Elites Are An Endangered Species

Elites Are An Endangered Species
<small><em>Photo</em> by <a href="http://pixabay.com/en/users/johnhain" target="_blank">johnhain</a> (<a href="http://pixabay.com" target="_blank">Pixabay</a>)</small>

I’m glad to read that the halls of power in Europe are in an uproar over our election.

Their concern is not that Trump is now president. They are worried that elites everywhere—the people who “know” how the world should be run and expect the “little people” to stay in line—are an endangered species.

This gets back to the heart of what I’ve written about: the Protected versus the Unprotected.

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Employment patterns are shifting

It is up to the leadership of countries and communities to make sure that everyone is protected—equally. And to do so without burdening future generations with the task of paying for the solutions they come up with. The world is transforming around us. The old institutions are not up to the task of managing a world awash in massive and ever faster technological and social changes.

We went from a world where half of us worked on family farms to where less than 2% do today, but that took 8–10 generations. What are we going to do when the multiple millions who make their living in the transportation industry, whether in trucking or as taxi drivers, see their jobs evaporate in just half a generation?

This same employment paradigm shift is going to happen in dozens of industries, and seemingly all at once. At least that’s what it will feel like to the workers who are bounced from their jobs.

Trump is not an imperial majesty — yet

To everyone around the world who shudder at the thought of a Trump presidency, let me offer a simple bit of advice: Get a grip. Understand the system we have. We elected a president, not a king.

US presidential candidates have made campaign pledges for 200 years—on both the winning and losing sides. And their supporters and opponents have misinterpreted those pledges and overestimated what the incoming president could really do.

Presidents are actually quite limited in their range of powers.

We do not have an imperial presidency—yet. And I don’t think we will. We have a system of checks and balances. And while I don’t know Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan personally, I know a lot of the people around them.

They are not likely to fall over backwards at every idea thrown at them. They are jealous of the power and prerogatives of the legislative branch, as have been every Majority Leader and Speaker of the House since the Republic’s inception.

Plus, they have to herd a room full of cats that have their own ideas about how things should go. Presidents can lead, but they cannot dictate. The simple fact is that no matter what Trump would like to do, 90% of the things he proposes have to be approved by Congress.

We need leadership that understands the challenges to come

Further, look at the people he has appointed to run his transition team. Now, some of my liberal friends will shake their heads and say, “Exactly.” But these are not wild-eyed, trash-the-system conservatives.

They are thoughtful, and they recognize the importance and respect the majesty of a change of order in the Republic. And frankly, as I look at them, this is a new brand of conservative.

Oh, I admit that my friend Newt Gingrich, who is now vice-chair of the transition team, considers himself a Reagan Republican. And in some ways, maybe he is. But he’s also a conservative who wrote the book Breakout, about how we need to replace the “Prison guards of the past.”

As he argues, it’s not a battle between the left and the right but between the past and the future. Newt is not someone who wants to take us back to the good old days, and no one that I know on the transition team (and I know a few) does either.

They are looking to the future and understand the transformation and the challenge that is coming at us. Can I see a dark path ahead? Absolutely. Several of them. But can I see a better and more hopeful path? Certainly. The path will be chosen by us.

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