Trump’s appeal owes its strength to the change in technology that’s left millions behind

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tags: election 2016, Trump



A technological revolution killed the Whig Party in 1850. A new one is blasting the GOP into splinters in 2016.

Amazingly, none of the presidential candidates talk much about technology, yet our software-eats-the-world whirlwind drives everything that’s cleaving the country and throwing its politics into chaos. The parallels to the dynamics of the 1850s are a little scary. After all, the Whigs’ self-destruction was a prelude to the Civil War.

Like today, the technological revolution in the mid-1800s ushered in a disruptive new era of connectivity, and transportation technology was key. Before the 1800s, getting anywhere—or exchanging any information over distance—involved horses, mud roads or boats. Movement was so hard that almost all business in America stayed local and small, and much of it was centered on agriculture.




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