Evolution Shift
A Future Look at Today
July 28th, 2015

Why the 2016 Presidential Campaign is Unfolding as Expected


I am not at all surprised about how the campaign for the Presidency of the United States is unfolding. Not in the slightest. I find humorous and significant that the politically oriented Washington based media seems so surprised at the significant groundswell for Bernie Sanders and the fact that, as of the writing of this column that Donald Trump is leading the field on the Republican side

I have always enjoyed American presidential campaigns as an intriguing spectator sport. Our country’s brilliance and more often mediocrity play out on the big stage of endless media coverage. We are deep into what will turn out to be an 18-month endurance race. That speaks to the bottomless pit of 24-hour non-stop media. John Kennedy announced he was running for Presidency in 1960 – in January of 1960. I think the electorate will limp through election day in 2016 the way marathoners cross the finish line.

Why am I not really surprised about the Sanders and Trump phenomenon? Because of the responses I have been getting across America from audiences all across the country in the last year when I speak about the future.

In the middle of my presentation- always customized by audience- I have a slide that lists a number of economic, social and cultural trends into the future. About half way through 7-8 points on the slide, I put up the line: “Politics and Governments”. I then usually say something like “politics and governments are the greatest things holding back human evolution on the planet” Perhaps something only a futurist would say.

 About a year ago, particularly in larger audiences, I started to get spontaneous applause right after that line -consistently. So much so that I am now mildly surprised when I don’t get a response.   Often, the applause is accompanied by shouts or cheers. Literally people shouting “Yeah!” In other countries – Australia, Canada and Mexico recently- there is approving laughter and some applause. So this is not just an American reaction.

The obvious conclusion is that people are simply disgusted with the self-important posturing of politicians who are driven more by ego than passion and vision. {Sure, Trump has an ego, a big one, but he seems to be playing by his rules and not his party’s and that is why people are responsive to him]. At a time when Americans are concerned about the future of our country, and the future of the planet, to have to listen to the same old platitudes of family, freedom, morality and America’s greatness rings false and out of step with the national and global realities we see and live with everyday.

 For years I have been saying that, around the world, the people are leading the politicians. Innovation is a word and mode of thinking that while overused in the private sector seems absent in government. Do we look to Washington for new ideas and vision of the future, or do we look to Silicon Valley?

The fact that the political main stream media is breathlessly surprised by Sanders and Trump shows how much they exist in the bubble of Washington and traditional two-party thinking, using words such as liberal and conservative which have lost their meanings. The ‘traditional wisdom’ is just that, traditional, which means out of date.

 Sanders strikes people as someone who is “telling the truth” or “telling it like it is”. Trump supporters talk about how sick they are of “traditional politicians”. It is interesting that the “pundits” is that this has to be just a temporary situation and that neither of these candidates can win. That may or may not be the case, but it is the only way they can wrap their minds around the reality that something is going on but they don’t know what it is [thanks Bob!].

 I am often asked who I support for President. My answer has been consistent for years. I want someone to clearly and passionately state: “these are the 5 [or 7 or 10] most important things we must come together to accomplish by 2030 if we want to remain a great nation in this century”. Don’t talk to me about morality, last year’s legislative battles or use buzzwords that have become meaningless.

 We have a vision deficit in this country. Americans love our country yet are very concerned that it feels like our greatness may be coming to an end. Politicians worthy of becoming President need to understand that and step up. Give us a vision and then tell us exactly what we all need to come together to accomplish it and how we can.

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