Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, September 20, 2004

Republicans: Superhuman? Subhuman? You Decide

Michael Moore expresses the familiar exasperation:

"Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet."

Be clear, folks. Because Republicans in the Taliban branch currently ascendant under Bush are utterly uninterested in governing, and want only to prevail in the election contest so as to assume the positions of power from which one dispenses loot to one's friends and (powerful) supporters, they can afford to be ruthless and ruinous in their campaigning in ways that can never be available to Democrats if we are to remain Democrats.

Democrats still want to govern, after all. We still want to solve problems, still want to make a case to our fellow citizens. We can never beat the Republicans on their own turf. To fight on their turf is to lose everything that matters before we throw a punch.

Also, it is precisely because Republicans know themselves to be a minority in both their hostility to reasonable governance and in their repudiation of the secular multiculural globe-girding society which is the way we all live now in the world as it actually exists, that they fight with such relentlessness and machine-like discipline. However many institutional locations they control in America, Republicans of the Taliban branch currently in power know themselves to be a hopelessly embattled minority out of step with every social, cultural, and historical current. To give an inch is, for them, to give up the ghost altogether and for good.

Democrats should not confuse the New Immoderate Republican willingness to lie and cheat in unprecedented ways with some kind of superhuman intellect, as too many liberals seem prone to in the cases of the flabby-brained Rushes and Roves. Democrats should not begrudge Republicans the desperate alienation that mobilizes their passions and frights them into lockstep.

The Republicans aren't black magicians. They have no inexplicable powers at their disposal. They sit on big piles of money they stole in the long bad days that are dying all around us. They fight with the ferocity of an army at its last stand. Democrats are winning. Democrats will win. Democrats deserve to win, for we are righteous. We don't need the black magic, we don't need the robot armies. We are making a world here.


Paul said...

Nice post Dale, brought a smile to my face. Hey, were you at Bman this year? If not, maybe you should join us next year.

Paul Hughes

Tim Keller said...

There's one thing the Republicans have that we don't. They have a network that they've spent the last 30 years building. Think tanks, pundits, strategists, politicians, judges, lobbyists, team leaders, spin meisters, alternative media, etc., all working in tandem to create network effects that amplify their message. It just happens to turn out that we live in a world where networks are mathematically many times more powerful than anybody understood until recently.

The good news is, even though we're 30 years behind them in building our own networks, there's a fatal flaw in how theirs is put together compared to how ours will be: theirs is a top-down heirarchy, which is inefficient at moving information. For instance look at the Republican campaign volunteer system, set up on a model similar to Multi-Level Marketing schemes like Amway.

Ours on the other hand, has a bottom-up self-organized topology, which is much more efficient at moving information to where it needs to go. In the long run, our network will outperform theirs. It's a mathematical certainty. The only questions are how long it'll take & how much damage they'll do in the meantime.

If you want pointers to data backing up my assertions, come over to my blog