Thursday, March 06, 2008

Technologists With Obamamania

Declan McCullagh writes an article at C-Net on the topic "In a technological upset, Obama bests Clinton". Someone writes in that Obama has a grand plan of opening up the corrupt closed insider system in Washington DC to the people.

Sounds good. Answer these questions before we start spending the money:

  • How many hours of C-Span do you watch a week?

  • How many letters do you write to your Congressman?

  • When your local council has meetings, do you attend?

  • Do you read the local political news and review the published bills?

  • There is an abundance of information and opportunities. There are few users or takers. The US government is not a large closed conspiracy (Bush I and II being exceptional). It is a large bureaucratic form of representative democracy (say Republic).


    What Obama is saying sounds good, but that is it. Neither he nor those programs will change the culture or the goals of our government. Once elected, all those neat sounding ideas vanish into budgets and hearings and costs and taxes and finally into a low dull snore.

    Technologists like the sound because they can sell more technology and they can *feel* empowered but this won't change Washington in the least. Competent persistent knowledgeable executive leadership can. When you vote, you are not voting for machinery but a machine. Be very very sure the machine you are voting for has your best interests at heart because once in, they have the power for four years, and the agenda they set determines the cultural changes possible within the limits of that power (and the limits are considerable).

    The most telling aspect of Obamamania is that it sells hope but is driven by deep seated paranoia. That is why the shrillness in that camp when debating. It isn't that they are delusional but that they believe everyone else is stupid (citing the blue collar vote for Hillary Clinton). Technology cannot fix the government. In fact nothing can. The system we have is the one we passed legally, is in the Constitution, and is not in need of radical overhaul.

    It is in need of competent executive leadership.

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