November 13, 2016
Make A Trump Presidency Like Y2K
Conservative commentator David Frum has seemingly been as worried about a Trump presidency as any liberal. He tweeted something important a few days ago...
This idea reminds me of Y2K. For my younger Millennial friends out there who may be hazy on the details, a quick refresher. A quirk in programming made it possible that computer systems all over the world would glitch -- perhaps disastrously -- when the date switched to Jan 1, 2000.
After the ball dropped, the grid didn't go down and planes didn't drop from the sky. Phew. Many people said, in essence, "see, there was nothing to worry about." That was a deep misunderstanding of reality. Multinational companies and governments, with the help of thousands of programmers, had fixed the date tracking in computer systems globally.
While it's possible the fears were overblown, a huge reason nothing went wrong was that a lot of people worked really hard on it.
For those 60 million of us who are very concerned about Trump's world view, beliefs, and lack of qualifications for the world's hardest, most powerful job, we may end up surprised. What if racial and income inequality don't get worse, global action on climate change continues, US emissions drop, companies continue to buy lots of renewable energy, and many more positive things happen?
There are plenty of reasons it could happen. Perhaps the economy and markets continue to progress toward a low-carbon world (i.e., Trump can't stop the clean economy). Or, as so many of us hope -- and many Trump voters i've heard seem to believe -- his positions in the campaign were mostly bluster (let's skip over the logic that the best case scenario then is that he was lying constantly). Or a 70-year-old narcissist under incredible stress has a change of heart.
All of that is possible I suppose.
But even if we end up doing ok, it does not mean that, as Frum says, "the danger was imagined." No, it's far more likely that we citizens will save the day, again.