Here’s one I’ll just cut to the chase and answer: yes, I think probably either Zuckerberg or equivalent (perhaps a politician with very Zuckerberg-type attributes) will eventually become president of the United States.
It’s the old “the pendulum swings one way, the pendulum swings the other way” gambit—the “next” president who America chooses will be the polar opposite of the current one. And maybe this will take 4 years or 8 years in the case of Zuckerberg…but by the 2020’s we are probably going to see a leader of the United States that at least “resembles” the Facebook magnate in terms of basic characteristics.
And what are those qualities of this future American leader? Probably:
- “Techie”/industrialist: understands well the future technology that will so dominate the 2020s and beyond. Will claim to be the person to take us into the Future.
- Combines Traditional Religion with Secular Humanism: claims a type of religious persuasion that neither offends the mainstream religious types or the more liberally-inclined progressives. Probably also more subtly incorporates other types of faiths in there as well.
- “Young”: radiates youth, is the human embodiment of The Future.
- Is the Absolute “Middle”: presents himself (probably a him) as the ultimate “middle of the road” guy.
Zuckerberg’s people have denied his recent tours of the U.S. and eyebrow-raising hires (such as the chief strategist of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign) are “political” in nature. But his recent actions, plus stuff like pushing the idea that he is no longer an atheist (something that was reported as far back as December of last year, but strangely came up again recently on Twitter), makes me wonder if he eventually has the White House in mind. (I don’t think there is a big chance in the near future that a person proclaiming to be an atheist can win over the majority of American voters for Prez…maybe further along in time, but not within the next 5-8 years.)
The other thing is…as social media and these online webs of influence become more and more crucial in terms of electing world leaders…Zuckerberg is the guy with literally his finger on the pulse of the collective internet zeitgeist. He is the head of Facebook. I would imagine he would have to sell FB or something if he was going to become leader of the U.S.—but with the types of precedents Trump is setting, I feel like things are just going to get fuzzier and fuzzier in that department.
Anyway, not speculating on any of this as a good or bad thing (we can do that down the line)—just speculating. As we feel so fully enmeshed and utterly engulfed in the current political news, it may be hard to try to think beyond that.
But again, it is important to keep this in mind—whatever the next big political “wave” for America becomes, it will probably be the opposite of what we have now. It’s the pendulum. And it’s going to have to involve somebody with at least solid knowledge of the types of technological changes we are going to face in the 2020’s—because we are going to face them. (Now, whether Zuckerberg is precisely the person to do this as President—rather than as a philanthropist in the Bill Gates mold—is up for debate.)
In the meantime, you can check out Zuckerberg’s 23 books “everyone should read” to get an idea of what is on his mind—I know I am.