social or generational change?

images-1It is hard not to be fascinated with the group of people running for President right now.  I don’t want to start a political debate as everyone has their own political leanings so let’s not go there.  Yet one has to wonder what happened over the past decade  to get us to the point where we are watching mostly GOP candidates that are staunchly right wing conservative who are stirring up fear and anger and quite frankly are not that  impressive.  The party seems to be adrift with no agenda except for making sure their peers on the other side of the table never get anything accomplished or doing anything to make their large donors happy.

On the other side we have a candidate espousing old school liberal values.  The Democrats have Debbie Wasserman Schultz (of the DNC) who said in an article this past weekend that she sees complacency among this generation of young women whose lives have been lived after Roe V Wade.  Really?  She is obviously not hanging out with the young women I know.  She also added that we should not legalize mind altering substances such as marijuana because the rise of heroin addiction. Where is her data coming from?  She represents the Democratic party?

I am trying to be thoughtful on both sides of the stage; Republican and Democratic.  I have been a liberal Democrat since I came out of the womb but I look at the playing field of the candidates (there is only one who has the experience and intellect to win the prize) and it is disturbing because part of our system is to discuss, watch and listen to candidates about their policies and why they are the best person for the job.  There is no real intellectual debate happening on one side which is scary and the money just keeps pouring in thanks to the Supreme Court.  The other side is actually quite civilized waiting to see who is the victor to deal with the winner of the right but that is about to change.

Are we seeing the last bits of a generation trying to hold on to something that no longer exists?  Is it the social change of having the first black President (who is more plugged into what is happening in society than any President we have ever seen) ?  Is it the social change with more states legalizing marijuana and the legalization of gay marriage?  Is it the shift in the urbanization of America?  Is it the fear and anger of gentrification (or we could call it revitalization)?  Is it from the amount of wealth that was created by Wall Street separating the haves and have-nots with a bigger divide?  Is it the use of technology where we can all see the reality of how we police certain communities of people?  Is it just fear of change and the desire to hold on to a world that no longer exists?

I could go on and on but there are issues on every side here.  It reminds me of the end of winter right before spring comes.  There is always a few more days that winter comes back before spring takes over.  It is the last gasps of cold.  I am hoping that this election is the last gasps of hanging on to past because of the fear and reality of social and generational change

I have a secret.  Change always wins

Comments (Archived):

  1. Kirsten Lambertsen

    “There is always a few more days that winter comes back before spring takes over.” Great way of putting it. I’m with you on this one. I think we’re seeing the last gasps of the old order. Exciting times ahead (and not without some growing pains).And I’m stealing this one: “Change always wins.”History rarely treats defenders of the status quo kindly. It’s amazing to see how many people still have not learned that.

    1. Gotham Gal

      it is truly amazing.

      1. pointsnfigures

        depends on which status quo you are talking about. Agree with it comes to civil rights, gay marriage. Disagree when it comes to individual liberty; America started with a status quo of individual liberty and we need to rediscover it, big time.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          I think that’s fair, and maybe “status quo” isn’t the way to phrase it.

        2. Matt Kruza

          Yep, very astute points as always. individual liberty and lower (ish) taxes will win in america. The alternative is Europe. Obviously not a hell hole like communism etc, but its hard to argue europe’s prospects look better offer the next 50 years than the US. The one valid populist gripe is the share finance / wall street takes / screws over the little man with. That will be key which party can affectively taken that on WITHOUT abridging individual lliberty and raising taxes. Ironically, Trump is probably the most anti-wall street republican of the last 30 years? The only I am aware (of the majors) who says do away with carried interest, that has said hedge funds are often problems etc. He has some good immigration points, but goes way too far with rhetoric. But just interesting that he is actually very moderate even liberal / populist on non-immigration.

          1. pointsnfigures

            I started blogging because I was extremely upset about the structure of financial markets. I knew them from the inside out. Wall St was certainly a villain in 2008, but so was K Street. Without Fannie and Freddie, the house of cards doesn’t get built. Dodd-Frank didn’t really reform either.

          2. Matt Kruza

            Yeah i don’t disagree on fannie and freddie, or removing glass steagall. I mean ultimately the problem is finance is supposed to support “real” business, but there is such an incentive to use it to drive the economy to speculate. Both private actors and then the govt. which supports or bails out those private actors can lead to this. Not an easy issue to fix. You need for private investors in banks and other financial vehicles to really think hard about insolvency risk. I would favor ANY bond / preferred stock in a bank with FDIC protection has a term that any govt. money can only come in after at least 25% cramdown. We can debate if that should be a little higher or lower, but endless financial speculation (via debt) pretty much has caused every speculative bubble in history. Could talk about this for a long time with you! We share a similar financial markets interest

  2. awaldstein

    Change it the natural state.You look at older people and you think, they are resistant to change.That’s the fail of judging people by appearances.Been spending a lot of time with my mom and talk about the changes in the world, in society, in everything that she has embraced since being born on Rivington Street in 1919.

  3. pointsnfigures

    We disagree on the road to get there (politics) but we probably agree on a lot of the outcomes. If you examine what a lot of the Republican candidates are saying, and how it would have to be enacted into policy, I think the ideas are a lot more groundbreaking than the ones coming from the left. But, what’s fascinating about Republicans is the establishment wing of the party has lost its footing badly. They haven’t done it because of Democrats-but because they have shot themselves in the foot. This has allowed people like Trump to fill the vacuum.On the left, you have Hillary who has clearly used her office to line her pocket, and has broken trust with much of the electorate in the same way the establishment Republicans have. (Establishment Republicans line their own pockets too!) This has given rise to Bernie Sanders who is a socialist more than he is a Democrat.Where are the Scoop Jackson Democrats? Where are the Goldwater/Reagan type Republicans?My views don’t fit in either party anymore. But, they are closer to the Republican view of smaller limited government than the Democratic view of extremely large bureaucratic government.Will be a very interesting election and I don’t think pollsters truly know what is happening on the ground.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I agree that pollsters really do not know what is happening…

  4. LizScott

    During the last election I remember hearing someone say that Romney would win because voters want to vote for someone “who looks like them”. I may look more like Romney than Obama demographically, but a family that has two working parents, two kids, and an honest toss up between who is more competent, business wise, the wife or the husband … that looks a whole more like me and my peers than the “traditional” american family.Unrelated:I never thought I’d think nice thoughts about the RNC or DNC, but then I look at Trump, who needs none of that money. Huh. I guess that is what our politicians would look like if only the self funded could afford to run.

    1. Gotham Gal

      That’s what my peers look like too.

  5. ET

    A key change over the past couple of decades is that the US is a far more socioeconomically segregated society than ever before. Data shows that you are far less likely today to work with, live near, socialize with (even in the virtual world) people who are different from you in wealth, educational background, race — and oh yes, cultural values and political worldview. While we are more diverse than ever when looking at the entire nation, within our country we are highly divided — most notably for your concern about campaign politics — geographically into regions or communities within which highly uniform perceptions and views are held and enforced by social pressure.This phenomenon means that one needs to be cautious about testing the political reality of what most Americans believe based on the people you know. To be sure, there will be some diversity of values and views among your colleagues and friends — but research also shows that people generally suppress any “minority” views rather than risk being ostracized socially.Re campaigns, this means that most candidates have very strong support for their apparently extreme positions from the parts of the nation with similar values. In fact, they increasingly need to have more extreme positions to survive in the political process status quo. (As pointsnfigures notes, moderates who can work across the aisle have virtually disappeared from Congress.) So the outlandish behavior we see may be dysfunctional for the country, but it is all too “rational” for individuals running for office.

    1. Gotham Gal

      which is why the way we finance campaigns needs to change

      1. ET

        Understood. That could help — we’ll have to see if there is any way to get major legislation and whether it would survive a constitutional challenge at the current Supreme Court. It would also help if we can make any progress at bridging our polarized worlds so people in one half of our nation aren’t constantly seeking to defeat the other half.

  6. jtsvino

    “Observe always that everything is the result of a change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and to make new ones like them. “Marcus Aurelius (120-180), Meditations, Book IVCame across this in my quotations trove. I would add, “and make new ones that no one has ever seen before”.And then, there is is the other observation that we significantly OVERESTIMATE how much things can/have change(d) in a year, and UNDERESTIMATE how much things will/have change(d) in ten years.

    1. Gotham Gal

      totally agree with you on the underestimation and overestimation.