Straight Lines or Cycles

As we watch events unfold in Paris and other parts of Europe, the obvious question is, “Will we see this in America in the near future?” Among many on the Right, the quick answer is a resounding “Yes.”

Let’s step back a bit and take another look. Let’s take a deep breath, look at the similarities and the differences and some history before making predictions.

America is not Europe. We may still be largely European in ancestry, but we are not Europe. That’s obvious enough, but we still tend to assume that the American Right equals the European Right, and the American Left equals the European Left. They may be brothers, but they are not twins. In addition, if the news reports are to be believed, the Yellow Vest army includes both the Left and the Right against the government. That’s a combination that would be very difficult to imagine happening here in America.

Movements easily burn out, and usually sooner than expected. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, it was easy to believe that Leftism was on track to completely take over America. Assassinations and bombings were almost a weekly occurrence. Leftist groups such as Weather Underground (a.k.a. Weatherman, or Weathermen), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and others were funding their operations through violent, high-profile bank robberies. I was in college at that time (I graduated in 1974), and the street demonstrations, the lines of police with billy clubs, and the Leftist chants and slogans seemed to be everywhere (they weren’t, but it seemed to become part of the American experience).

From everything that was happening at that time, it was “obvious” that the country was on a non-stop course to the Left. Who could imagine otherwise? The problem with that thinking is that history does not move in a straight line. It moves in cycles. Those cycles often trend in what seems to be straight lines one direction or another, but in a culture that sees a four-year term of office as “long term thinking,” that is usually in a time frame beyond which most people operate.

It has often been noted that, when it comes to social change, America is a few years behind Europe. To put it in an American context, if Europe were California, then America would be the Midwest or the Deep South. As California moves further to the Left and further down in degeneracy, the rest of the country tends to follow at some distance. The question is: “How much distance?”

It is reasonable to conclude that at some point, governments that are clearly working against the best interest of the people are going to face an angry backlash from those people. It is happening now in Europe. Will we see that here in America? Now? No. At some point? Yes. In the meantime, observe and take notes.