Do it or not? That is the $64 question.
Stay away from it, my inner half says.
Whilst the Matusik in me says, no – stuff it, tell them what you think.
I don’t know what you did on the Sunday before the ludicrous US Presidential Election in late 2016, but I wandered around my yard debating whether to write something about it or not.
The ‘yes’ vote in my head obviously won.
So, here goes.
Welcome to the big shift.
Things will change from this point on.
Remember this week.
For mine, it is a bookmark, a time in history that you may wish to recall, when boring the bejesus out of your family and friends.
US voters face a choice between the two least popular candidates in presidential history.
Americans are not alone in feeling that democracy is letting them down. This year has been a bad one for democracy across the globe, and 2017 does not promise to be much better.
Opinions vary as to why all this is happening.
But what if the 21st century’s problems are just so complex that democracy can no longer solve them?
For example, how many really understood the intricacies of repealing the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999?
Or the likely consequences of intervening in Syria in 2012?
And if we cross the North Atlantic, the real impact of Brexit?
Political polarization always goes hand in hand with wealth and income inequality.
I read that somewhere recently. It made some sense, so I wrote it down.
Hmm, then when I google stuff I find out economic inequality is as extreme today as it was back in The Roaring ’20s.
And remember what happened next – The Great Depression.
It’s not so much because of the extreme growth of the top 1%, but more about the deterioration of the middle class – and that’s why Donald Trump has such a large following.
Globalisation’s economic lift has been far from even. Many are being left behind.
It is, ironically, the price that is paid for having more and at a much lower price.
I also think that we are witnessing the end of this election charade.
Soon – if not already – supercomputers and algorithms will be powerful enough to weigh the facts and make better decisions than our puny human brains.
Never, you say!
Well, we are becoming increasingly distracted.
Social media (with pictures of cats) and cooking contest shows are more important than, well, thinking.
Orwell’s 1984, if republished and re-titled 2034, would actually seem quite plausible today.
I also think it doesn’t matter who wins this week.
A short term difference, but long term: zip.
Yet many of us have delayed decisions until we know the outcome.
We seem to do this pending an increasing number of events – elections, Easter, Christmas, school holidays and soon, no doubt, this will include St. Valentine’s Day, full moons and bad weather forecasts.
I keep on reading about the decline of America – how it will enter some dark age if Trump, well…trumps.
Its military might and economic grunt will be taken over by China or India, depending on who you read.
For mine, the future of the world is no longer controlled by a country but by the internet, yet more pointedly by “connectivity”.
For now, America controls the internet and all the important things that go with it.
The language of the internet is English.
That may change, but for now and for some time, that is the way it will be.
Many of us are stuck in the middle, at an age where we can see the world changing, but are very fearful of what that might bring.
We are like deer frozen by headlights.
Of great concern is that I don’t get – automatically, intuitively, a ‘sixth sense’ so to speak – and regardless of how hard I try – this new world.
It’s a world where if you don’t think digitally – and to put it into a property perspective – see a spare room and jump quickly to the solution (Airbnb) and know how to make it happen – then you are going to be pushed aside.
It scares me.
It scares most of the people with whom I speak. This new world may offer wonderful things (I love my iTunes and Kindle!), but it is causing a lot of change, with much more to come.
The current pace of things is beyond most of us.
It is getting faster. And we cannot stop the clock.
Both Clinton and Trump say they are the future.
Just look at them. Come on.
They are old maps in a world that desperately needs new ones.
I don’t know where we are heading.
But Clinton and Trump surely won’t help us get there.
And before I go, Churchill once said that “Democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
But what do we do when democracy is clearly no longer working?
To have to choose between Clinton and Trump is a travesty.
It is maybe the last straw.
For mine, we need new political blood.
Or maybe better still, a more corporate approach. Why the likes of Richard Branson don’t step up is beyond me.
But foremost we need leadership.
And it must come from a digital head.
The 21st Century is the network age, not a political nor an industrial one.
Does anyone have a plausible solution? Keen to hear your thoughts.
We go back to normal programming tomorrow.
As for the title, Tweedledum and Tweedledee are fictional characters in an English nursery rhyme, but most would know them from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.
The names have since become synonymous in western popular culture slang for any two people who look and act in identical ways, generally in a derogatory context.
For mine, Bob Dylan, again, like almost always, captured it best in this 2001 tune by the same name.