By Craig Johnson | Right Side News
In times of great peril, God raises a champion to provide a spark, or to lead a nation through the destructive “winter era” back to safety and the start of a new social order. This occurs every 80 to 100 years. We are in such a dark, destructive phase again, as outsiders Trump, Carson, and Cruz, storm the gates of American politics. They have battled Republican and Democrat insiders; media elites in NY and DC; and now they battle each other. – We have been here before.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. –Ecclesiastes 3:1
We all love “springtime America.” Certainly all of the presidential candidates are promising a “blossoming” 2017 – if only we elect them. If our nation survives the “winter era,” only then can it enter the “springtime era,” or as authors Neil Howe and William Strauss write in The Fourth Turning:
“An upbeat era of strengthening institutions and weakening individualism, when a new civic order implants and the old values regime decays (page 3).”
This “springtime America” lasts 20 or so years and is followed by a hot and heavy “summer era,” full of passion and upheaval. (In this cycle it was the 40’s and 50’s “spring,” followed by the 60’s and 70’s “summer.”)
The lack of decency and order that begins in the “summer” worsens in the “autumn era” as society unravels like leaves from trees. Selfishness increases as people harvest all that they can prior to the winter phase of the cycle, where decency and integrity can seem like a distant memory.
That which hath been is now, and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. – Ecclesiastes 3:15
America has seen this cycle, known as a Saeculem, before, and is now in its fifth “winter” or “Crisis Era.” History records the types of leadership a “Crisis Era” demands. Nathaniel Hawthorne gave an example in his Twice Told Tales:
In the 1680s, colonists were being terrorized by despotic Governor Andros. On an April evening, he marched a column of soldiers through Boston to the beat of drums that intimidated the citizens. “A voice cried out ‘Oh Lord of hosts, provide a Champion for thy people.’”
In that tense moment, “the figure of an ancient man” appeared at the opposite end of the street. He had “an old steeple hat, a sword on his thigh, and a staff in his hand to assist with his advanced age.” As he walked alone in the center of the street, his steps began to match the martial music, and his age “seemed to fall from his shoulders.” Like Moses, he raised his staff with “the eye, the face, and the attitude of command.” He seemed to combine “the leader and the saint.” “Stand!” He shouted. “The solemn, yet warlike peal of that voice, fit either to rule a host in the battlefield, or be raised to God in prayer, was irresistible. At the Gray Champion’s word and outstretched arm, the roll of the drum was hushed at once and the advancing line stood still.” Governor Andros was jailed within a day.
From April, 1689, forward 86 years, (4 generations), brings us to April, 1775, with “the shot heard ‘round the world,” and a group of seasoned warrior/priests, who were anchored by George Washington.
His great character led to his selection to lead the military, and after throwing off the shackles of government tyranny; to lead the Constitutional Convention, and to lead the newly reorganized nation as President.
And who knoweth whether thou art come to the Kingdom for such a time as this? – Esther 4:4
In our current Crisis Era, it appears that Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and Sen. Ted Cruz are the outsiders looking to be selected to end government tyranny, as practiced today, by the cabal of big government apparatchiks that permeate the Democrat Party, and to a lesser extent, many segments of the Republican Party.
Let’s examine how the character of these men measures up to the men of past “great gates in history,” which are all four generations apart; e.g., the Gray Champion (Colonial); George Washington (Revolution); Abraham Lincoln (Civil War); and FDR (Depression and WWII).
George Washington was eulogized by Henry Lee as: ” . . . second to none in the humble and enduring scenes of private life; pious, just, humane, temperate and sincere; uniform, dignified and commanding; his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting.” A perfect character to model after, for the foundation of the new “re-set.”
I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might test them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. –Ecclesiastes 3:18
Another 86 years, another 4 generations, a third April. It’s 1861, and the next test falls on Abraham Lincoln. Like Washington, Honest Abe was known for a lifetime of being both privately, and publicly honest. In example: privately; Lincoln paid the debts of his deceased business partner (opposite of easy bankruptcy). Publicly; Lincoln challenged his fellow Springfield civic leaders to “pay or our debts like men,” after a business crash caused some to seek to shift a municipal debt to the State of Illinois. But Lincoln did not let his honest character prevent him from waging “total war” in order to preserve the union in the shortest amount of time; to the unfortunate consternation and pain of many southern civilians.
Both Washington and Lincoln are the only American presidents to be considered both warrior/saints and philosopher/statesmen.
Now, Trump, Carson and Cruz: how do they measure up against the men who led us from our “generational winters” to “spring” in the past?
They who built on the wall, and they who bore burdens; everyone,
had one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. –Nehemiah 4:17
Trump’s rise is directly attributable to how he resembles the April, 1689 Gray Champion. Rather than smiling and grinning, Trump displays “the eye, the face, and the attitude of command.” In spite of getting multiple Viet Nam draft deferments, followed by a medical deferment for bad feet, (after a successful stint as a multiple varsity athlete, and captain of his baseball team); Trump loyalists see strength in him. The strength to stop the dual assault of unlimited immigration from the third world, massive “resettlement” of so-called refugees from areas rife with jihadists, and the strength to say “no” to the political establishment. Trump’s followers feel this in spite of Trump’s lifetime of being a huge part of the Establishment as the consummate insider, using his inherited wealth to buy favors that further increase his wealth and high profile.
Carson’s initial rise was for qualities more reminiscent of the next two Champions: Washington and Lincoln. Not their military leadership, but rather their stellar character. The honesty and tenacity of Lincoln, and the completeness of Washington: humble, pious, just, humane, temperate, etc. Although pundits rarely mention it; Carson has consistently polled best against Clinton, (a known liar without peer), and one on one he consistently beats Trump.
Carson’s weakness is not that he would be a weak Commander-in-Chief (he was first to take on Obama at the 2013 Prayer Breakfast); but, rather that he does not project his strength well enough for a Crisis Era, that historically carries the expectation of not only war, but total war.
For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each may receive his due, for that which he has done in the body, be it good or evil. – 2 Corinthians 5:10
Trump’s weakness is his lack of equipoise, grace, integrity, patience, dignity, steadiness, and the moral clarity of a Washington, a Lincoln, or a Carson. Citizens of the current Crisis Era are thirsting for, not only an honest leader, but also an “onion-toter,” or disrupter, so much so, that they look past the long list of accusations against Trump.
For example, Trump cheated military service; cheated multiple wives; legally cheated his bond holders, lenders, suppliers, vendors, and others to whom his businesses owed money, and then he bragged about how he “used the law” to “win” in his four business bankruptcy reorganizations.
Further weaknesses are Trump’s love of purchasing government power to take property from the weak, and then bragging about how “good” eminent domain is; as well as his love of ridiculing: Carly’s face, Jeb’s energy, Rand’s appearance (and even his mere presence); as well as Cruz’s birthplace. But most spectacularly, Trump accused the man, who is the most solidly, and obviously a strong Christian, Dr. Carson, of lying about a low point in his life where he almost stabbed his cousin and nearly hit his mother; as he arrived at a bottom in his life, turned to God, and found Salvation (while he was in Middle School).
This ridicule comes from a man who cannot quote a single verse from the Bible and claimed to not be in need of God’s forgiveness – which is the very foundation of Christian Faith.
Trump’s list of weaknesses is much longer, but it does no good to list them all because unless and until a candidate arises with the requisite combination of strength, character, intelligence, and vision; with a willingness to put that on the line against Trump; then the Trump supporters will only see what they want to see: strength.
I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked
for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. – Ecclesiastes 3:17
Cruz supporters, like Trump supporters, are more akin to followers but for different reasons. Although they don’t know it, the nation senses the destruction of the old order and the birthing of the new — what the ancients called ekpyrosis. (Of course those running and benefiting from the old order are willfully blind.)
Both Cruz and Trump followers see the same picture; just like both men can offer similar things. The Trump people overlook the ugliness of his character because they want a disruptor more than they want someone to restore justice and righteousness after the destruction.
Trump followers simply are not looking very far into the future. Their prime emotion is anger, and their guy will give them a release. According to Trump, the future “will be great” – never mind how; because like previous Obama “followers,” details are not demanded.
Cruzers, on the other hand, have a depth of emotion that is more positive. Trump is more likely to be respected; Cruz more likely to be loved (outside of DC). The love, like with Washington and Lincoln, is borne of sensing the completeness of the man. A match between tough times and the man with the right stuff, who cares enough about our future to offer solutions within the framework of the Constitution – not “game show” sound bites. Sober minded, but tough; able to stand alone, but speaking to the hearts of millions. He wants to destroy the status quo, (like Trump followers want); but possessing the necessary character and intelligence to set the stage for the springtime of the next saeculem.
I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing;
therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. –Deuteronomy 30:19
What if the short-term thinkers prevail, and Trump, the Disruptor, becomes President? (The argument that Trump, or Carson, or Cruz cannot beat Clinton or any Democrat is propaganda. Only a standard, “Low-Fat” Republican can lose this race.)
For an answer, let’s look at the fourth April of the American saecula, 1941. Eighty years and four generations past April, 1861. America was involved in WWII in the north Atlantic, but unofficially. We “needed” Pearl Harbor to happen so that we could declare war. Over 8 years prior, in the 1932 election, America made a rash choice to change from Republican Hoover to Democrat FDR, as a result of a worldwide depression (which FDR made last 7 years longer than the rest of the world). In war, we still had FDR as leader.
While Roosevelt had his admirers, his detractors point out his many character failings. His overt racism against Jewish and Japanese Americans, and his return of a ship full of German Jews to certain death are beyond debate. But, the big question of our leader in our nation’s most recent “gate of history” is how much advance knowledge did he have of the Pearl Harbor attack? And, how precise was that knowledge?
FDR’s critics also cite his closeness to Stalin and apparent approval of socialism/communism; as well as his role in the mistreatment of Haiti and Dominica. Not the character traits of Washington and Lincoln. But, FDR’s supporters will look past the low character of a rich, entitled, aristocrat and declare quite accurately, “At least we won the war!”
Trump’s followers see it the way FDR defenders saw it; so what, that he is a hypocrite to all we believe, he can win. Cruzers also believe that Cruz can lead us to victory but want a true re-set after the collapse of the current order rather a continuation of the old order that FDR got started. That is why the Establishment hates Cruz more; he has a deeper understanding of the nation’s moral and contractual (Constitutional) underpinnings and thus his re-set would be more far-reaching than Trump’s, who being a wheeler-dealer, crony-capitalist, will be more likely to cut deals, and further cement tyranny in place for the next four generations, with, among other things, perhaps four Supreme Court picks.
Trump’s re-set would be FDR and Obama on steroids. Cruz’s re-set would judiciously give everyone as equally close a haircut as possible. Proof of this, and a testament to the character of Cruz, is his support of a 5 year phase out of the very harmful Iowa corn/ethanol subsidies, when a crony or a weakling would give in to Iowa Gov. Branstad, because his state votes first. Trump conveniently favors continuing the ethanol subsidies. The first state to vote, refuses to set an example by being the first to take a haircut.
But it came to pass that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians heard that the repairing of the walls went forward, they were very angry, and conspired to fight and to hinder it. –Nehemiah 4:7-8
It is a good bet that one of these three men, Trump, Carson, or Cruz (the Commander, the Saint, or the Warrior/Priest) will become our next president.
They will have to stop the Republican Establishment first, and then that “Organized Crime Ring” known as the Democrat Party. The outsiders want to tear down the old rotting order; one with a bull dozer, one with a scalpel, and one with adherence to Constitutional Rule of Law.
The Establishment’s “Low-Fat” Republicans can’t beat the “Crime Syndicate.” Their donors want them to try; but since every 80 or so years, the Winter Era (or “Fourth Turning” as Howe and Strauss define) makes otherwise plausible and credentialed candidates look woefully out of sync; history suggests it will be tough.
62 year old Jeb sounds like he’s 32; while 44 year old Marco, certainly looks thirtyish, but also gives the impression of “striving” for gravitas. (They both reinforce those perceptions when on the attack.) Christie’s prosecutorial “tough talk” seems just as contrived when stacked next to Trump’s pronouncements, and Cruz’s laser focus. Kasich has the best resume of the “Low Fat” gang, but time has passed him by, so like the others, he is way out of sync.
Only a total break with the Republican Establishment will give the Republican nominee the legitimacy he needs to reshuffle the electoral deck, thereby creating new coalitions in a leaner and cleaner re-set. This eliminates the need to compete with the “Democrat Crime Syndicate” on the basis of pandering with goodies (which must first be stolen – before they can be given). The professional political class wants to stop the winner from destroying a political order whose time is near. It won’t work. It never has.
Since the average time span between crisis eras has been 84 years, from 1689 to 1941, we’ll add 84 years to 1941 which brings us to the year 2025 as the approximate climax to this current crisis era. That is the eighth year of the next presidential term, should he succeed two terms.
With the Democrats stuck with a choice between a proven liar (and not yet legally proven criminal) versus the only honest, open, socialist in a party full of socialists, it is the Republican Party’s election to win; if the machinations of the political “pros” can be resisted.
And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him;
thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. -1 Samuel 17:32
As the Crisis Era hardens, an unfortunate side effect will be that the man with the highest favorability ratings in the race, Dr. Ben Carson, will continue to see his support swing to Cruz. Many feel that Cruz is best positioned to win, but like the biblical elders who were unable to slay Goliath, the Establishment hates the ‘strapling’ who had the faith to try. But, it is possible that the FDR-like Trump could win it. People are drawn to both character and strength.
And Saul watched David enviously from that day onward. – 1 Samuel 18:9
Not that he’s perfect; but Cruz obviously has better character than Trump; as well as a resume that includes five major Supreme Court victories that were being won while Trump was being a “so-called reality” TV star. But since the universe of voters has expanded, and the Democrat/Socialists have been largely successful in the dumbing down of America that got started with the Dewey crowd; people want obvious and apparent strength in a Crisis Era. You almost have to write it in crayon. If Cruz is to prove that he can take out ISIS; stop the “Fundamental Transformation” of our demographics via immigration and refugee resettlement; and eliminate whole government departments at the Cabinet level; (all of which must happen in the re-set; then taking out the Philistine named Trump, while attracting his supporters will prove his strength.
In 2012 the Republican Establishment helped pick off Conservatives, one by one, with their guy Romney being the last man standing. Romney thought that all he had to do was be “better and smarter” than Obama, rise above the fray with a “presidential demeanor,” and then the Presidency would be his.
It doesn’t work that way in a “Fourth Turning.” If Cruz makes the same mistake with Trump, and continues to attack him with exclusively mild and humorous tit for tat, which is the “happy warrior” script from an autumnal era of “Unraveling;” then, in this winter era of “Crisis,” he will also get the same Romney result — Vanilla flavored Obama.
Let us pray that he gets the memo.
Craig Johnson is a news analyst and commentator, speaker, and president of The First Amendment, Inc., (www.thefirstamendmentinc.com). He is also host of The REALLY, Real, Deal with Brother Craig the Hatchet Man, (www.blogtalkradio.com/the-hatchet-man, returning soon to 820AM WNTW (www.820theanswer.com), and School Choice Advocate & Board Member for the Virginia Christian Alliance. For interviews and speaking engagements contact [email protected]. The author wishes to acknowledge William Strauss and Neil Howe’s work in The Fourth Turning and Generations, which contributed to this article.