Latest Musings (January 2017)

OK, this post may rub people the wrong way, but my goal for this blog has always been away of thinking out loud.  My thoughts are just that, my thoughts.

We have just witnessed a huge, tremendous, historic election and inauguration. Well, it wasn’t huge in turn out, with a lot of people sitting out the election.  In my opinion people sat out for one of three reasons:

  1. Frustration with the selection of candidates.  I was not a major supporter of Hillary Clinton, and I never understood the visceral hatred that she engendered with a whole swath of the electorate.  I was a fan President Bill Clinton, I even had the opportunity to see him twice… once when he was running for President in 1992 (got to shake his hands) and once a few years ago in North Carolina.  He oversaw an impressive era of growth and transition.  But he wasn’t running. I was never a fan of Donald Trump, to me he represents the worst of worst.  In my opinion, his public persona on his reality TV show is the epitome of the entitled CEO.  He ran a campaign appealing to the base hatred of the masses, racism, sexism, isolationism, and nationalism. All things, I believe, have driven horrible behavior in people since the dawn of time.
  2. Systematic gerrymandering of state election practices.  Both parties republicans and democrates have practiced this over the years, but the republicans have perfected this over the last two decades.  When we look at the results of the popular vote and the electoral college vote, there is a disconnect between what the people want and what they got.  I don’t believe we should only look at the popular vote, as this impacts minority and underrepresented voters, in the election of their representatives in congress, but this gerrymandering was set up to play to the extremes of both parties.  And now we see the results.
  3. Focusing on personalities instead of policies.  When the majority of the republican primary was driven by attacks and bullying by Donald Trump against the other candidates, “lying Ted”, etc.  This same behavior was passsd into the election with “Crooked Hillary”, which caused people to not engage.  The focus on email servers, which were proven multiple times to not be different behavior than the prior two Secretaries of State, seem to me to force people to focus on playing into the personality discussion instead of the policies.  On the Trump side, he once again played to fear, uncertainty and doubt instead of detailed policies.  I am wondering if in the next two years, we see a major backlash to the outcomes of the policies that follow.

Since the election is over, we now are seeing major backlash from the progressive supporters.  I expect given the systematic gerrymandering and playing to the extremes of both parties, we would have seen similar backlash on the far conservative right too.  

I went to Journalism School and have long been frustrated that cable news has gone from news to opinion.  My belief is that this “business” focus of news has been the cause of the loss of respect that the news has gotten.  It is why I don’t call it “the media”.  The media includes entertainment, the news is about facts.  Dan Rather has been doing a great set of blog posts on Facebook for the last year.  Reminds me of Walter Cronkite.  I enjoy NPR and the BBC. Both of which provide long form news stories and in depth analysis.  The Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC’s of the world to me are more entertinament then they are news.  I hope what we are seeing with the total lack of respect for the “forth estate” on holding our government accountable doesn’t cause even more people to bow out of the election.  If it does, I am afraid we will see more “Donald Trumps” in government.  Years ago we saw the rise of the MBA President (treating government as business) which I believe is a big mistake.  I’d hate to see what comes next with our current trajectory.