The Party’s Over. Time for Adults in the Room to Take Charge

In the 1990s I lived and worked in Dallas, Texas. I was product manager for the world leading software development tool for corporate systems and part of a large, high performing team. Looking back, it was clear most of the technical team members were college educated, highly experienced and white.  The average age of technical staff was probably 40 – 50. Of course, it was the era of the American engineer, professionals who led the world, not just in software and hardware, but also many other fields such as aeronautics, space, manufacturing etc.

In the 2010s I consulted to one of the world leading health corporations based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was as different as you can imagine. Again, it was a large team, and most of the technical team members were very highly educated and widely experienced but with very diverse racial backgrounds, particularly Asian. This dramatic change in the makeup of leading-edge high-tech teams took place over a 25 year period. Corporations went to great lengths to acquire the highest skills, knowing full well that the difference between average and upper quartile skills sets was huge.

I spent a lot of time in Philadelphia and usually stayed in a smallish suite hotel for weeks at a time. I recall I got to know the night manager quite well. I would wander down to reception late at night, perhaps to drop off laundry or pick up coffee, and we would shoot the breeze. I guess he was late 20s, college educated, well informed and articulate.  It was early 2016 when we had the conversation about politics, and he admitted he would be voting for Donald Trump. He told me that this Night Manager job was all he could hope for. That many of his friends were in similar positions – competing with temporary or permanent immigrants who frankly had better education, better experience and were lower cost hires for corporations. He had low expectations of a stellar career. In his view Donald Trump was an implementation of chaos theory – an opportunity to overthrow the vested interests, to move the country out of the rut it was clearly in.

My night manager friend was clear, it was an incredible risk because by nature Trump is unpredictable. But he said that many, many people were so unhappy that any change had to be good. I argued that Trump is basically a member of the New York elite. He will look after large corporations. But the response was, there’s no alternative. He and his friends viewed Hilary Clinton as entirely corrupt and no different to the Republicans.

Fast forward five years and I would love to go back and have that conversation over again. But I think I know now what I would hear. Trump has clearly created this image where he exists in a reality TV world. If he says something it will happen. This was so clear today when he said, “stop counting the votes”, without any concept of how impossible this would be to effect. But he has created a movement that believes everything he says.  If he says, “I have created 2,000,000 new jobs, or I have brought back manufacturing or coal mining”, the members of his movement are so part of his reality TV world, they don’t push back. It’s analogous to religion where followers unquestioningly believe the message.

At the time of writing the election is looking set to go to Biden; there will be court challenges, but we can all see that Trump and his family are losing it. Will the Supreme Court come to the rescue – highly unlikely because there is no legal or constitutional issue that will materially affect the outcome. No one expects Trump to go quietly into the night, but hopefully he will recede into irrelevance as the GOP realise, he and his family are a monumental strategic mistake for the Republican Party. They don’t need to be part of anyone else’s soap opera!

We can only hope that the Democrats under Biden will be able to address some of the fundamental problems facing the USA. If I were advising I would suggest the top three priorities (after the Coronavirus) are education, education, education.  

About davidsprott

Artist, writer, veteran IT professional
This entry was posted in Biden, Democracy, Education, Politics, Trump. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Party’s Over. Time for Adults in the Room to Take Charge

  1. STAN PLESKUNAS says:

    David,

    I strongly disagree with your assessment of the Trump supporter being ‘part of his reality TV world’. I am an ardent supporter of the accomplishments that have resulted under Donald Trump’s administration including record low unemployment rates among minorities, wage increases, stock market advances, increases in manufacturing, peace in the Middle East, etc. In addition, as a Trump supporter I am pro-Life, pro-1st Amendment, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-police, and pro-legal immigration. I certainly don’t agree with how the President presents himself nor the statements he makes but I support him for the accomplishments that this administration has brought along with the policies that they advocate as stated above.

    Additionally, I hope and pray that this movement doesn’t ‘recede into irrelevance’ in the event that Joe Biden is declared the winner of the Presidential election. The Trump administration is/was a wake-up call for the GOP to continue to embrace a more diverse and inclusive group as a significant part of its base by advocating for policies to advance their opportunities including significant funding of traditional black colleges and universities, criminal justice reforms, and the establishment of opportunity zones.

    As a resident of Ireland, you haven’t been presented with the daily hatred, lies, and bias expressed by the mainstream media and social media against Donald Trump and his administration for the last 4 years. A few of the more notable lies included Russian election collusion, Charlottesville, Va ‘very fine people’ statement, and the Coronavirus being a ‘Democratic hoax’, etc. The goal to impeach the President was announced by an ‘unbiased journalist’ of the MSM literally 30 minutes after it was announced that Donald Trump would be the 45th President of the United States.

    I do agree with you that after Coronavirus, education, education, and education should be the priority. The priority to educate the United States citizens about the socialist goals that the radical Democratic party openly advocates for including Black reparations, a Green New Deal, free College, open borders, dismantling of the nuclear family, etc.

    I hope all continues to be well with you David.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s