Posted by: paulfbove | February 6, 2008

San Francisco and Politics

During the course of the SMICC Web 2.0 conference, speakers have been using the current political race as an example of using new technology. The fact that yesterday was Super Tuesday also gave the discussions more relevance. One speaker mentioned how Obama’s campaign was able to raise millions of dollars by receiving a huge number of little donations. Those little donations quickly added up. This success was, of course, Web driven. That same speaker also mentioned how much the use of the Internet for campaigns has blossomed since the Dean campaign. So fear not, the trailblazers from the Dean days are still remembered 🙂

 What else about politics? Here’s an interesting take on what I learned the other night. (And before I begin, these are not my opinions or views. I am merely reporting anecdotal facts from conversations with people.) Monday night I ended up bar hopping with some waiters and bartenders that I met while eating dinner. All in all a very nice bunch of people and we had a blast (though my body didn’t think so the next day!).  Just for some context, here is the makeup of the group. 3 women (white) and 4 men (one Frenchman, one Chinese immigrant, one Mexican who was born in the US, one white). Of the men, one couldn’t vote because he isn’t a US citizen, and the other wasn’t going to vote for reasons known only to him. Every one of these folks were registered Democrats and were very adamant about voting in the Tuesday elections. None of the women were fans of Hillary and didn’t want her to represent the female gender. And in general, all 7 were of the opinion that the US is not ready for either a) a woman president, or b) an African-American president.

Three other women I spoke to at my conference also mentioned that they don’t like the fact that Hillary could be the woman who represents women. They don’t like her stance and find her to be a bad representation of women. Again, these opinions all came from Democrats. I found this very interesting. Of these women, one just got her citizenship last year (she’s Filipino) and was very excited to vote. She told me a great story: When she went to her citizenship ceremony last year she was sitting next to a couple of other women who were being sworn in. One excitedly asked the other, “Are you going to vote now that you’re a legal citizen?” The lady responded, “No.” The first lady was incredulous and told her that she HAS to vote now because it’s her duty as an American citizen.

I enjoyed that because it shows that the folks who work to legally get the right to vote (immigrants, etc.) take it as an honor that they should vote. I believe too many Americans get too complacent about the notion of voting and shirk their duties.  As we all hear and everyone should believe: If you don’t vote, you have ZERO right to voice your opinion about what’s wrong with America. Get out there and get your free sticker and then you can bitch about how the man is keeping you down.

To recap:
  1. Web 2.0 is very relevant to the campaign
  2. Dean and his aides are still seen as trailblazers
  3. People should vote
  4. Anchor Steam is a great beer.

Thank you. This has been your public service announcement for the day.

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