Trump now looks more like a cardiac arrest. Not a bit of chest pain that inspires healthier living; a full out arrest with defibrillators, chest compression and, at best, a long slow recovery. Whatever Systems we had to prevent something like Trump, they didn’t work. We have a political never event; the worst of America contending for the presidency.
When the plane crashes, when the healthy patient dies, we do a root cause analysis. Usually half a dozen things went wrong all at once; multiple safeguards failed. Some of these we know about. We had the Great Recession. We had home and wealth loss concentrated in the non-college population. We had globalization. We had, have, will have the AI world eliminating jobs — especially for the non-college. We have a demographic transition form white protestant to a mix of peoples. We have rapid evolution of social mores and constant technology churn. We have the secularization of America, the end of a historic religious consensus. We have the collapse of the GOP’s historic coalition of the wealthy and the white working class.
Those are big things. But I think we needed something else to create Trump. We needed to eliminate reality.
In our era it started with right wing AM talk radio and Rupert Murdoch’s media empire — not least Fox News. Today it manifests as a torrent of consensual hallucination racing across Facebook. Most of America, especially the non-college, live in world of dreams with only a loose connection to reality. I didn’t see that coming.
How can we correct this? The economics are not good. It takes money to do run the New York Times, almost nothing to create a false news story. The New York Times costs $200 a year — only the elite can read it now. Breitbart is free — supported by AARP ads.
Making knowledge available only to the elite is not a great survival strategy.
- The Year Knowledge Died. Conservative source, via Clark Goble. 11/2016
- How Social Media Got Weaponized—War in the Digital Age - The Atlantic 10/2016
- Beyond Lying: Donald Trump’s Authoritarian Reality 11/2016