comes from ranching or farming--where everyone knows the difference between a cow and a bull, get caught up in defining the difference between a woman and a man. It seems that the majority party in every state gets wooed by lobbyists (backed by special interests, George Soros, WEF or other external forces), who present boiler plate legislation that has little to do with the voters’ needs and more to do with handing power to the power hungry.  In the case of the gender war, people are finally waking up and, as Strauss and Howe projected, Americans may unite as they realize external forces are indeed driving us apart. 

Kansas just passed a law defining a woman. Oklahoma made trans surgery and puberty blockers felonies. 19 states have banned transgender athletes.  Parents are running for school board or opting to take their kids out of school  To quote Politico, “Republicans are leaning into transgender restrictions as part of their policy agenda because they see it as a way to energize their base and draw in some moderate voters ahead of the 2024 election.”   Stephen Kruiser in PJMedia says,  “The radical leftists don’t have the numbers on any issue, they merely have volume. They’re louder on mainstream and social media…Republican candidates can’t let that volume and visibility cow them into submission…” 

Strauss and Howe predicted that, like the GI generation, Millennials would be the ones to fight the culture war their Boomers parents wage against each other, but that ultimately, Millennials, exhausted, from the battle, would vote themselves rich in middle age.  When I told my daughter recently that the law in California and New Mexico required any individual or group taking public money to point children towards medical transitioning, she responded flatly: “I don’t believe it. I’m socially liberal, and I don’t know anyone who supports that.”  She seemed to think that the law ought to reflect the majority. But if it didn’t, the majority wouldn’t be affected by it anyway. Folks would just do what they want.  

She’s kind of right.  We live in a time of so much prosperity that the poor are obese and the “homeless” have pop-up tents and cell phones. She observes a world in which people seem to do exactly what they want, survive reasonably well, and don’t depend on government for much, except handouts if they hit bottom.  But she also lives in a time when young people like her can’t afford housing despite decent salaries, and where the ones who believe in marriage don’t think they can afford children unless their parents help. More importantly, they are angry. Unlike the counterpart GI generation, the Millennials have become angry at their elders and want them out.  If it dawns on them that the old coots in government are selling off their birth rite, Millennials might just vote with their feet and start a parallel economy.  After all, they know big government doesn’t serve much purpose, and it doesn’t affect their lives as much as government thinks. 

So, if states don’t secede over transgenderism, which they may very well do, the country could break apart in a similar manner to when the Soviet Union collapsed. People could just stop doing what they’re told and rely on themselves instead. Generations projects that the “war” could last 10 years. If it started when Trump was elected, it would end in 2026 or 7.  If it started in 2020 with Covid, it would end in 2030. 

Strauss, William, and Neil Howe. Generations. William Morrow, 1991, p. 382.