America’s Cycles of Change

As I predicted in my 2015 book Cycles of Change: The Three Great Cycles of American History & the Coming Crises That Will Lead to the Fourth, a new political map of America has emerged.

In the 2014 midterm elections, the number of Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives fell to their lowest levels since the Republican landslide of Herbert Hoover over Al Smith in 1928, before the start of the Great Depression. It was as if every Democratic political and electoral gain since the beginning of the New Deal had been wiped out.

The Democrats are rapidly becoming a regional party of the two high-population and high tech, prosperous coasts of the United States but they increasingly appear doomed to eternal minorities across the great continental landmass in between.

In 2008, Barack Obama, the first ever African-American President of the United States, swept his Democratic Party to power in its greatest landslide victory for 44 years since Lyndon Johnson buried Barry Goldwater in 1964.

The results in particular of the 2016 electoral contests demonstrated an extraordinary paradox. Hillary Clinton received well over 65 million votes, one of the three greatest showings of any political candidate of either party in US history. Only Obama himself in 2008 and 2012 has ever won more votes.

The Democratic Party in the United States is the oldest and most long-lasting political party on earth, whether one choses to date its actual founding at the beginning of the 19th century by such luminaries as Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr and the Tammany Hall political organization in New York City, or its successful ascent to national power with the triumph of Democratic voting rights for white males in Andrew Jackson’s victorious election campaign in 1828.

By selecting Exxon Mobil President and CEO Rex Tillerson as his first secretary of state, US President-elect Donald Trump has made clear he wants peace with Russia: But he has also declared war on the internal culture of the State Department.

Trump’s selection of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state is highly significant for many reasons. Not the least of them is that Tillerson, in his career as one of the world’s most successful and powerful oil executives, has had an unrivalled experience of successful deal-making and cooperation with the Russian government and the country’s main energy companies.

US President-elect Donald Trump can be taken at his word about his sincerity in wanting to restore good relations with Russia: He is certain to find welcome potential partners in Moscow; but his greatest difficulties with implementing such a policy will be in Washington, DC.