If you haven’t had enough fun watching the Executive Branch of our government be taken over by a wealthy businessman with no government or military experience, then you’re in luck; another wealthy businessman with no government or military experience is running in 2020. That’s right-Mark Zuckerberg: the goofy, awfully dressed, eternally pubescent founder of Facebook, is definitely running for president. And unless you, yes you, do something now to stop him, there is no telling what will happen come November 2020.
So how do we even know he’s running? It’s only been a couple of months since the last election ended, and no candidates have officially announced their candidacy yet (well besides Kanye, at least). Thankfully, good old Mark has dropped a few hints as to what his plans are for 2020.
First, Facebook changed its corporate rules so that Zuckerberg could still own the company even if he left temporarily to go do something else that might require him to not be the owner of a company. Like you know, become a little league baseball coach or something.
At the beginning of this year, he pledged to go on a “Listening Tour,” during which he will meet and listen to people in all 50 states. Still, that’s not necessarily a political thing, I mean who wouldn’t want to go on a giant road trip across the country, all while making the populace think you care about them and will fight for their voices to be heard? Sounds like a blast to me.
Later on, he published a 5,700 word “Facebook Manifesto,” outlining his wish for all of humanity to come together in a “global community,” not just as nations. Still, not a sure indicator. I mean, Marx wrote a Manifesto and he never ran for president, all he did was revolutionize philosophy and sociology, change the entire course of human history, and arguably lead to the death of 100 million people.
The kicker came on January 10th, when Zuckerberg hired both David Plouffe and Ken Mehlman, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign manager, respectively.
Ok, so he’s definitely running for office. What does it mean? Well for starters, it means that the entire sphere of American politics is getting a makeover, for better or for worse. Traditionally, billionaires tended to influence politics from behind the scene, a la George Soros on the left and the Koch Brothers on the right. But now that Donald Trump has been able to convince voters that it’s “anti establishment” to vote directly for a billionaire instead of for politicians funded by billionaires, who knows what the future of politics looks like.
You may be wondering, “How bad could Zuckerberg be?” He’s earned the majority of his wealth, unlike our current president, he runs one of the most successful companies ever, and he seems to be nothing more than a moderate liberal.
The problem lies not with Zuckerberg himself, but with the precedent his presidency would set. A Zuckerberg presidency, especially when preceded by a trump presidency, shows the world that we don’t care about who’s in charge of the nation, that American politics should be treated like a soap opera. Maybe these things are already happening, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to make a change.
So how de we stop him? It starts with you.
First, get the word out. A couple major news organizations reported on his candidacy when all this started coming out, but the buzz has died down. Starting a public dialogue now will make it less of a big moment when he officially announces it, thus stealing a little bit of his thunder.
Second, shatter the echo chambers. A characterizing trend of the last election cycle was only discussing politics with people who already agree with you. Part of this was due to algorithms that Zuckerberg himself created. Tell your cranky conservative aunt about this, tell your Liberal yoga teacher about it, whoever. Don’t let the same mistakes happen again.
Third, make a difference. When things get really bad in specific communities, the members of those communities feel that the only way to get the help they need is through government, and elect a crazy outsider. This happened when lower class white people got ripped off by the downsides of free trade deals, and Trump was able to capitalize on this. It will happen again when one of the groups Trump’s policies have been targeting feel disenfranchised, and need an outsider of their own to shake things up. The truth is, politicians won’t help anyone, but you can. All you have to do is make a difference for the better in whatever community you are a part of. If enough people take matters into their own hands, maybe someday less people will turn to government as an answer to their problems.
The next election is four years away, and the American public already has a lot to do keeping their current president accountable. But if we start stopping Zuckerberg now, we can make sure that American Politics have a chance at restoring it’s seriousness.