Umair points out that the Emperor is wearing no clothes:
Umair Haque via
The promise of social technologies is to fundamentally reimagine and reboot yesterday’s crumbling institutions (and disempower the bumbling beancounters who run them). In political terms? They should be used — right now, right here, right this very second — to build a deeper democracy, one where via deliberation, citizens have a bottom-up impact on policy-making, which as it stands today is totally disconnected from and unresponsive to the general populace and unable to do much of anything about anything. They should be used to help ignite an authentic prosperity, by redrawing the boundaries of political freedom for the underprivileged and the powerless — and to blow apart a polity that protects and props up the privileged and the powerful.
What we don’t need is more of this: “People tuning out? Great — instead of actually improving stuff, hit ‘em with some marketing!!”
Sorry, Mr President: you’ve got the pundits, talking heads, and powers that be right where you want them (judging from the response you’ve gotten so far), but little old me? I’m not buying into your latest “campaign.” I’m not a “target.” I’m a citizen of a generation whose future is going up in smoke faster than you can say “credit default swaps.” And what you’re really telling me is this: in some parts of the world, social tools can fuel the revolutions that topple dictators. Here, in the nation that invented them? They’re used for marketing stunts.
Me? I’m not investing my time asking “questions” of a president who wants my “engagement” (Free today only! Get yours now!) yet seems totally, utterly disengaged with anyone not sartorially and financially gifted enough to wear a $7000 suit — “questions” that you know, I know, and my pet hamster knows will probably never have a hope in Hades of having an impact on anything except clogging up the cutting room floor.
There’s no possible way that President Obama is going to embrace a 21st century notion of ‘deeper democracy’. He’s a 20th century man, a moderate Republican leading the conservative wing of the Democratic party, and no firebrand techno-anarchist.
We’ll have to wait for some mutant to spring up, coming from outside the parties – and I don’t mean the Governor of some forgotten state out west – but a real populist, intent on a wholesale reconfiguration of the political system.