The 45th President of the USA thought that the threat of guns and violence would be enough to scare the Supreme Court, the Vice President, members of Congress and the Senate to review his claim that that the 2020 election was flawed. He miscalculated. Violence and the threat of violence is on its way out of society. His supporters might be angry. But they will need to wait for the next election to exercise their franchise. President Joe Biden can make them less angry by making economic opportunities happen outside the large corporations paying people minimum wage. The lack of which is the very reason that led to the rise of Donald Trump in the first place.
In the Information age, violence and injustice meets with swift public reprisal. Smartphones with in-built cameras and high-speed data networks make that possible. Power that came from the barrel of the gun is now well and truly blunt. Power now comes from a well-crafted message on Social Media and from the amount of money you command at your disposal.
The United States of America is the land of the Free. A country where every citizen, as well as legal visitors (like me) can live as they choose without fear. A mature legal and law enforcement system which is open to debate, discourse and challenge makes this possible. The swift takedown of Trump’s pyromania displayed on January 6th proved that. The swift reduction in support from his own base after the event double proved that. Violence has been trumped and we might have Donald J Trump’s attitude of being a sore loser to thank for bringing this into our consciousness. You might be powerful, you might be rich and you might feel that you want to be heard. But, if you incite violence, you are over. Full stop. Good riddance to bad leadership serving only self-interests. The information age prefers servant leadership. A leader who exists only to serve the people. Wannabe dictators can go fret and fume on their golf courses and pay people $20K per day to listen to them.
The elections of 2016 and 2020 have specifically shown the power that social media platforms wield. They now control the most refined forms of power – Knowledge and Money. Social media channels are playing two separate roles – one, serving as a means of private communications like the telephone companies and two, serving as a public broadcast system like Radio and TV. The first step would be to separate both and govern each of them under the same laws that govern telephone companies and TV Channels. The companies will resist saying that this will curb innovation, but I argue that this, in fact will create a whole new era of innovation and prosperity for all. Democratization of Digital requires these Digital Platforms be broken and a level playing field be created for Digital innovation. There are radio and TV channels in every city, why can’t there be social media channels which are also community focussed? President Biden has several major issues to deal with following the train wreck that was President Trump. I hope he can get to this soon enough so that the cancer of unregulated social media doesn’t get too far out of hand.
As the world gets ready to welcome President Joe Biden putting an end to the jarring presidency of the last 4 years, let’s all get ready to build a future of peace and prosperity based in the respect for Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. India and the USA both have the same worldview, and this is a partnership that exists beyond just government delegations and diplomacy. It exists in the hearts and minds of the people and the friendships that have been formed over the past several decades of travel and interaction between private citizens.
Congratulations, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
From India (a country that never meddles in other people’s business, especially their elections).
Anup Pai is CEO of esamudaay.com