I realize that I’ve shelved my news bias measurement project for years. Still, I remain keenly interested in how people develop their political opinions, and what it all means.
The early interest in Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Carly Fiorina, although quite different in their presentations and positions, may have one common thread. People are simply fed up with politics as usual, and politicians who reek of that particular scent.
Having been in high-tech for almost 30 years, I came out of the business school mold of “Blue Suit/White Shirt/Red Tie.” I wore the accepted uniform, and talked the corresponding talk. Then, in (seemingly) one day, these guys from Silicon Valley with torn jeans, worn sandals, dirty T-shirts and genuinely greasy hair — armed with the unshakeable foresight of a 27-year-old zillionaire—- were kickin’ my starched butt. Instantaneously, I represented the old school “in-the-box” plodding way of getting technology to market. The Valley Boys were immediately acknowledged as more creative. Just LOOK at them. Of course they were.
I feel for ya’, Jeb. Hillary. I really do.
I could not compete with the new crowd at first. The Silicon Soothsayers were unbounded by the rules of the businesses as I knew them, particularly in my markets. Surely, they had demonstrated raging success in other areas. Of this I could not argue. But eventually, the hopes they inspired were tempered by the realities of the marketplace. The end result was a slower-yet- significant change that the new wizards instigated, if not led to completion.
Net-net, it was pretty good stuff.
So maybe we don’t elect Carly, Bernie, or even “The Donald.” But my hope is that all of the Presidential candidates go-to-school on them and truly absorb the underlying meaning in the message. I’m not sure politicians, PACs, or even the Koch Brothers can carpet-bomb advertise their way around this phenomenon. In fact, this may be the backlash for all such lavish spending to maintain what is in the end barely the status quo.