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Posted by on Nov 4, 2008 in At TMV, Politics | 2 comments

A Shift from a Push to a Pull Society

I suggest that the two best commentaries about this Election Day have come from David Brooks at The New York Times and Richard Cohen of The Washington Post.

They are so effective, and so intriguing, because they look backward to see forward. And they look backward far enough – 45 years – to require us to challenge our assumptions as we try to see forward 45 years. This is a trick I learned how to do trying to see the future of media. From here, looking back 45 years at the media of 1963, and comparing it with the media of today, when I turn around and try to see 45 years forward, I am hit with the same enormity of distance and change that I had just felt looking at 1963. If I had not been there, I might not believe how primitive was media at the time of the Kennedy assassination. How primitive will 2008 media appear, to the citizens of 2053?

Cohen says Barack Obama, popularly described as a transformational figure, is in fact a confirmational figure, whose candidacy and probable election confirms Lyndon Johnson’s work in the early 1960s that resulted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. So great is the change from that day to this that it took us 45 years, traveling one day at a time. Today, if we take Obama as a halfway point, and try to see forward from here, what will American liberty look like in 2053? The youth of today, such a new force in this election, will be in their 60s. What will they think, looking back at a 2008 America so quaint that Barack Obama’s election made history?

David Brooks says today “is not only a pivot, but a confluence of pivots.” He calls today the end of an economic era, a political era, and a generational era: “Generationally, it marks the end of baby boomer supremacy, which began in 1968.” Trying to see forward, what will be the synergistic opportunities for three eras, coming to life as one, midwifed by a leader whose watchword is inclusion? As the new, young, green generations assume leadership supremacy, where will the new economic and political eras be steered? What will they look like, by 2053? Will there be fossil fuels? Will there be parties?

My wife has a way of putting her finger on a thing. This morning she said we may never see another presidential election with four white males on the ticket. After 2008, women won’t be pushing their way into politics anymore. They will be pulled. We are shifting from a push to a pull society. I think that may be the most telling pivot point, as we set out on the first day toward 2053. For so long, so many vital issues have had to push their way into consideration. Starting today, they will be pulled.

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