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Mixing tech industry politics with U.S. politics

Monday, March 31, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Something I didn't know, but now that I do, it makes sense.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named accordion.gifOne of the reasons I'm not so popular in the tech industry is that I'm an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama, and I look forward to the day, coming soon, when the Republicans leave the White House and we can get on with fixing the problems they created, and then getting on track solving some long-term problems that we've been ignoring.  Permalink to this paragraph

Now of course, I understand that there are Clinton supporters in the tech industry, and there are even Republicans who like Bush, and to them my enthusiastic support sometimes goes a little too far. I understand, totally. If for example, I were following a Bush supporter, like Tony Perkins, on Twitter, I would have unfollowed him long ago. I don't need that level of annoyance. He and I are never going to agree on politics, not even how to discuss politics, so I would just tune him out. Knowing Tony, I don't think he'd hold it against me, as I wouldn't hold it against any Republican tech person who unfollowed me.  Permalink to this paragraph

What I can't support are personal attacks and name-calling just because we disagree. General attacks are okay with me. In other words if you think all Obama supporters are idiots, go ahead and say it (I'll probably unfollow, but BFD). But if you say I'm a jerk just because I support someone you don't, then I have a problem with that (esp if you don't make it clear that's why you're saying it). You're getting confused between personal issues and political ones, and I think you're going to even lose the support of people who agree with you politically, and imho you should.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named elephant.gifAfter all is said and done, when we elect the next President, we're still going to be Americans (with apologies to readers who aren't). That's been the problem in the last few elections, we forgot, after the election was over, to find the common ground that we agree on. And as a result the Constitution is in trouble, and our economy is a mess (even Bush agrees), and our reputation overseas isn't good and it's getting worse. I think this is because we forgot to bind our wounds after the election, and our elected leadership didn't lead.  Permalink to this paragraph

So this is what I learned. I think some people hide their political differences behind personal attacks. This is what none of us should support. We should be able to have a discussion and keep our self-respect and dignity. That US politics gets masked as tech industry politics is very confusing and should not be tolerated. Permalink to this paragraph

BTW, as a constructive step toward fixing this problem, I think all tech industry bloggers should let us know their politics. If you're American, which of the Presidential candidates do you support. I wouldn't have thought this was necessary just 48 hours ago, but now I'm sure it is. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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