With the 2022 primaries true and well started I’d like to stop and take note of the ”Sheldon” crisis we are in. I know I’ve been talking about a crisis for several years now and before I go on, I’d like to point out some things usually over looked when talking about ”Sheldon” Crisis’. First, the ”Foundation” novels never really give us a good time frame for just how long a ”Sheldon” crisis takes to start and end. Shoot, we never get a good idea of how long it takes to travel from Terminus to Trator. Weeks, months? No clue, just that it is not too long for the people making the trip.
Also we are never told just what a ”Sheldon” crisis is. All we know is that it is a phenomenon of ”Psycohistory” a science that was invented by the mathematician Hari Sheldon. We are also told that ”Psyohistory” can predict the actions of very large bodies of humans (very large being the populations of entire planets if not multiple planets). So just how am I using the phase ”Sheldon” Crisis? What do I mean by it.
Simple put I’m talking about the phenomenon of a Sociopolitical science where a sudden, often violent events occur that mark a distinct change in a socialites social, political, and/or economic state. a good example is what happened between 1914 and 1945. Yes that is 31 years. But in the history of people and nations it is shorter than a blink of the eye. So live with it. I will go on from there.
What I’m looking at today is the possible death of the Republican Party that came into being in the last half of the 20th Century. If you look at the demographics of the Republican Party in the 1950/60 and the 2010/20 you can see a significant difference. (Please note that you can see a related demographic change in the Democratic Party) These changes are most notable in the rise of extreme politics. The shift from seeing someone with a differing political/economic/social/religious view point not just as opponent, not just as the enemy, but as fundamentally evil. Something to be eradicated at all cost. My side, right or wrong, but my side.
One of the key issues with this phenomenon is that it has a strong tendency to concentrate concentrate “The True Believer” (See Eric Hofer) into one political party or movement. It also has a tendency to concentrate the Authoritarian-Autocrat personality into one political party or movement. When it is in one political party/movement we have a very explosive mixture. This is what I see happening with the Republican Party of the early 2020’s. I shall give some examples of what I think of as symptomatic and/or diagnostic events in my next posting.