In the tech-loving city of San Francisco, startups like LimeBike, Spin, and Bird have unleashed an electric scooter plague upon the streets. The sidewalks are littered with them, and people can use and drop them at will. The plague has come with both a reduction in traffic congestion and an increase in the number of old people yelling at kids to get off the sidewalks.
Donald Trump has constantly been under the media’s lens for his involvement in a plethora of controversial incidents. These incidents, which include the firing of James Comey for leading an FBI investigations against Trump, endorsing police brutality, and outright racism have caused a series of deep and powerful shockwaves throughout the American political landscape.
The scooter incident and the POTUS share a strange similarity — disruption. For those who aren’t up to date with the semi-recent tech scene, the concept of “disruption” has been hovering around it like a golden snitch, with tech companies itching to grasp it and put it to use. At its core, disruption means to challenge the status quo. It’s all the rage because entrepreneurs and visionaries believe it shakes up the foundations of how we assume things work, leading to groundbreaking innovations. Prime examples would be CRISPR, meatless meat, and voice-based assistants like Amazon Alexa.
As Trump has disrupted American politics, he has been unable to avoid a certain trend that follows disruption: the revealing of paradoxes in ideology. Although the electric scooters in San Francisco have reduced traffic and eased daily commute, they have also caused high-stress situations for pedestrians. In a similar vein, the people of America have begun to fully realize what the harsh realities of being American are: mass racism, terrible education, problematic gun laws, and a volatile economy. On the flip side, Americans now have to deal with a man who calls immigrants “animals,” and can’t keep his past affair with a pornstar a secret, among other things, as their leader.
While disruption makes it is easy to identify the pros and cons of a new perspective on the standard, it really accomplishes its goal by allowing thoughts and hotfixes to build like Lego blocks on what works and overturn what does not. It’s easy to criticize Trump for being a terrible president, but it’s also easy to ignore the trail of potential left behind in such a man’s wake, like a leprechaun dropping gold coins from his pocket as he prances over the rainbow towards his pot of gold.
Weeks after the release of the electric scooters in SFO, the city has voted to regulate the use of the electric scooters, requiring the startups to responsibly file for permits before continuing operation. They have begun building on what works. Now that Trump has finished a year in office, it’s high time Americans look carefully at the root socio-cultural problems that have become conspicuous and start approaching them with new paradigms, veracity, and diligence.