Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Thursday, June 20, 2013
This Doesn't Even Rise to the Level of "Nuanced," This Is Ground-Level Obviousness
And yet, let me say it again: Liking something the President did is not the same as endorsing everything the President does, just as recognizing one political party is incomparably better than another in more ways than you can count is not the same as saying that political party does everything right or represents your ideals or is even particularly good, really. Logically speaking, one determines a public good and weighs evidence to recommend the policy which accomplishes that good in the best most sustainable way for the greatest number at the least cost, but politically speaking one accomplishes policy outcomes in a scrum of diverse stakeholders with unequal interest, knowledge, and influence through only notionally functional and accountable civic institutions. Ethically speaking, the lesser of two evils is still evil, but when the difference between them makes a difference it is that difference that matters politically speaking. Voter enthusiasm among Democrats and "Independents" (mostly the voting is a lot like belching set) is plummeting at an ominous but all too familiar pace approaching the mid-term elections when Republicans threaten to gain the Senate (I still think they won't manage the feat, but the threat is very real and would probably yield a genuine Constitutional crisis) and consolidate their position in the House (which means nothing but anti-abortion and racism and gun-love and Obamacare repeals and witch trials and ruinous austerity measures till the next Presidential election). If you don't care about those outcomes then your politics completely suck and so do you, even if I agree with you about ideal policy outcomes on the merits. It doesn't matter that you are smart on the merits if you are stupid about the politics -- unless, perhaps, you happen to be an enormously influential intellectual who can compensate short-term uselessness with longer-term benefits. Just to be clear, that's not you (and certainly it's not me).