“They think it’s all over, it is now”

* Kenneth Wolstenholme commentator Soccer World Final Cup 1966

Waking up to the news Donald Trump has won the Republican Party’s Indiana race for the Presidency does not surprise me as much as I thought it would as I believe it was a forgone conclusion. Reflecting on the result it reveals how society has changed and people will no longer accept the status quo especially when times are tough, they are demanding a different society. At the beginning commentators suggested he could never win the nomination.

As I write this Donald Trump has won the Indiana primary, Senator Ted Cruz has withdrawn from the race and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has also won.

Hysteria has always been a powerful emotion but in today’s world it has reached new levels, the introduction of further expression tools at our disposal  such as social and other media enables all to vent their views on a range of subjects regardless whether it is just based on opinion. It would appear that Mr. Trump is a master communicator and uses all these resources he can muster to get his message across and it is working. Given the level of support he is receiving we can assume that the level of hysteria which we are now witnessing is unstoppable.

It may seem strange that someone on the other side of the world should concern himself with matters in another country well my fear is that today what happens in the USA ultimately spreads across the sea to Australia.

Like the Americans (albeit on a smaller scale) there appears to be a growing level of anger, frustration by a whole cross section of our population which seems to be increasing; I doubt that in the upcoming general election either party can satisfy their expectations.

How can Australians avoid what appears to be happening in the USA and  minimalise the effects of such a phenomena, firstly we need to admit there is no magic bullet this is something that has been developing over a long period. A mixture of exceptional growth leading to an explosion of living standards for some whilst others have been marginalised with calls for a fairer society, the introduction of other external economic factors have contributed to the environment we have today. The plain truth being we are not meeting expectations and are not likely too in the short term.

I write this not as some idealist who thinks we can create a utopian society but one who is his work as a front line engagement specialist who interprets the mood of a wide cross section of people, being rather dark, pessimistic and uninspired about our prospects for the future.

As it has been said many times of late these are extraordinary times, as a nation can we separate the hysteria and rhetoric of which we seem to be embroiled and find a path which is in the best interests of all Australia’s, our current efforts appear to be inadequate. The jury is really out on that question

*The quotation refers to a World Cup Final soccer match in 1966 where fans prematurely invaded the pitch before the final whistle .England then scored and the referee blew his whistle to end the game.

Ken Wood

People & Engagement Specialist