It would be easy to see the recent election as a rebuke of Obama, Democrats, Health Care, Big Government, etc. There is no doubt a good argument to be made for all of those points. But I see it differently. I see a trend that has less to do with policy and more to do with our use of technology.
During the last 15 years we have seen a stunning advance in technology. But our bodies are not as easily upgradable as software or hardware. Moore's Law doesn't apply to human beings.
We now have an impatient, ADD electorate. A nation needing Ritalin in its water.
I believe what happened in 2006, 2008 and now in 2010 has more to do with our need to change the channel than to change the country. We get bored. We want a new shiny object. Right now that shiny object is the Tea Party. In 2008 it was Obama. In 2006 it was Anyone But Bush. But our collective need for political change surfing undermines any real change.
Some would argue that gridlock is a good thing. I believe gridlock will create a second rate country unable to compete with the agile one party governments we see in China and Russia.America is no longer willing to have hard, meaningful conversations. We don't have the attention span. Our use of technology has ruined our ability to focus. That concerns me more than wars, deficits or any hot topic of the day.
We are losing the ability to think clearly and objectively. We no longer have those quiet spaces in our lives to think.What's the solution? I don't know. There probably isn't one since we lack the discipline to impose any real change on our behavior. "I've seen the enemy and it's us."
Most likely our ADD fueled by the mis-use of technology will only result in more change surfing in 2012 and beyond. In the end we will surf our way into the history books. Another great empire that couldn't handle its own success.