Saturday, March 5, 2016

Looking for Superman, Finding Scapegoats

Four Really Good Pieces about the Trump candidacy:

David Corn in Mother Jones - How the Republican Elite Created Frankentrump  
Charles Pierce in Esquire - There Is Only One Way to Stop Donald Trump Now
Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone – How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable
David Brooks in the NYTimes - The Governing Cancer of Our Time

Brooks in the NYTimes piece - 

 "Trump’s supporters aren’t looking for a political process to address their needs. They are looking for a superhero."

 We see this same thing at the local/state/federal level in economic development, education, workforce development, etc.   Everyone’s looking for someone to blame and someone to “fix” “it”.  Among the ‘fix it’ folks, their erroneous assumption, I think, is that with the right moves by a superhero, we’ll come out of “it” and everything will be ‘back to normal’.   But, we’re in the middle of a fundamental transformation of the economy, rather than simply coming out of a recession.  We’re looking for (perhaps looking at) our new normal.   And people are scared to death, because they don’t see clear pathways, they can’t see around the corner, etc.

Add to it a reality t.v. show culture, prosperity theology and this guy may be the next president.

Chris Sacca is a successful VC, like the Donald he’s got a billion or so dollars.  His comments on Tim Ferriss' podcast in Jan are, I think, related to the Trump phenomenon:

Chris Sacca on Tim Ferriss Podcast- 1/15/16
“… one of you asked a question that postulated that in the future 30% will have it good and 70% will have it bad.  I actually think on this current path it’s going to be way worse than that.   There will be way fewer people who have it good and the rest will struggle.  In the old economy where people used to have careers, pensions, and benefits that doesn’t exist anymore, it’s been replaced by people who are called associates, who are hourly, who don’t qualify for benefits, who don’t really have a safety net and there is scary implications to that.  I saw a prophetic comment on twitter where the future will be 10 trillionaires and the rest of us will be taking turns serving vente expressos to each other and driving around in each other’s ubers.  Obviously that’s intensively dystopian but there is a trend line pointed in that direction…”
“You’ve got a huge group of people in the United States who have basically lost control of their own destiny.  The small businesses they used to run have gone away.  They’ve lost their farms, they’ve lost their houses, they’ve lost the ability to plot their own future.  When they get up in the morning committed to work hard, they don’t necessarily know that’s it’s going to work out for them.  If that were you, you’d probably be looking for scapegoats too.  Now, I think some of those scapegoats are misplaced and the blame is placed in the wrong place, but...”

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