The timeline was only about ~20-30 years out. It takes place mostly NYC and has a huge emphasis on the influence of the media, guns, and race relations in the US.
One of the protagonists hosts a radio show and has significant influence. A major driver of the plot is this guy's daily broadcast that focuses on gossip. Another protagonist is a performer with some superhuman ability to connect with people emotionally. The final protag is a soldier of some kind that turns out to be an AI housed in a man's body.
South Africa is a huge political influence on what happens in the States. It seems like this was written in the apartheid era because race is at the forefront. Other major players are the mental health institution (who planned on literally institutionalizing everyone) and an megacorp that makes weapons, tech, and sells arms (from guns up to Ironman-esque power suits) door to door. There is even a section where riot control and suppressing the poor with violence is described as a casual civic duty like jury duty.
I really have no idea how popular this book was/is or when it was published. There was a common pattern of Dr. Seuss naming where common things became "widgets" and "gidgets" that made it a more difficult read than it had to be. So far I've had no luck with searches or other forums. Overall it was very enjoyable and I'd recommend it if you guys happen to find out the title.