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A Futurist's Perspective on Election 2016


by Rebecca Ryan, Author, Economist, and Futurist and Alliance Resident Futurist

The 2016 election results have had a day to set it.

What do you think?

Here's what I think:

This is one election. Perhaps a historic one. There will be another one in two years (midterms) & a whole lot more that can happen at a local and state level. My birth mom would suggest not to "awfulize". The human mind is conditioned to go to the worst possible future. Resist the urge. Keep faith. Keep perspective. 

A woman can be president. Tell your daughters. Overall, when a woman runs for office she is as likely as a man to win.

We need to raise our game. Americans have had it really good for a long time but the world/politicians/no one owes us anything. We can whine about free trade or we can out-hustle the competition. We can worry about the future or we can build ambitious plans. Let's be grateful for our past, and let's get serious about our future.

Both major parties need a gut check. Republicans knew this in 2012 and again when Trump became the nominee, and Democrats should've heard it from Bernie's supporters. These parties are getting the message that they're out of touch.

Change is scary, and many Americans are afraid. *Middle class Americans have been losing ground since the 1970s. *White Americans don't know what to make of becoming an ethnic minority. *Young Latinos and African Americans are finding their voice. America is changing. The last wave of demographic change of this magnitude was in the late 1800s. People feel unmoored, and that leads to all kinds of ugly. Feel afraid if you must, but resist the urge to go ugly.

I moved to Minnesota right after Jessie Ventura was elected governor. Jessie Ventura was a professional wrestler. People who voted for him admitted that they never thought he'd win, but they wanted to send a message. Today, Minnesota has one of the most robust economies in the midwest. So, sometimes things get very weird for awhile. But it doesn't last.

Try not to demonize. Not all Trump supporters condone his behavior. Half of Americans are not hateful. Let's stay away from broad, negative characterizations of groups of people. It doesn't help (and it will make the holidays awful.)

I'm looking forward to seeing what the Republicans will do in the next two years. They've been stonewalling for so long, I'm anxious to see what they can accomplish and how they're going to get along with their new leader.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the next generation will do. I've already heard from young leaders that are now planning to run for office. When you wake up a sleeping beast—like a whole generation of new voters who've grown up in multiracial schools—you get a youth movement similar to the Baby Boomers in the 60s.

Finally, national politics are a lagging indicator of progress. Parents of gay children were attending their weddings long before the Supreme Court said it was legal. Kickstarter and crowdfunding were a thing long before Congress passed the JOBS act. What we're seeing at the national level this morning is a decades-old manifestation of latent frustration and systems that are creaking under their own slowness.

This is not the end of us. It's the beginning of something that's still unfolding.

Keep faith, warriors.

This article was republished with permission from Rebecca Ryan. Visit her website to learn more. 

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