Evidence of the profoundly polarized electorate could not be more clear: One presidential candidate won a narrow majority of the popular vote, the other presidential candidate prevailed in the Electoral College.
There is a pre-condition for polarization -- namely, social mood. Please read on. There's a lot to talk about, including legal cannabis and California secession.
Fifty years ago, he was a one-man counterculture defined by mood. Today he is no. 3 on Comedy Central's list of 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. He never stopped defying the government that disapproved of his words. Get the full story from Pop Trends, Price Culture.
Next week we'll have one less topic to talk about. Well, to be exact, we'll have moved from the "before" to the "after."
Point being, Yes -- we all want the election to be over. But the trend that drives what comes next (including how the public responds) depends on social mood.
Let’s get started.
It was a long time ago, but not so far away: A great historian's timeless essay defined an ugly black thread that is embedded in the fabric of U.S. history. "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" proved so insightful that it anticipated the tragi-farce spectacle known as the election of 2016, fifty-plus years ago. Hear it for yourself in this episode of Pop Trends, Price Culture.
If you were to randomly pick three stories from the "recent news" hat, you might come up with
1) Marijuana, 2) Barbie, 3) Cyber attacks.
They sure seem like random topics, right?
Well, these stories are our picks this week, but they were not chosen randomly -- each one includes a strong and observable element of collective human activity.
And that means mood.
Let's get started.
If you watched the three presidential debates, maybe you thought to yourself, "I wish I could ask a question." Robert Folsom sure did. And he knows what his question would have been. In this episode of Pop Trends, Price Culture he recreates what that exchange might have sounded like.
As we prepare this episode each week, we usually remind ourselves that you're under no obligation to listen to it. The pressure is on us to make it worth your time -- which is how it should be. To know that you can move on with a simple mouse click or screen tap makes us work harder.
So, thanks for your time. And please do read on for our unique perspective on the 2016 election, Wikileaks & authoritarianism, and the ever-braver new world in biology.
Let's get started.
If Pop Trends, Price Culture is still an active podcast during the NEXT presidential election cycle, we are definitely going to replay today's episode at the right time in the year 2020. Because what we say now will be even more true of the incumbent candidate then. Listen in, and you'll "get it" as we go…
"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over."
Well, almost over. That comment is from Gerald Ford on August 9, 1974, after he was sworn in as President upon the resignation of Richard Nixon.
At the risk of melodrama, I invoke that famous quote because Ford meant to capture the emotional toll on America that attended the ouster of a sitting president.
In 2016, we've suffered through a trauma simply to get a president elected.
In other news, please listen on to hear mood at work in Zika guidelines, the Battle for Mosul, and, of course, in various other themes from the 2016 election cycle.
Money. Politics. The media. Plus, subplots that include narcissism, greed, betrayal and sex scandals. Of course these issues lead today's news, yet this episode of Pop Trends, Price Culture offers hard evidence that this election cycle amounts to life imitating art from 75 years ago.
In less than a month, the "Not Him!!" vs. "Not Her!!" narrative will come to an end.
And soon after, one of the two major candidates will discover first-hand just how hard it is to head the Executive Branch of the federal government.
This week's stories do (so to speak) help anticipate which mood-driven events may be on the new president's horizon.
Just before he was re-elected to his third term as president, Franklin D. Roosevelt assured the public that America would not go to war. But go to war it did – complete with harsh anti-immigration laws, and tens of thousands of naturalized citizens in “relocation camps.” No, this isn’t a re-run of our previous episode. Different president, different war – but social mood was very much alike.
The 2016 election cycle has been very loud and long. So it's hard to imagine that there's a big "untold story" left to tell. Yet we believe we have one. Namely, that social mood has polarized the American electorate to levels unseen in almost 80 years of survey data. The two major political parties are being depopulated, even as self-identified "independents" are becoming basically a third pole in the polarization.
For the past 100 years, social mood has been pivotal in America’s decisions to go to war. This episode of Pop Trends, Price Culture shows just how true this was for World War I – despite then-president Woodrow Wilson’s promises to remain neutral.
We've often commented on how mood is the thread that connects otherwise unrelated stories. This week, however, our topics blend beautifully. As in, marijuana, group membership, and The Beatles.
Let's get started...
More than a half-dozen U.S. states have made it mandatory in elementary schools, and 40 more states may do likewise. Have you heard what's on the leading edge of instigating the "Return to Basics"? (hint: ink stains…)
Master political infighter. Student of human weakness. Bureaucrat supreme. Brilliant Machiavellian schemer. And, "American History's Greatest One-Man Barometer of Social Mood." Discover who this person was -- through a socionomic lens.
Driving your car is a solo activity. In truth, however, we're almost never truly alone when we drive…
… Because, we have to share the road with other drivers. Sometimes lots and lots of other drivers. Meaning, road travel is a collective activity with clearly observable patterns of collective behavior. Does this mean that some periods include patterns of safer driving? The evidence says, "Absolutely."
Read the evidence for yourself -- plus all about the role social mood plays in "Globalization," as well as the current reappearance of America's oldest political controversy.
Immigration policy has been an epic contradiction all thru U.S. history. America is “a nation of immigrants,” yet major political trends in American frequently include outbursts of anti-immigration sentiment.
Pop Trends, Price Culture offers a way to un-puzzle this issue – including recent-cases-in-point – via the clarity that comes with understanding social mood.
What is your "Unit of Allegiance"? Assuming you've considered the question, it would be easy to assume that our allegiances and loyalties expand as globalization grows. Yet, that assumption overlooks an equally powerful influence in what drives loyalty to begin with.
Listen on about the role of the same "influence" in making apologies, and in making adults act like kids.
Which "unusual" category had three books climb to Amazon's list of 10 best-selling books in 2015? Hint: The last time anything like this happened, John F. Kennedy was in the White House and Barbara Streisand had a weird, sappy hit about these very kind of books…
During the April 2013 Social Mood Conference, we knew going in that we had exceptional roster of expert speakers. Numerous PhDs, the Chief Scientist at a hot Silicon Valley startup, a tenured professor at Cambridge. Yet Marah Boyesen -- who teaches socionomics as part of a finance course in a private high school -- was the speaker who got our attention more than any other. The true story she told is unforgettable. This week, you can see and hear it for yourself.
It's easy to think that financial and social manias are fueled only by the unsophisticated and gullible crowd. Yet, please allow us to introduce you to the pseudoscience of Eugenics. That is the trend we discussed in our previous episode.
In the past few weeks the news has overflowed with stories about polarized politics, impotent politicians, and student debt. We've seen those stories too -- yet, we were talking about those issues long before they hit the "news cycle."
This is one person's story. An anecdote. So why tell it? Because, this story personifies a trend that was much, much larger. What trend is that? Listen in to part one of the two-part tale.