I’m old enough to remember when political parties rallied around principles. They won or lost on the quality of their ideas and how well those ideas resonated with the American people. Everyday we witness the abandonment of Big Ideas for Big Data.
With Big Data leadership takes a back seat to pandering, and principles are replaced by pragmatics. Political campaigns are reduced to donors and demographics. Since tomorrow is Independence Day, take a moment with me and reflect on how our Founding Fathers would have addressed grievances with mother England in the age of Big Data.
By any standard The Declaration of Independence was and remains a Big Idea. A disgruntled band of lawyers, merchants and farmers gathered together to defy the most powerful nation in the world, risking life and livelihood, for the principles of liberty, freedom and self-determination. In today’s Big Data environment proponents of this Declaration would be called “wackobirds.” Merchants would be pitted against the farmers who dumped their shipments in the Boston Harbor. Lawyers would weigh in on both sides. Jefferson’s masterpiece of freedom would never make it to the floor for debate!
Personally, I’m convinced that if I sponsored legislation approving the cure for cancer, Doctors and Undertakers would be pounding on my door complaining that I was about to put them out of business. Welcome to the world of Big Data politics, where “in God we trust” has been replaced by “abandon hope all ye who enter.”
Living is easier in a world where someone is always there to watch over your care, feeding and shelter, just ask any farm animal. Life is rosy, right up until dinner time! Have we really struggled 200+ years to preserve this Republic for an America where quality of life is determined by how high you rank in the targeted demographic food chain?
Running for office on slogans like “Yes We Can” ignore the obvious retort, “but should we?” Congress has realized its ruin by treating every aggrieved group like a frustrated parent to a temper tantrum throwing child in a checkout line. One more sugary treat will bring contentment. Turning to consultants they are told the answer is predicting which child will remain content the longest for the fewest treats, complete with graphs listing which candy makers will contribute the most for passage of the Willy Wonka Relief Act. In the Big Data world the child’s behavior molds the parent’s response.
King George called. He wants his Colonies back now. Happy Independence Day! Enjoy it While We Can!