Friday, December 5, 2008
With all the grim financial news on Wall Street, Detroit and pretty much all around the World, it's a good time to take inventory of what's broken, what needs fixing, what should get tossed ... and what is on the horizon.
The election of Barack Obama, beyond a historic event validating Americas commitment to it's stated social principals, is unprecedented in it's basis online. No previous election ever got as "grass roots" as this one, with an unlikely candidate with little previous national exposure rising to the top of the heap in a contending pack FULL of political savvy. To a significant extent, the Obama campaign's use of the Internet and social networking helped clinch both regional image-building and fundraising. The rest is History.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" ... but clearly some things are broke, including many Americans. The US public has helped bring this on itself in our political choices and general disinterest in critical issues. (It's much more fun to read up on Paris & Britney than politics & economics!) Our banking system has broken from deregulation and a lack of public oversight. By allowing banks, investment firms and insurance companies to compete for each others lunch, we unleashed a free-for-all and we now see the spectacle as these all belly up to a buffet trough of taxpayer cash. By fashion forwarding gas guzzling SUV's and 4x4s that never see dirt roads, we let US automakers think that alternative fuel vehicles are just PR window dressing for token appeal.
Enough already! Without a change in public mindset, there will be no real change. Even the most tragically-hip fashionistas and flag-draped uber-conservatives can smell something in the air that's not right. Beyond rhetoric, hopefully the news will get through that apathy is not cool, that political intelligence is not about snooping on election rivals and that changing the future starts in the present.
The world looks to America for some important exports. Ideas, entertainment and technology to name a few. In an age when America cannot compete effectively for low cost human manufacturing, innovation and creativity holds our greatest promise. Technology and creativity combined will prove Americas greatest WMP (Weapons of Mass Production). Look around ... on every front you can find promising solutions to specific problems from business management to engineering to social interaction. Our aspirations and concerns are reflected in media and music, our energy and commitment is found across the Web ... sometimes hard to find ... but there.
Congratulations Mr. Obama ... we wish you well and support the intelligent course you seem to be setting. Please ignore the political insiders and vested interests who will invariably push their programs at you. If you can tap into the roots of American intelligence and social commitment as well as you did our political discontent, we have a lot to look forward to.