That's it -- the vulnerable, refractory phase of the 15-year excitement cycle is finally over, having begun in 2015. We're not going backward to the manic phase of 2010-'14, but forward into the next restless, warm-up phase (akin to 2005-'09). The next manic phase will happen after that, starting in 2025.
This cyclical change in mood / energy levels is absolutely crucial to keep in mind when looking back on the year, or especially the decade. In a way, there is no such decade as the 2010s, because the first half was a manic phase of soaring energy levels, and the second half was a crash into a refractory state. You don't get any more stark of a contrast.
History does not proceed with "one damned thing after another," but goes through dynamics, which generally produce some kind of cyclical behavior. All of this doom-and-gloom emo bullshit of the past 5 years is not the continuation of the 5 years before that -- exactly the opposite. You can say the mood of '15-'19 was "the result of" the mood in '10-'14, in the sense that a climax leads mechanistically to a refractory state. But that's not what most people mean when they try to portray the trajectory of a decade, which is always done in a simple linear way.
The upcoming mood will not be such a stark contrast as between a climax and refractory phase. It's leaving the refractory state and returning to baseline levels. We'll notice that things aren't quite so heavily negative, painful, hysterical, and so on -- but it won't be the opposite either, which requires the sustained spike in energy levels during a manic phase. There will be some negative and some positive, some pain and some pleasure, some anxiety and some calm. In any case, we aren't going to be mired in the depressive, hysterical state of the past 5 years, and that's good enough for now.
Political junkies will be surprised at how little of the previous mood will carry over into 2020 -- despite it being such a major election year. The whole #MeToo thing is dead by now, no one cares about the 24-hour news cycle anymore, and no one's afraid of crypto-Nazi armies laying in wait under every bed in homes across America.
I've been saying that Trump will bow out before the nomination, but even in the off-chance that he remains the nominee, no one will think he's a fascist threat, that his supporters are the re-birth of Nazi legions, or whatever other crap the liberals could half-way get away with back in 2016. Even back then it wasn't enough to win -- it will fail all the more pathetically this time, since people won't be in the painful victimization mindset anymore.
When the GOP wins re-election, absolutely no one will care -- it will not be the most important election, signaling imminent doom, etc etc etc. That reaction comes from emo audiences (as there were on both sides in 2016), but they won't be in an emo mood by the end of 2020 and during inauguration in '21.
Nobody remembers anything, but if they wanted to, they could look back at the second W. Bush term -- that was mostly during a restless warm-up phase, not an emo phase, so the general public didn't react so negatively and hysterically and painfully to it. That was more his first term, which was during an emo phase (the first half of the 2000s). People were too busy re-connecting with one another during the late 2000s to give a shit about what Bush was doing. Even if they conceded it was all bad stuff, it didn't rise to the level of new coming of Hitler, so they put it mostly on the back burner until a few days before the next presidential election.
The hysteria phase of moral panics is going to collapse into the backlash phase. Some of that will be rational in tone, some will be irreverent, some will be in-your-face hostile. Political correctness, AKA wokeness, won't be taken seriously by normies any longer (not until the next vulnerable phase beginning in 2030). It'll be a return to the anarchic (not anarcho-) humor of the late '70s, early '90s, and late 2000s. As well as a revival of the rational skeptics using logic to rebut the claims of the woketards -- which they could have been doing for the past 5 years, but have not been in the proper mood themselves, or could not have found a large receptive audience that was in the right mood. Over the next 5 years, that will change, and they'll be back.
On the right, I also predict the decline of the groyper phenomenon. It was a kind of mellow hibernation, and now that people will start to stir awake and emerge from their winter dens, they won't find the same emotional appeal to living in a remote, isolated, cozy David the Gnome environment (that cartoon was from an emo phase as well, 1985). They may retain their avatars, but the ideal mood will change -- it won't be about cozy isolation any longer. More likely, the avatars will change to some wholly new creature to embody the shift in mood.
But before those large-scale changes take place, first people have to just snap out of it. That will take place over the current year. Key signposts along the way will be major pop songs that emphasize the themes of resilience and reckoning with your past. Until the new examples come out, here are two from those earlier surveys, both from 1990, the first year after the emo phase of the late '80s. Unlike the past several end-of-year transitions, this time it really is "a new year, a new you".