And so they did . . . Thank you for helping us focus on ways to correct a disastrous election within the constraints of the constitution. I certainly understand your position within the context of constitutional law. This does raise some very interesting issues. The Electoral College failed to do one, at least, of the things it was designed to do, that is prevent a demagogue from assuming power by manipulating the electorate . This happened because it was not the electorate but the system itself that was manipulated. This was the result of a long and conscious process that created the ability to circumvent the system. The fact that the intent was that of a political party and the result was due to the takeover of the party by a demagogue is irrelevant. It is very difficult for me to see this as anything other than the failure of the system. This is not a politically partisan question but a system question.
Within the context of your profession you must come to the acceptance, as you say of “your president”. The rule of law (and constitutions) is based on the suppression of disbelief in the immutability of the law. The metaphorical world of law is very old based on the ‘king’s laws etched in stone for all to see. Laws etched in stone are not easy to change and that is seen as a virtue. We are a long way from laws in stone and we have the means of changing the constitution but that is not far removed from re-chiseling the laws. It takes a lot of people a long time to try to do that which has very real benefits as fad and fashion change.
Allow me to suggest an alternative metaphor to what has happened. The election of Trump, not the first instance of this, resulted from a bug in the system. Using the digital world of the 21st century the process has produced an outcome that fails its checksum. We have bad data. To push the analogy, the bad data is still in a buffer waiting to be written to the production database but to keep this a little more real let’s assume that the database has been corrupted. So what do we do? We stop the system and determine the cause of the bad data. Here it gets interesting. We can identify the subsystem that caused the error. Is it a structural design problem? Can it be patched? Does it need redesign? Or do we really need that subsystem at all? What does it do and is that still relevant to the overall process?
In this case let’s assume that we don’t need the subsystem that caused the problems. Remove it from the production flow. Restore the database to the last good iteration and start the whole system update process again less the problem subsystem. We are now back in production with clean data and improved, more efficient process. This looks a lot simpler somehow. Something must be wrong. That’s not how things work . . .
The change is a change of metaphor, paradigm at a more fundamental level, that suddenly gives a new view of the world we are struggling with. Old problems that were unsolvable seem to solve themselves but there are new problems that are not all immediately apparent and must be learned. In reality the big problem is that we are still in old world metaphor so our actions are frozen. Yes, I’m being simplistic but I think if you look you will see that the difference is simply in how we see the systems that we are managing and the speed at which we manage them. The old metaphor served for thousands of years but we are rapidly becoming a digital and virtual, planetary civilization. Our systems must function at nearly the speed of light even if we don’t. And this change is the cause of all the problems. But they are not really problems but solutions, from the perspective of the new metaphor.
We need leadership now to break the old metaphor and begin the change to the new. Fixing this bug and clearing the bad data is the first step. But what about the people who voted for Trump? The change in metaphor and management is external to political content. The problem is a system and information management problem that needs to be solved for the benefit of all. This is, and I don’t say this lightly, a question of system survival or collapse.
I’ve been talking about this and the urgent need for fundamental change at the TheOtherLeft . . .