“Fuck Trump”

Yo Robert, I get it. I hate the guy too. His attitude, his policies, they way he handles the press. But it might be time to hold elected officials to the standards you set for the attendees of the Tony Awards, or better yet change voters’ minds.

As progressives we need to preach an American message that appeals to the public beyond the (let’s be honest) saturated echo-chamber of social media and comedy programs. To be clear, I LOVE The OppositionLast Week Tonight, and the occasional Rachel Maddow Show, but we need to switch it up.

The issues that Americans care about are economic, education, and safety; while social issues tend to take a back seat. Weirdly enough, our Twitter debates tend to take a different approach. To begin I’d like to acknowledge that there is a cost associated with education, education for a medical degree, an electrician’s license, and complex socio-economic issues. Some Americans still grow up, myself included, operating within a paradigm where the amount of genders is as constant as the number of fingers. That the family unit of male female and child is as old as time itself, and that equality of opportunity means there is not a system of privilege, because they themselves experience hardships. If we merely stop there it is understandable that many Americans make mistakes when misusing pronouns, are hesitant to relationships that have been deemed “other”, and shy away from admitting they are given a leg up even though they are not the 1%. Let’s just start there.

To convince the American public that a progressive future is the right one, we need to appeal to their sense of history, culture, and pride. We need to preach messages that capitalism and global trade teach us, such as a rising tide lifts all ships. On that same token, we need to show how a healthy and responsible relationship with other nations are a benefit to this generation and those to come. We need to condemn corporate welfare in many forms to show that we stand for a fair and balanced (thanks for ruining that one, Bill) view of innovation and economic mobility. And we need to be inclusive. Look to Queer Eye for inspiration. They do not change peoples minds through attacks, name calling, or twitter rants, they change peoples’ minds through understanding and compassion.

The next time that your friend from high school posts a video about “destroying liberal snowflakes” treat him or her like any ole’ bully. Look past the language and understand where it comes from. Maybe they’re tired of being yelled at for things they don’t understand. Maybe they’re scared about the social fallout that questioning the status quo might cause in their friend group. Or maybe they’re just an asshole. But try and see where they’re coming from.

Very few people are like Tomi Lahren and Sean Hannity, but many are like Shepard Smith. Don’t conflate the two, but rather attempt to find common ground with the Smiths. Discuss how supporting unions give workers an edge when they are treated unfairly by their bosses. Discuss tariffs and trade wars in the context of how those initiatives harm U.S. businesses, and even discuss a mutual friend’s hardship and why policies should be put in place to protect them.

I love love LOVE throwing easy punches on Twitter as much as the next guy, but saying “Fuck Trump” doesn’t change anything. If anything it solidifies support and isolates voters who feel ignored, insulted, and lesser-than because of the constant berate on social media.

New Ones are Silver…

…But Old Ones Are Gold. Over my 4 years in college I can say that I have stayed close to 3 of my high school friends. When I look back to senior year of high school I remember having maybe 10 additional close friends who I would feel comfortable hanging out with, and now as a 21-year-old, grab a drink with…but no more.

As I move to Chicago I have carefree access to my 3 roommates and co-workers, but I’m scared my college friends will suffer the same fate as the high school ones. Therefore, I’m making a pledge to try (sorry Yoda). To try to reach out at least once a month, keep the bonds strong, and make sure that my years in Bloomington are not lost to time.

You Wouldn’t Download a Car?

…but you might subscribe to one. Volvo recently introduced their new XC40  a mid-sized SUV with one special feature, you can subscribe to its usage. Subscription services have been at the forefront of recent consumer technology advancements and I believe that it will do the same for the automotive industry. To make a true subscription service Volvo has made three key distinctions in their offering when compared to leases:

  1. Insurance – included in the flat monthly fee
  2. Upgradability – after a year on contract you can upgrade your current model
  3. Convince and Service – one fee through one servicer

We have seen the subscription format revolutionized key industries before it. In the music industry, record sales turned into streams, as consumers we were essentially locked into a lifetime of membership to maintain access to our curated collections. When it came to movies and TV we look to both Netflix and Hulu who have destroyed traditional TV, TiVo, Blockbuster, and I would argue RedBox. Not only did this disrupt industries, but it increased the presence Rokus, Smart TVs, and various internet-connected devices into the home. Finally, when it came to cellphones, subscriptions have led to a faster adoption of AR and VR technology through higher performance phones that can function accessories like Google CardboardSamsung Gear VR, and apps like Pokemon Go.

Volvo looks to be the first auto company (others have attempted, but at unreasonable price points) to bring the subscription model to the average customer. Whether you buy or lease a car there is a whirlwind of confusing fees and alternatives that make the whole purchase a confusing ordeal. Volvo solves this problem by combining the insurance, repair fees, and usage fee into a simple $600-a-month fee.

Just as subscriptions evolved their various industries I see the automotive subscription model to serve as a driving (no pun intended) force behind the adoption electric cars. Instead of being attached to a car for 5-7 years subscribers will have the opportunity to upgrade every year and put these emerging technologies to the test. This constant upgrade cycle combined with the only additional cost being fuel (petroleum or otherwise) will motivate drivers and manufacturers to minimize that cost and move toward electric. It may take years, but Volvo is paving the way for automobile usage in the United States and I look forward to see the outcome.