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November 3, 2008

Hope hurts

From Martin Varsavsky:

On November 5th Americans will discover that the world did not hate them. That they just hated Bush.

(Knocking wood.) And (knocking entire old-growth forests) maybe we’ll discover that we don’t have to hate ourselves. May the war between the Red and the Blue begin to end.

It will not be a love-in. In particular, the culture warriors on the left will discover that they didn’t elect a tribal leader. They elected (feverish wood-knocking) a person with liberal values who will continue to repudiate the touchstone liberal issues precisely as touchstones, just as he has done throughout this campaign: Drill, baby, drill, if you can find places where drilling truly wouldn’t hurt the environment. Merit pay for teachers, baby, so long as all teachers are paid respectful wages. Obama’s hope is that we can get past the kneejerk positions that are used to test the loyalty of the faithful, that is, that are used to drive our country apart.

It’s not compromising, in which each side grudgingly gives up a little. It’s certainly not triangulating, by which cowards flee to the least dangerous position. It’s called listening — finding what’s best in what’s being said. It is the only way we heal. It’s what Obama has been about throughout his life.

So, get ready for some hope. It’s going to sting at first.

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September 8, 2008

Canadian election gets down and redolent of loam

The tag line at the Canadian Conservative Party’s Web site, attacking the liberal candidate Stéphane Dion — as you know, the PM just called for an election — seems oddly 19th century:

“Canada cannot afford risky experiments at a time of uncertainty”

It’s as if Obama were to say, “My opponent’s steadiness of purpose is challenged by recent announcements seemingly at odds with this character,” or if McCain were to say, “To what end shall our nation proceed if driven by hands untested by trial?”

The Conservative site does feature “MyCampaign,” a “virtual campaign office,” that lets you write letters to editors, recruit friends, call talk radio, and engage in other acts of personal broadcasting. As far as I can see, there’s no actual social networking available.


The Liberal party site does some Ajax-y launch-on-hover things, and has a prominent link to Facebook where Dion has 12,000 supporters. The page was updated on Dec. 14, June 19, and Aug. 19. The Liberal’s YouTube page leads with a video of a slow clap for nature, posted two months ago.

The NDP’s Facebook page has 13,000 supporters and a campaign video uploaded yesterday, although the updates have been about monthly. And the NDP has been twittering. Well, to be exact, they’ve tweeted three times, but once was six minutes ago. They have 169 followers, but are following 151, creating an amazing following-to-follower relationship that they can only hope will not be sustainable in the long run.

(And, yes, although I’m being snarky about the Canadian Web sites’ campaign rhetoric, I do prefer it to America’s.) [Tags: ]

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