I'm going to teach you the basic elements of 'Life Cycles' theory using the lives of Bill and Hilary Clinton as my case studies. There is an excellent TV mini-series on them at the moment and that's what got me started. In Part One I demonstrated how central the age of 36 was to Bill Clinton's career. In this year he had to regain the Governorship of Arkansas, after losing it ignominiously some two years before. He had to learn to listen to voters and not be seen as arrogant. He succeeded and it led to an unbroken political career taking him all the way to the White House.
Now we are going to explore what happened twelve years later during his age 48 'Year of Revolution'. 'Life Cycles' theory says at 36 a lot of people have what amounts to a 'bursting on the scene' moment in their lives and that at 48, they have more of a 'leaving the scene' new age/direction in their lives. Please note carefully:- none of what I say is esoteric/pseudoscience/due to unprovable connections with numbers, planets etc.....it's simple observation that's all. So we are now looking at when Bill was 48 ie. August 19th, 1994 to August 19th, 1995. OK, the beginning of this period saw the final defeat of the Revised Health Care Plan. This scheme was the brainchild of Hilary Clinton, who headed up the taskforce to introduce it. It was to be a cornerstone achievement for them both and something to seal their legacy, but instead turned into an embarrassing and humiliating defeat, which the program clearly showed. Not only did Republicans win the public relations war, but Democrat politicians criticised it and came up with other plans. The Washington Post wrote :- "In many years of studying American social policy, I have never read an official document that seemed so suffused with coertion and social naivete...."
In August , 1994 Democratic Senate Majority Leader George J. Mithchell introduced a compromise plan, but announced it dead a few weeks later, with not enough Democratic Senators behind it. This weakened Clinton politically and emboldened the Republicans. Hilary was perceived as a "big-government liberal" and the 1994 mid-term election became "a referendum on a health-care reform plan that ended up strangled by it's own red tape". This was undoubtedly the centrepiece of Bill Clinton's age 48 'Year of Revolution'. In the 1994 mid-term election, the Republican Revolution led by Newt Gingrich gave them control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the first time since 1953/4 ie. 40 years. This made compromise necessary on all fronts and guaranteed a centrist stance. The many social reform initiatives of the first two years ended and later he signed a 'Defense of Marriage Act' before the 1996 election, called by the New York Times:- "One of his worst policy moments". Although he was re-elected, both houses remained Republican. His next term was mired in the Monika Lewinsky scandal, his impeachment and a 'lame duck' Presidency for the rest of his term. No, by every reasonable definition, what happened in '94 effectively took him 'off the stage he had been upon' since he won back the Governorship twelve years previously.
This is another textbook example of 'Life Cycles' theory in action. Now let's finally have a quick look at his age 24 'Year of Revolution'. Back to a simpler time. An age of ideals and new beginnings. I'll bet he wishes he could have lived his life in reverse! A chapter in a Clinton biography I looked at, starting with his return to Yale to begin study for a Law degree at this time, was titled 'New Beginnings'. Not only because he left Oxford without a degree and needed this, but also because towards the end of the year he took part in his first campaign for a Senate candidate in Connecticut. He approached door-knocking and other activities with zeal. Then still within this year he met and started an intense relationship with Hilary Rodham. Apparently it was she who introduced herself to him in the Law Library after he had been staring at her. An appropriate way to begin, with such a strong, career-oriented, young female undergrad. This was his first adult 'new age/direction'. This 'Year of Revolution' ushered in his direction in aspiring to political office and his partnership with Hilary. His next 'new age/direction' at his age 36 'Year of Revolution' ushered in his re-election as Governor and an unbroken series of successes in political office all the way to the White House. He had 'burst upon the scene' as a leader who had learnt his lesson. As just described, his next 'new age/direction' at his age 48 'Year of Revolution' saw him lose a chance of getting a Health Reform Bill accepted and this led to his ignominious defeat at the mid-term elections and in spite of re-election, he was never again a force in politics. He had effectively 'left the stage he had been upon'.
Do I make perfect sense to you? You have to be the judge. Am I shoehorning the data? Do I only present good examples or do I cover everything? Or do you like 'the world ends soon', 'oh well, he was a Leo, born in the year of the Dog and Mercury was retrograde...' 'your life changes every seven years......based on no evidence' etc. etc. Gobbledygook or facts? Forgive the rant, but sometimes it just comes out. I'm not done with the Clintons yet and I'll be back with Part 3 soon.