Two to the right, two to the left, one to the right, one to the left…repeat.
Every 4 or 8 years we change directions and with that, we change the way we offend each other. For the next four years, the word LIBERAL will be used to downgrade a beaten opponent, after that, we will most likely go back, and we will make fun of our fellow sisters and brothers who we then will call CONSERVATIVE and we laugh at them the same way. Divided we seem to be. Two to the right, two to the left..repeat.
It’s the same thing over and over. We are being pushed into a drawer, sadly there are only two drawers available, and so we bite the bullet and jump right in -even if we often feel we don’t belong.
218 Million people here in the U.S. are eligible to vote
146 Million are registered to vote
What about the rest? What about the 72 Million people who don’t even bother to register or vote and the ones who are registered but didn’t vote in this election? “Oh, they don’t care,” that’s what we assume but I don’t think that’s necessarily the truth. Perhaps they are just tired of dancing to the left and to the right.
There are many who don’t belong, the so-called middle, the independent voter, the tired citizen. There are many -too many- who don’t’ feel engaged anymore.
Politics -left or right- is a business. Our electoral system is rigged, it’s rigged against third parties. I yearn for a third party, a drawer that would make me feel more comfortable.
I long for reality. Wouldn’t that be nice?
This world has changed, it has changed without asking for our permission. Many old certainties have faded. It just happened, and now many of us want the old world back. I understand. I wish there would be time machine where we all could go back in time -just a little bit. Maybe to the year 2000 when we all were so optimistic about the new millennium.
The optimism has faded away, and it left many of us with fear. The years 2015 and 2016 have been brutal; war and terror came too close. All of a sudden there were hundred thousands of refugees from Syria and Afghanistan asking for a new home. The European Union seems to be crumbling after the British Brexit vote and could quickly fall apart if anti-EU activists in the Netherlands and in France should win the election. The United States voted to go back in time and be great again, while at the same time Vladimir Putin in Russia is pulling his strings, mostly against Europe and he is looking for a new puppet.
Times are uncertain. Our usual order seems to crumble – politically, socially and economically.
- Prosperity has hardly increased at all.
- Productivity growth is nearly zero.
- The World Trade is stagnating.
- The boom in the new, emerging markets is over.
- The global debt is at a record high.
- Demographic crises are on the rise
Pessimism fosters cynicism and fear. Some politicians paint a picture of hopelessness, which promoted a radicalization that hinders a sensible debate. Other’s tried to sound upbeat and hopeful. Real problems are rarely being discussed -realistic solutions are hardly achievable. Two to the right…two to the left…repeat.
It is indeed time for a serious reality check? It’s time to accept that things have changed and maybe we have to adjust instead of fighting it? It’s time to accept each other and work on solutions that will work for all.
Take immigration for example and lets fast forward 14 years, to the year 2031, when I will retire -if retirement will still be an option.
I am a Baby Boomer child, there are 76 Million in the United States alone. 76 million children who were born between 1946 and 1964 and they will ask for their well-earned retirement. Right now we have around 40 Million retired people here in the United States, and we can hardly take care of them. They don’t just go away, they get older and older.
Perhaps it would be realistic to sit down and figure out the workforce we will need in 10-15 years to afford all that? Today there are just 2.9 workers per retiree -and this amount is expected to drop to two workers per retiree by 2030. Goodness, maybe we should start building a golden gate and invite immigrants into the United States instead of trying to deport them? Is it too realistic to say we need not just jobs but also the workforce?
Factory jobs will disappear more and more and the manufacturing jobs will not come back. The automatization will continue, technology will me more and more integrated into our everyday life. Robot voices will take our orders in fast food restaurants, and I will continue to check myself out in the grocery stores -or I will order online, and an Amazone or drone will deliver my products.
We need to focus on education. People without a college degree won’t stand a chance in the future. Knowledge and skills and the willingness to learn will be the key to future success. Right now our educational performance sucks. We are 14th in a list of 40 countries. Sorry, but that’s not good enough! Education has to be affordable and accessible to all.
A healthy sense of reality I would like that. I would like that a lot.
You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.