institution fallout

It’s like working in a group - the lingering fear there’ll always be that one person who doesn’t contribute, and the impulse to just do it alone. We saw this with Brexit, now the US Election, and already there’s Calexit calling for Californian independence. (Side note: just realized auto-correct recognizes Brexit as a word and proper noun. Also for that matter, the Turkish coup attempt, Hong Kong calls for self-determination, and so forth.)

Distrust exists among us and some question whether the United States is united. Voters whose wish came true this election felt marginalized by the current government, and voters brought down by this election feel cynical and despairing.

Isolationism and nationalism got the better of us yesterday, but whichever side you’re on, it would be foolish if we were to then turn our backs on the institutions that previous generations fought so hard to build and preserve. They went to wars, formed the constitutional frameworks, and forged a coalition of nations to lay the foundations of our modern world. They had the wisdom to see that we were stronger together by fostering democracy and global trade, security, and health. These are the tools we have now.

My friends in statistics will tell you there are no guarantees in life, and risks can only be mitigated. It’s inevitable that there will be setback at times. When we work in a group, we know someone may piggyback off another’s efforts. When we form a trade pact, we understand that some nations may benefit more than others. And when we have an election, things can go different ways.

In each case, however, we try to create equality and are motivated by a greater cause. We check each others’ work and set deadlines, or we compromise to give each other fairer deals. And this election is no different, those who concede are paying the premiums now. But in the coming time, we can be more educated and find ways to bring symmetrical information. I’m excited for America’s future, because when you bring more people on your side by way of persuasion, it makes for a stronger case and a stronger people.

“Let’s realize that a change can only come / When we stand together as one” - We Are The World, Michael Jackson.

David Fung