New Thinking Part 1. These days, politics is one emotional appeal after another. The media refers to politicians like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as ‘populists’ but in fact they are demagogues; Using emotional appeals and often stimulating people’s long held prejudices and biases to gain support for their campaigns. In 2016 we’re going to see the ‘new rules’ of politics come into play with a vengeance. Most of the action will take place on the so called ‘small screen’ which means your television and especially your smart phones, social media, news websites where viewers watch a video, or part of a video and move on. A strange and symbiotic relationship between media, polling and politics have turned American politics into a freak show. Outrageous characters and weekly ripples in story lines mean more eyeballs. Media moguls and the candidates are laughing all the way to the bank, to the Capitol and the White House. Meanwhile increasingly angry voters become frustrated, losing faith in the outcome of elections, voting and the government itself. Moreover, the worst invective is often heard at meetings where the same politicians and charlatans troop through and tell people what they want to hear. It’s time for a reboot of American Political Thinking. It doesn’t start with politicians or personalities. It starts with individuals, communities, and values. It means researching and thinking about the concerns of your community, developing ideas about issues, talking about those issues, and creating effective political organization around those ideas, not the rhetoric of some pol who will forget about you and your concerns the minute he is elected. A new America is being created. A new way of thinking is being created, whether you want it or not. If we don’t change the way we think about politics, taking it back to the blocks and rebuilding it, we’re doomed to being controlled by personalities — demagogues — more interested in power than the people. I’m starting a new series of podcasts, which will bear the ‘New Thinking’ title. I’ll do them when the spirit moves me, or I encounter a person or situation I think will help build a new way to think, talk and DO politics in this country, because what we have right now, isn’t cutting it. Sponsored by Baklund R&D, Pride of Homes and Luke Team Real Estate.
Live From EAA. Road trip to Osh Kosh, for the Experimental Aircraft Association Air Show and Convention. Sunday night is set up night, providing an opportunity to review recent trips to Waukesha and Davenport to cover political events, and to talk a little about the difference between political events and shows like this one. Maybe it’s as simple as the differences between tribes; People who are in the political tribe after certain characteristics, and people in the aviation tribe have certain different characteristics. What started as an experimental and individual builder get together has turned into a technology, history, and aviation show with exhibitors big and small. In some ways it compares favorably to the big state fairs across the country this summer. Somehow talking about politics doesn’t feel as good as talking about planes, and technology, here in Eastern Wisconsin, at the peak of summer. Still, some points need to be made before we head off into the wild blue yonder. Again the point is made that television news in particular magnifies and amplifies events that used to be state by state almost private affairs; self selected delegates and caucus attendees ‘interviewing’ potential candidates, and figuring out who they might support when a state’s primary election or caucus is held. Now these affairs are conflated with news events on a national or international scale. Are they news? Is it news when Donald Trump says something silly in a meeting of a few hundred (at most), a third of which are national media? Is it news if Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are forced off a stage somewhere at a meeting of rag tag leftists? Maybe its statewide news, maybe its political news, but ‘go-to-live-coverage’ and ‘breaking news’. Not yet. The ideas that will drive 2016’s presidential election are still forming, so commenting on them, trying to define them, is almost pointless when you can hear the corn growing if you stand real still in a field in Wisconsin, or Iowa. Whether or not any of the score of declared candidates can rise to the level of being able to connect with people who aren’t political groupies remains to be seen. Meanwhile, there is a B-52 and a Ford Trimotor warming up on the runway, and that seems more interesting. Sponsored by X Government Cars.