Just as a arrow shot into the air approaches its zenith long after has exhausted most of its impetus and the shortest day of the year is the beginning of Winter, political movements are often merely coasting in their hour of triumph. Hubris has its own physics. The Conservative tide in the United States, for example, has finally awakened countervailing forces even among the hapless Democrats. The Republicans may continue to prevail for some time just as it keeps on getting colder after December 21 even though the sun is rising in the skies every day; but the underlying trends are actually quite unfavorable for them and not simply because any ruling party is vulnerable to failures. Republican policies only make sense on the assumption of continuing American predominance, but this premise becomes less and less plausible with every new report on the trade deficits. Meanwhile, as every survey shows, the administration is far to the right of the public on most issues, though people remain ignorant of Bush’s stated objectives and policies because of the absence of a free press in the United States. The likelihood that the second derivatives are unfavorable to the right is not necessarily a happy fact, however, because movements can become violent when they sense that time is no longer on their side.