When you consider the phenomenon we call “social mood,” the time is just right for a period of radical politics. Exhibit A: Trump and Sanders
On March 1, NASA astronaut Commander Scott Kelly returned to Earth after a year-long mission in outer space.
Once briefed on the current state of U.S. politics, it’s easy to imagine Kelly wanting to turn his rocket-ship around to get as far away from the planet as possible.
“Unprecedented,” “nuts,” and “inexplicable” are just a few of the countless words used to describe the incredibly contentious 2016 presidential campaign, which, when weighed against a few of its more controversial contenders, also sounds a lot like the set-up to some joke:
“An evangelist, a socialist and a ‘Washington outsider’ walk onto the presidential ticket.”
Leading the controversial pack, is, of course Donald Trump, who captivates (for better or worse) his fans with his contentious viewpoints and rabblerousing rhetoric.
But as far apart as the candidates stand on specific issues, at least two of them – Trump and Sanders – are united in one regard: They refuse to toe the party line; rather, they drag it bow-first into the capsizing wake of radical change.
Whether it’s Trump’s call for a $10 billion wall between the U.S. and Mexico and threat to “ruin the lives” and imprison anti-Trump protesters – or Sanders’ call for “political revolution” – the common thread of the 2016 presidential campaign has been to capitalize on the public’s anger, rather than to pacify its anxiety.
Yet – while the final battle seems to be primed for Trump versus Clinton, it still feels “inexplicable” that any one of the radical candidates made it as far as they did.
But when you consider the phenomenon we call “social mood,” the 2016 Cam-PAIN phenomenon is actually quite logical.
Socionomics is a new science of social forecasting that grew out of EWI founder and president Bob Prechter’s studies of the Elliott Wave Principle. Socionomics examines how shifts in social mood affect all of our collective activities – from war and peace to fashion to our choice of political leaders.
In his 2003 book Pioneering Studies in Socionomics, Prechter explained how a rise in negative social mood, as reflected in the collapse in the real value of stocks, would result in a
“…net trend toward anger, fear, intolerance, disagreement and exclusion among various perceived groups, whether political, ideological, religious, racial or economic.
“Political manifestations will include protectionism in trade matters, a polarized and vocal electorate, separatist movements, xenophobia, citizen-government clashes, the dissolution of old alliances and parties, and the emergence of radical new ones.“
In the November 2012 Theorist, Prechter followed-up with this commentary:
“The extremity of negative social mood that will propel the next stock market downtrend will all but assure much more extreme political radicalization, polarization and fragmentation in American society…
“Any…candidate who adopts an angry tone and an authoritarian bent and who distances him or herself from Obama might have a chance to compete in 2016. … Around the world, voters will passionately embrace radical politicians on both the left-right spectrum and the up/ down (freedom/authoritarianism) spectrum.”
In the March 2014 issue of the Socionomics Institute’s monthly publication, The Socionomist, senior researcher Alan Hall used Prechter’s forecast to pinpoint that a “new era of political radicalism” was set to emerge in the United States.
It’s hard to believe today, but two years ago, Alan’s forecast for the coming radicalization of politics was itself quite radical. After all, in 2014, the modus operandi was: If you want to get elected, keep calm and carry on. Wrote Hall: “Lately… [we’ve seen] warnings that radical politics are the kiss of death for candidates. On December 14, 2013, Cokie Roberts – senior news analyst for National Public Radio – and her husband Steven published an op-ed, stating:
“’This is a moderate, pragmatic country. Any party that ignores that truth is doomed to defeat.’”
And Alan observed:
“On January 23,  USA Today ran the headline, ‘GOP needs moderate tone to win. Fire breathers scare too many voters away.’“
That was the mindset just two years ago!
Flash ahead to the 2016 campaign – and those same “fire breathers” haven’t scared voters away; they’ve been attracting them in droves.
Alan continued in his March 2014 Socionomist report:
“Socionomists know that preferences for political moderation and radicalism wax and wane with the trend of social mood.
“The trend of social mood will determine whether the electorate prefers moderate or radical candidates in the 2016 elections. … Ambitious pols should watch the trend of social mood and craft their messages accordingly.”
Socionomics is a young science. Yet, as you’ve just seen, it’s already on record by surprising the world with some astoundingly accurate—and useful—forecasts.
Maybe that’s why socionomic ideas have been gaining traction each year.
And here is something else you may wish to know. Every year since 2011, for one day only, the world’s best socionomic forecasters gather under one roof for the annual Social Mood Conference in Atlanta, GA.
This year, the date is April 9.
On April 9, you can hear – live – Alan Hall, along with Bob Prechter and eight other fascinating speakers.
Image source: Wikipedia and Gage Skidmore/Flickr