January 21, 2012

Whenever I tune into the political discourses surrounding the selection of the 2012 Republican presidential candidate for the 2012 election, I am reminded that this party and the media covering the battle are perhaps the single greatest example of a world refusing to accept that we are now in the SECOND decade of the 21st century.
In 2008, an election based on change and hope and preparation for the future was won by Obama. He won for the message; he won because he used tools from the 21st century to garner support and buy-in; and he won because more people than not were interested in preparing our country to first survive, and then excel in a world that was changing around us. The growing financial crisis and missteps of the early 2000s caused an economic collapse that shifted the emphasis in the short term, but it has not changed the need to reassess and reset how we think. Nor does it mean we can destroy the technological advances of the 20th century that replaced people with robots in factories and created a need for people educated in the ways of the digital age, not the industrial age.
And yet, instead of re-evaluating how to best “catch up”, the GOP seemingly dug in – back to their roots in the mid 19th century as an agrarian culture was slowing transitioning to an industrial age. The topics and comparisons and examples of how things should be done today continually drill down from a time beginning with FDR/Truman and moving to the glory years of Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan – reflective of a time 30-80 years ago.
COME ON PEOPLE!! What about life in 2012 has much similarity to life from 1950 to 1990?
Is there a single politician out there who has a plan for collaborative growth that will prepare us to continue our leadership role in the world? Is there a plan that recognizes the rest of the world is using those very technological advances and positions we are so proud of has created a NEW WORLD? Does anyone have a position on how to revise our educational system which was based on needs of an industrial age and flawed thinking about how the brain works and how one learns? Does anyone in that party understand that the world is progressing without us because others listen, reflect and collaborate with one another? Does anyone in that party even TRY to visual a world and a country driven by the exponential growth of technology and new understandings of how things work? And if so, does anyone even attempt a dialogue on what we need to do to prepare?
Over and over, I am amazed about this. As a borderline traditionalist/baby boomer, the only explanation I have for this phenomenon is that dwelling on the past and holding it up as our model wraps us in a euphoria of fond memories of our younger days – days that for some, were days when race and gender prejudice ruled, and religious issues raged…and that was all ok.
But for the good of the country, we can only hope that once the Repos select a candidate, the emphasis will move AWAY from the Good Old Days to what we as a people need to do to catch up with the 21st century, and the GRAND OLD PARTY will have a choice…RETHINK or RETREAT to your smoke-filled rooms of the past and let our country get on with what we need to do to prepare us all for the New World we are already immersed in!

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