I think if we are look critically at the election of Donald Trump, we see that he won the election for the future of America by putting a stake in the ground to claim the past.
Which, again, if we are being critical about the factors in play: we realize plays out in a number of different ways.
Sure, it has emboldened some of the worst sorts of behavior in our society with the rise of open racism, jingoism, fraud throughout government, and an increase in overall anger and frustration with the shape of society.
We’ve probably been saved from a bit of the worst of his ideas and ambitions because of simple incompetence.
The thing is that after thinking over the Trump presidency for a few months and revisiting a lot of Peter Drucker’s work, especially, The End of Economic Man, we can see that Donald Trump might want to be pushing totalitarianism on the United States and a warped vision of America, but he is failing.
The reasons for this failure are many, but include the fact that he has hired extremely incompetent or corrupt people to fulfill his mission. And, if they aren’t entirely incompetent, they are so brazen in their abuse of their office and their power that they’ve been taken down or are in the process of being taken down.
The bigger reason that most of this administration has failed is due in large part to a lack of clarity around the future.
Most American presidents have won due to their ability to claim a vision for a brighter future.
Unfortunately, after the phrase “Make America Great” we don’t really see any kind of vision for the future. We only see ways to roll back what has already been done.
That lack of ability to claim a vision of progress and future is kneecapping the administration, along with the continued Russian investigation, the lack of coherent priorities, the lack of real policy ideas, and much more.
But the biggest threat to America actually isn’t Donald Trump, though he can do a lot of damage. The biggest threat to America is the idea that the only way to win the future is to roll back to the past.
Lately I have noticed a decided lack of innovation in the United States. This coming on a consistent effort to limit basic science funding.
You know the kind of thing that basic science funding does for our economy and our ability to innovate?
Here’s a short list of things that basic science funding has enabled us to have:
- Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
- the Internet
- Essential vaccines
I could go on and on and on.
The real challenge to America and the American way of life lies in this lack of innovation and this lack of focus on the future.
To go back to Peter Drucker, he talked about “the future that has already occurred.” This is a more important concept to keep in mind than ever before.
Because, for one, we can’t roll back what has already happened.
As an example, you see Scott Pruitt at the EPA trying to roll back all kinds of regulations on fossil fuels, but the reality is that renewable energy is already here and that there are tons of places that are already switching to more and more renewable energy because its more cost effective.
Another example is the way that Ticketmaster and Live Nation keep working to enforce their vision of how the live entertainment ecosystem should work. The truth is that the secondary market has already won. More people visit the secondary market sites than visit Ticketmaster.
This trend is only enhanced due to the fact that while the secondary does a lot more marketing for the events that they are selling than Ticketmaster does.
So trying to control and manipulate the market is already a lost battle because people don’t trust Ticketmaster and they have shown a willingness to just not go to events.
Final example, Coca-Cola doesn’t want to be a soft drink company any longer. Now they want to be a total beverage company.
The thing is, the battle of what we drink is over.
More and more the faulty research that said that fat was the enemy is being shuttled to its rightful place as a disproven hypothesis. So this means that more and more, sugar is now the enemy of people that are trying to be and maintain their health.
We’ve also seen more and more people are reluctant and less inclined to use plastic bottles due to the adverse impact that plastics can have on our bodies and the fact that they are destructive to the environment.
On and on and on, just trying to be a total beverage company is unlikely to work. Due to plastics, sugar, the fear of artificial sweeteners being as bad or worse for you, the list goes on.
Being “total” beverage isn’t likely to be a winning strategy.
Because the truth is that the future of beverages is already here. We are looking at beverages as luxuries, unless its water.
So just being total beverage isn’t going to shift that.
You’re going to have to compete for the future that is already in place, not just try to cling to the future that was.
That’s one of the biggest issues we are dealing with in America now, we are still clinging to tired, outdated measures of success.
Until we starting dealing with the future that is here and start pushing towards what’s next. We are going to continue to have a stagnant economy and a society that feels like it is limited.