One Nation Gripped by Fear of Change
The U.S. Election on November 8th resulted in an almost 50-50 split between Americans who voted (I don’t know which side the 90+ million eligible voters who didn’t vote would prefer since they didn’t care enough to participate in the election).
The divide has some interesting demographics:
- country v. city
- educated v. uneducated
- men v. women
- whites v. everyone else
- old v. young
In looking at the polling data, I finally decided the biggest divide was between those who long for the good old days (which never really existed) and those who long for a future filled with innovation. One side wants to cling to old energy technologies while the other wants to push for new technologies. One side wants to return to a day when brown people and gay people knew their place while the other side wants to embrace an ever-widening diversity of people. One side wants a neo-theocracy while the other side wants secular government. One side wants isolationism while the other side wants globalism.
The dichotomies are striking. Although the popular vote narrowly gave a nod to the future-looking side, the U.S. electoral system gave the nod to the Luddites.
I’m reminded that many were resistant to the automobile when it first arrived on American roads, yet today we are swamped with cars on the roads, on the car sales lots, and in the junkyards. When Americans finally decide to embrace change, they go all in. The 21st century is a time of change: changes in industry, in economics, in social relations. Although the Luddites prevailed in 2016 via a quirk in the U.S. Constitution, the change will continue. It always does.