Archive for July, 2022

Lesson 632 Gerrymandered Power

Not too long ago political parties developed idea-based platforms, ratified them at their conventions, and then competed to win elections.

Redistricting (often called gerrymandering) in each state allowed the dominant party to pass laws and rules which virtually guaranteed that the party in power could hold on to that power.

The Republican Party gradually moved from advancing conservative ideas to using redistricting and filibusters to hold on to the power they had gained.

Party politics became a power-playing game focused on controlling election districts to maintain power and win races.

Republicans in Washington focused on stopping Democrats from accomplishing anything while Democrats focused on advancing social programs and debating among themselves the best way to do that.

Democrats therefore ended up focusing more on infighting between progressives and moderates than on developing idea-based platforms they all could rally around.

The July 16 issue of the Economist abandoned it’s nonpartisan policy and argues that in the U.S. only Democrats can save democracy… but to do so they must get their members all on the same page.

The fact is… Gerrymandered power could end up destroying our democracy..

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Lesson 631 Will Putin Win?

It depends on how long NATO continues to support Ukraine and how long it will take for the social media generation in Russia to take charge.

  1. At first, Putin expected to defeat Ukraine in just a few days.

2. But he quickly learned that Ukraine citizens are willing to fight and die for their freedom.

3. Putin’s longtime dream has been to bring back the old Soviet Empire.

4. But he obviously has not understood how new media revolutions are changing everything.

5. Young people everywhere are thinking differently about the world and their role in it.

6. Russia’s future will ultimately be shaped by its Internet-savvy generation.

7. And there may even be a few in Putin’s inner circle that are already seeing this coming.

If NATO countries support Ukraine long enough for young Russians to take charge, Putin’s dream of restoring the empire will certainly fail.

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Lesson 630 Reinventing Globalization

The U.S. and its’ allies continue to share a belief in freedom and democracy, but differences are beginning to emerge on other critical issueseven those related to the future of Ukraine.

New York Times opinion writer Tom Friedman wrote sometime ago that the world is flat, suggesting that anyone with a laptop could now have global influence. Since then digital technology and the proliferation of social media platforms have created a world of misinformation and widespread confusion… a world that we now must reinvent.

In his new book, Ian Bremmer, founder and CEO of the Eurasia Group, describes how globalism should be reinvented. He lists three big issues that cannot be avoided by every country in the world, small and large:

1. Coming pandemics and other contagious diseases; these can be better managed worldwide simply from the lessons we have already learned.

2. The international ravages of climate change; dangerous extreme weather events producing physical damage will continue to get worse.

3. Endless technology disruptions; most especially artificial intelligence (AI) confusing what is real and what is not.

In addition to dealing with these big issues, Bremmer also sees dangerous conflicts developing between the two super powers: China and the U.S. He therefore suggests that the U.S. and China will only avoid eventual war by agreeing now to compete mostly on trade policies and activities.

Very strong institutions will be necessary to address these and other issues. The United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank must be strengthened, and some new ones will also no doubt be needed. The day when the U.S can lead the world is over. Institutions must take the place of relying on countries.

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