The American election ... 1 year after

2018-01-21 Personal Politics Thoughts

The dust has settled. All opinions have been voiced. All articles have been written. Not quite … here is another one :).

I am struggling with Donald Trump and his character and his personality and his opinions. A lot!

And what do to next depend first of all on, if you believe that there is a problem or not and what that problem is. It then comes down to what to do to fix the problem.

If you think that there is no problem, then you can stop reading now.

Still reading?

If you thing that Donald Trump is the problem, then you can stop reading now.

Still reading?

If you think that it is a problem, but it will solve itself in 3 years from now and that we will survive (somehow), then you can stop reading now.

Still reading? Yes?

I think there is a problem, but I do not think that Donald Trump is the problem. He is the result of a mood, a political culture and political process that produces candidates like him and allows them to get elected.

I think we will “survive” him, but I am still not happy with it. I am not happy with the way the president gets elected and I am not happy with the outcome. Question is: How would a better process, a better system look like (to produce better results; better candidates and better presidents)?

I think we need to overhaul the way we vote, but also need to think about how we vote. Not necessarily only in the US. As Barrack Obama was just pointing out we are running a risk that the people who are suppose to vote start to live in bubbles. These bubbles get created by the media and journalists that are after high volumes and high rates and not after informing and educating the readers or viewers (e.g. watching Fox News all day long will give you a different view of the world we live in and the planet we live on than listening to NPR). These bubbles get created by social media (Twitter and Facebook and …) that serve you content that you agree with (based on their bias analysis algorithms). The lack of discourse and divergent views will continue to polarize the electorate.

But the same technologies and practices that got us into trouble might also be able to get us out of it. For instance we might be able to create a platform like Stack-Exchange, where your reputation is based on the quality of your questions and the quality of your answers and the quality of your contributions in general. These “reputation-coins” can than be used to vote for the next president (on a block-chain; and the coins determine your voting power). You might also be able to give some of your coins (and your voting power) to somebody else you trust to make a good call on who should be the next president.

There are lots of problems with an approach like this (e.g. you need to make sure the coins do not get sold for money and you need to make sure that the reputation gets calculated based on what you say, but also on how well you listen to other views than your own (the voting power must be proportional to how inclusive and diverse and well-(in)formed your views are)) and I am not saying it is the best solution. What I am saying is that Donald Trump is not really the problem, but the system that produced him is.

Let’s find and build a better system.