Photo Credit: istock From time to time in this column, I predict that the United States is entering an era of great political disruption, a bottom-up revolution on the scale of what upended the music, television, movie, media, and retail industries. Fueled by the radical connectivity of the Internet, abrupt new actors in those fields dismantled the status quo, shifted power downward, and created an explosion of options for consumers.
Consider what just one change wrought. You can now choose any musician’s song from any album, download it instantly and from virtually anywhere on earth for less than the price of a candy bar, and store it on a device with thousands of other tracks from just as many different singers. That’s power.
I ask you, how long until Americans recognized they’re no less equipped to disrupt politics and government? How soon before we stop settling for an inferior product in Washington and at statehouses? When do we demand more and better from the Democratic and Republican parties—or create new political organizations that usurp the old?
I don’t know the answers. I do believe it’s a matter of when, not if. Because, while we may be a presidential cycle or two away from the Great Disruption, you can already spot green shoots of populism emerging from an otherwise bleak midterm landscape.
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