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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's

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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 3-Aug-04
Why didn't Kerry get a post-convention poll "bounce"?

Web Log - August, 2004

Why didn't Kerry get a post-convention poll "bounce"?

We know the answer. You guessed it - it's generational!

We thought Kerry did pretty well in his speech last week, and we thought Kerry would do better in the post-convention polling. As it turns out, the Gallup poll results show him actually losing ground, and other polls show him at best level.

There's a good reason for this, and it's not a reason that any of the pundits are mentioning. I know it the same way that I knew in 2002 that there wouldn't be any American anti-war movement in the War on Terror -- and there hasn't been, except for an occasional weekend blip here and there.

A major generational change has taken place in the last few years. During the 1990s, America's business and government leaders were all people generation that grew up during the Depression and World War II. Now, that's no longer true: Today's business and government leaders are from the Baby Boomer generation born after the war. That's exactly the kind of generational change that puts a nation into a "generational crisis period," where people become anxious and concerned about the future of their nation. The last time this kind of change happened was in the 1930s, when the generation of people who were born after the Civil War came to power.

In retrospect, the Democrats did make some mistakes at last week's convention.

John Kerry's own speech was not great but OK, indicating that he understood the seriousness of the situation that the nation is in.

But that was the only one. John Edwards' "two nations" speech was so cheerful and optimistic that it appeared na´ve. Teresa Heinz Kerry's speech made her appear more self-involved than involved in the nation's problems. The only other speech that's gotten any attention is Al Sharpton's, but the attention has been all negative.

So when you come right down to it, the only portion of the entire week's conference that addressed the subject most on Americans' minds was the first 20 minutes of Kerry's speech. And even then, he didn't say how he'd handle Iraq or prevent terrorism, but he did let us know, irrelevantly, that he's a Vietnam war hero.

There's been only one President in American history who served more than two terms: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served four (up to his death in 1945). That's because people don't want to change leaders during a crisis.

A recent poll of historians on the country's greatest Presidents listed FDR, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington at the top. Those are the Presidents who lead the country through its three great generational wars, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and World War II. It's great events that make great Presidents.

A lot of people are going to gag when I say this, but whoever wins the election this fall is probably going to be the next great President. There's still plenty of time for things to change, but right now it looks like that'll be George Bush. (3-Aug-04) Permanent Link
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