Thank You Mr. Trump
As someone who is somewhat apolitical and completely turned off by the current political climate, I believe we owe Mr. Trump a thank you. He has singlehandedly brought many issues to the surface that are otherwise lost in the noise of hourly news cycles and always on social media streams.
The echo chambers of social feeds, the filter bubbles of algorithms have turned our society numb to the undercurrents that fuel the anger Mr. Trump has brought to the surface. His Narrative is undermining and bedeviling. His scorched earth tactics are unbecoming to our values and mores as American citizens. And as global citizens. Yet, we witness a fractured America who is mad and frustrated with the new normal.
A year ago we conducted a new concept — called a book swarm — that brought together a collective of 50 individuals to define the subject of Narrative in the 21st Century. We were curious to discuss and debate what Narrative is about and how it can shape societies. The group genius in the room uncovered that Narratives are literally one of the most powerful mechanisms we have in our quiver as a society.
Mr. Trump has chosen a Narrative path that taps into the anger of Americans who feel slighted, wronged and underwater in the chaotic sea changes brought about by technological changes. There are obvious signs of “anti-vote” for the establishment that no longer serves its constituents. That no longer hears the pain and anguish that impacts everyday life. Or the struggle to stay above water. Or the lack of hope that exists among the masses.
When observed from a global context. These are ingredients for a movement. A desire to find a quest that one can adopt and make their own. A beacon for hope that change will come and turn the tables of the current morass of one’s livelihood or lack thereof.
Narratives thrive when conflict and counter arguments serve to perpetuate the through line of the original intender. The responder either adds to that Narrative and or initiates a new one — that begins the next cycle. In this case, Mr. Trump has initiated a Narrative that is so significant and so bifurcating, that we are now moved to disgust and anger vs. damn straight, the system is rigged and we need to blow it up.
Over the course of history, this cycle has repeated itself. The seminal book Cluetrain Manifesto, written by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger in 2000 and the precursor Future Shock written by Alvin Toffler in 1970 both served notice that the pace of change and its impact would cause widening cracks between the haves and the have nots.
Here we are — 2016. The Narrative for change is upon us. The callous nature of this Presidential campaign has opened wounds from the dark side across all walks. It is time to address the most critical currency we all thirst for and that Mr. Trump as brought to light through his Narrative course of action.
That currency is called hope. If we map the world through an imaginary index called the “hope line”, we will certainly find a collection of followers that have hope vs. those without hope. And, that in the end, is what drives us all. Without hope and the belief that goes with that, you have the makings of a movement and we are seeing that play out across the globe and across our country.
So, thank you Mr. Trump for bringing this to our collective attention. May we be strengthened by the desire to initiate and perpetuate a new Narrative based on hope.