You Say Complacent – I Say Complicit

Complicit. Complacent.

Complacent. Complicit.

Let’s call the whole thing off.

…. but it isn’t that simple.

If you could change the world, would you?  Are you ready to be a Hero?

Oh, we can beat them, forever and ever

Then we could be heroes just for one day

~David Bowie


If you don’t care what happens to you, your children and your grandchildren, your family, significant other or your dog – stop reading now. Seriously, swipe left. If you do care, read on. Twelve weeks tomorrow the dust will have settled. The results will be in and the next two years of what happens in America and by definition the world will have been decided. I’m talking about the US midterms, and, if you are an American Citizen, you will have contributed to that decision. Right? You will have voted. Right? To be absolutely clear, this is not a political rant. Au contraire. This is just a simple reminder for you to exercise your hard-won civil right – and vote. That’s it. Why does it matter? It’s only the US midterms, right? Wrong.

Why the midterms are so important.

Whichever ‘side’ you are on, (me? I am on the side of America), you do really need to vote, because the threat to America and the world is not a political threat, it is a physical threat.

Make no bones about it, this is the most significant election there has been in American Politics for a long time, if ever. Existential even? And that is not inflated rhetoric from yours truly. Far wiser, brighter, and more knowledgeable people than I have been saying this both on the left and right of the political spectrum. Whichever ‘side’ you are on, (me? I am on the side of America), you do really need to vote, because the threat to America and the world is not a political threat, it is a physical threat. An existential threat. A threat that could well result in a declaration of war on democracy.

“One of the fundamental principles of the United States Constitution, the law of the land, is the balance and separation of power among the three branches of the Government: the Legislative, or law-making branch that is the U.S. Congress, the Executive branch which is headed by the President, and the Judiciary, which interprets the law at every level and settles legal disputes regarding the meaning and the application of the law.

The distribution of power among the three branches is meant to ensure that no one branch of the government is able to gain a disproportionate amount of power over the other two.”

~ The Balance of Power

So quite why everybody seems to ignore the midterms is lost on me. No, we are not voting for a president, but we are voting for everything else. It is absolutely a moment in time that allows ‘we the people’ to put our hands on the tiller and adjust the direction of the country if we feel it needs it.

Complacency is not an option…

In twelve weeks we have the opportunity to vote for people that we feel will be the best people to either hold the course set over the past two years. Or change it, we will be voting to decide who controls the ‘Senate’ and the ‘House’. Two powerful bodies who are meant to be working as a balance to absolute presidential power.

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

 ~John F. Kennedy

Do not be complacent. You might look at poll numbers and learn that Donald J Trump is not only the least popular president ever, but that his approval rating is ‘only’ 37 %, 38%, 39% … it varies depending on the day of the week, the poll, who was asked and who is reporting. And, on seeing that, you assume that’s ok, it will all work out, no need to get involved. Wrong. Here is a little-known fact …

The highest approval rating that Hitler ever achieved in Germany was 37%. That’s right, at peak, Hitler’s approval rating was less than Trump’s is today, yet Hitler still assumed the position of Chancellor in 1933 and served as Germany’s leader until 1945. TWELVE YEARS in power with a popularity rating in Germany that never went above 37%.

If you want to know how he did it, I can highly recommend this podcast. (1)

My one-word takeaway of how it was done? ‘Enablement’. Specifically, a small group of people who surrounded him and ensured that his crazy and wacky ideas were carried through.

It would be sad if this wonderful country goes the same way. A country that so many people have given their lives for, who have fought in wars across the globe to maintain freedoms. How sad it would be if all of that is destroyed because millions of people sit on the sidewalk and do nothing because they don’t care. Or worse – they choose to abstain – because they think their vote does not count or declare ‘I couldn’t get behind any candidates, so I didn’t bother.’ Cop Out. Vote. We don’t live in a perfect world, and there is a lot that needs to be changed about our political system, but that change doesn’t happen by not being engaged. Vote.

Any and all of these actions allow a small group of enablers to take over. Because if you do nothing … then you don’t care. Do you? Complacent = Complicit. By non-action, you are consenting and complicit in the future to come.

Midterm Voting History …

Sadly, based on history, there is a 50/50 chance at best that as an eligible voter you will actually exercise your constitutional right and vote. Here’s the thing …. if the House and The Senate remain under Republican control, the American people, (or at least those that voted), will have basically said that they are good with how it is all working out for them and kept the Senate and House under Republican control – or not. Do you want that to be decided by a minority of the country?

Today if you get caught up in the 24-hour news cycle, you could be forgiven for thinking that we in America are all so fired up that come election day, we will all be down at the voting stations doing our civic duty. Not so fast. The sad thing is that by not voting, as an Englishman with a Green Card, I have more in common with most American citizens than you might expect.



John Philpin
John Philpin
JOHN'S career spans 30 years, 2 continents, and organizations as diverse as Oracle, Citibank and GE. A Mathematics graduate, John moved to California in 1990. He helps technology companies create, develop and deliver their story for fund raising, market development and influencer programs. He also works with businesses to ensure they understand, and are ready, for the ever accelerating changes that technology is bringing to their industry. John is a co-founder of Expert Alumni and gleXnet and long before futurists and industry watchers were writing about the impending challenges that industries were going to be facing, they predicted a perfect storm of issues like skills gap, declining work forces, the gig economy, people trained to do work no longer needed, demographic shifts, economic and social change, market upheaval and rapidly changing ways of doing work. From the beginning they have promoted the idea that massive change was coming to how organizations should think about their workforce, with a singular focus on simplifying the interface between people and their work. Understanding the challenges ahead of the curve, the solution was built to arrive at a better understanding of the greatest restraint to business operations - competence, not capital. gleXnet provides unparalleled insights into an organizations people and operations by flipping the problem from the perspective of people, not the business.

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