Like or dislike him, agree with his politics, or find them disgusting, you really should give Barack Obama a break. I do.
In many respects, he is the victim of the era, and frankly, he may be the first in a long line of “incompetent” and flailing American Presidents. This is not to dismiss or exculpate his role in many of the national boondoggles he’s inflicted upon the American people, but much of his ill fortune is directly or indirectly steered by the fact he is the first President to hold office in the wake of the modern technological age of rapidly accelerating self-destruction of modern society’s antiquated economic cycles and the master Consumer/Producer template.
We are embarking on a new paradigm of commerce and civilization that will see old economic models overturned. At the root of this rapid evolution are the advancement of technologies in the last 20-50 years. We are experiencing a chronic and persistent “unemployment” level that is no longer simply a “condition” that will alleviate itself according to historical periods of low employment, but instead appears to be a permanent state of societal disrepair that will only right itself once a new paradigm is absorbed and erected across the span of human existence.
I call this the era of “D&A.” Digitization and Automation.
Simply stated, the technologies that have sprung up in recent decades span an entirety of the two concepts implicated in D&A. Technology’s growth is exponential, not linear. From 1950-1990, the rate of technological growth was quite unlike that which we have seen since 1990, and very unlike that we’ve seen since 2005. This is the innate nature of exponential growth, and this is why technical evolution has outpaced our human capability to adapt, and why old archaic models of social structure and collective cultural design can not keep up with the nuts and bolts scientific progression that draws us forward. This includes the most conspicuous symptoms of high unemployment levels and the shifting delineations of class divisions (especially as embodied in the polarizing of the lower and upper classes with the concomitant dwindling of the middle).
This is why the myopic vision of most people is an unforgiving and relentless barbarian when it comes to doling out blame and interpretation of cause and effect, and why today’s (and tomorrow’s) POTUS will have a very bad time. The President will be left to soothe the myopia of the American populace which seeks solace in equally outdated ideological models of Conservative/Liberal and will argue from within this left/right context while failing to consider the larger chasms that are forming as a result of a society that is not yet prepared to collectively embrace the new D&A model.
The chasms of an old social system and a vibrant advancing technological architecture will be brutal and unforgiving to those empowered with convincing the American people that the chasm is really just a 4- or 8-year blip that can be solved by the prattling of Beltway politicians and countless government committees buried beneath layers of bureaucratic busywork.
The change is here, and the current Presidential crops, having originated during eras that pre-dated the D&A Era, will naturally resort to the outdated models (the only ones they know) that are no longer relevant. And will be entrusted with the unenviable task of answering to an electorate that is befuddled and ignorant of the collective maelstrom that is killing the American dream.
A President set up to fail.
We need a visionary President who has the balls to charge forth and build the new temples of 21st Century D&A society and whatever new social structures that may entail.