Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Death Of Think Tanks, Part Three

Look around at the researchers who staff the ranks of America's leading think tanks.  The vast majority tout their experience in the administrations of presidents Obama, both Bushes, Clinton, going as far back as Reagan.  Many who served with Bush 43 served with Bush 41. Many who served with Obama served with Clinton.

The defining characteristics of these think tankers is their increasing age.  The most prominent are 65 and older, some well into their 80s. There are only a handful of new, young policy superstars in the leading think tanks.

The median age in many think tanks is 70.  Many of these thinkers have not had a new policy idea in decades. Rather, they recycle, refurbish, and repeat previous work, spending much of their time defending policies they promoted decades ago.

There is a new political movement emerging in the West.  Why would Trump, or those hoping to replicate his success in Western and Eastern Europe, look to the old guard for old ideas?

Making matters worse, every day the old wonks tweet, post, blog, speak, give interviews, and write essays denouncing Trump for rejecting their advice and taking America in a new direction.  These critics are not likely to endear themselves and their ideas to Trump.

As I predicted in a previous post, place your bet on Mark Cuban, or some billionaire like him, becoming the Democrat nominee for president in 2020 and/or 2024.  Look for this trend to fill governorships, mayoralties, and state legislatures.  The new breed of candidates will campaign on its real world experience, differentiating themselves from establishment politicians who have spent their lives climbing the political ladder.

A new paradigm is transforming politics.  The train has left the station. You can stand in front of the train and get run over.  You can stand on the platform and wave goodbye.  Or you can get on the train.  The old order will not easily adapt to the third choice.  It will, like the state in Marxist theory, slowly fade away.

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