Bernie's Day is Coming
Technology says so. Accelerating the digital revolution, automation and A.I. are forcing Americans to rethink their relationship with work and government. The political and social turmoil we are experiencing? Historians may call it transitory noise. As a systems thinker, I think it's the disruption we need.
I started replying to a friend's Facebook post featuring this article: http://www.salon.com/2017/01/14/americans-overwhelmingly-support-bernie-sanders-economic-policies-so-howd-we-end-up-here/. I found myself typing a similar thesis I shared with others during the U.S. presidential election and thought, "I'll just save myself some time and write a quick blog post."
First, Mr. Lynch gets it wrong from the headline. We shouldn't be asking, "- so how'd we end up here?" We should be asking, "How do we get there from here?" Where is a growing consensus. An inevitability. And, electing Donald Trump could be the first step toward an American government that is even more supportive of its citizens.
Stay with me...
Practically speaking, I think we agree that it's too early for socialist politics (on a grander scale) in America. A true blend of democracy, capitalism and socialism isn't borne from an opaque and inefficient entity. One of the main features of the Nordic model is transparency (i.e. low levels of corruption).
So, how do we get there from here? Would Hillary have fought to up end the status quo? Would Bernie have been an effective change agent? Did Cruz have a vision for America beyond traditional conservative ideals? Does Trump have the potential to challenge every person and policy, and the strength (or insanity) to stand in the face of the ensuing chaos?
Disruption → Technologists → Socialists
Let's set politics and the "culture wars" (Lynch's focus in the article) aside. Shaking up D.C. makes way for the technologists who enable the socialists to redefine American life. I think that's the path that we're on. Distasteful and uncomfortable as he can be, of our primary choices Trump has the potential to get America to political equilibrium fastest.
Chaos by definition is variance. If we get lucky, Trump's nationalistic and disruptive platform will be an on-balance positive, offering the transparency required to strengthen and move forward the above system.
I think the rise of West Coast power, the technologists, will define the next phase of American politics. Will it be Howard Schultz or a Silicon Valley exec occupying the Oval Office in 2021 or 2025? Whomever it is, they will layer efficiency on a legacy of transparency and bring a Democratic flavor to public policy. In this phase, we'll see the biggest changes to the silos of healthcare, social security, immigration and gun control.
On a well-designed stage, I see the socialists taking their cue as the effects of technology necessitate a government that offers some level of basic security and economic mobility to all citizens. If American ingenuity and technology continues to lead and concentrate capital stateside, there should be ample resources with which to work.
So, rather than perpetuate the "culture wars" and force hate onto and toward President-Elect Trump, let's harness his disruptive energy to make our government more transparent. The popular policy changes as cited by Mr. Lynch will come much faster.
Lead image source: Google Search. Assuming Creative Commons license until I learn otherwise. Modified.