Friday, July 4, 2008

Obama and FISA

Patrick Ruffini at techPresident has an interesting post about how much credit Barack Obama should recieve for allowing protests to his FISA bill support on his website. It brings up interesting questions about the inherent value of dialogue.

there is a danger that we'll use a superficial semblance of openness to give the Obama campaign a pass on the key issue: whether Obama is actually responding to this protest in any meaningful way. Isn't that the point of having these tools, after all? That the candidate will actually listen and maybe even modify his policies as a result?

Proponents of deliberative democracy herald the inherent value of talk in fostering civic engagement. However, talk if not followed by sustained action can also lead to a dimminishing of interest in politics. Will we run the risk of "talking ourselves to death" online while major social issues go unaddressed? Or does enough sustained talk with the threat of action lead to social change?

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