"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Friday, February 22, 2008

Reply to Doc

Doc Searls Weblog : What will be U.S. 2.0

Good piece
My replies and thoughts inserted

I saw the end of the Debate last night on CNN, and fell asleep on the hotel room bed while Anderson Cooper and his coterie of opinionators blabbed about how both contestants performed. When I woke up a few minutes ago, seven hours later, it was still going on. I switched over to ESPN and saw another bunch of opinionators doing the same thing, only the subject was basketball. Only the content was different. The format was the same. So were the metaphors. Sports and war.

Yup, except that I watched from start (multi-tasking as usual) and switched off about the same time as Doc zoned out. Didn't need too much of being told what to think. I do listen to a bit of the commentators, as they follow this stuff professionally and my pick up things I miss , changes in text/tone.
I esp. like folks like David Gergen, as he's been at this for a good long time (both sides of the isle)

Yet what I saw, when Hillary said — with grace and apparent sincerity — that it was “an honor” to be running against Barack Obama, and that “Whatever happens, we’re going to be fine”, was the beginning of a concession. It was hedged, for sure. She clearly still wants to win Ohio and Texas. But the writing is on the wall, and it says Barack Obama is not only going to be the Democratic candidate, but the next President of the United States as well.

Agree on Hillary, almost looked like she can read the handwriting on the wall, and ... looks like Bill's handwriting.

The change won’t just be symbolic. It will be substantive. One thing that’s so appealing about Obama is that his candidacy subordinates race, subordinates the differences that have divided us for so long. It doesn’t trivialize them, but it does put them in the category of Stuff We Can Move Past, because we have work to do.

I'm looking forward (likely day dreaming) to a campaign where Obama and McCain hold a civil discourse on where we are going, the role of government and the role of citizens.

My memory (from his Autobiography I believe) is that Goldwater was to travel the country (same plane) with Kennedy to hold a series of debates.

We have a unique, in "modern" times election at hand, no incumbent or VP running. Time for an open and fair discussion/debate on philosophy of governance.

Hopefully both Obama and McCain are both removed enough from the "party machines" that we can watch a civil and reasoned campaign.

Lock the Chuck Schumers and Limbaugh's in a room and throw away the key till December.

I think Dave’s analysis is correct. And he’s right to call the challenge United States 2.0. Maybe we can see our way to something wonderful, instead of a continued struggle. For Dave that’s a new Democratic government. I’m looking for a government that’s energized around facing three very different but overlapping problems.

First, that the U.S. is no longer the only superpower — and that superpower itself will no longer be defined by military might of the conventional sort. War will be different. Might will be different. Ending our worst problems in Iraq will only be the start of it. We need a new relationship with the rest of the world, and better models for understanding the problems there. (I suggest that Barack consult Thomas. P.M. Barnett for help with that.)

I differ here, maybe in nuance. Militarily, we are the only "superpower", economically the world is more diverse, and that is a good thing. Politically, we have image problems, but people still want to come here not leave.

I agree 100% on Tom Barnett for worldview.
Having corresponded with Tom, I take the view that this is the Sino-American Century.
Contrary to the fear-mongers and the military-industrial complex that needs a "dance partner" to justify weapon systems, the Sino-American relationship is one of partnership, not competition.

China wants to regain it's historical position as a major world player, and America, due to it's fortunate geo-political situation, and open, democratic, free market (despite all it's flaws) is the model to follow.

There are reasons that we are the "policeman" of the world, and why our actions are subsidized by others (such as China).
I could go into a long discourse on this, but that is for another time.

Second, that the U.S. must restore both its moral and technical stature, both of which have slipped badly in the last few years.

Concur, but with our world class universities, we may not be as far off as it may appear. Moral yes ... there are problems and I have issues with the "dumbing down" of our our education system.

Third, that seas will rise as ice continues to melt in the Earth’s polar regions, and that this requires far more than “fighting global warming”. If we wish to avoid famine, war over shrinking lands and a global ecological breakdown, we need to think decades and even centuries ahead. Our species has never done that. Instead it has eaten the planet’s resources like a plague of locusts. That will have to change, or nature’s human experiment will fail.

Here I'm still a skeptic, but maybe that's in part due to a cold winter, and looking out on a beautiful frozen lake.

Time will tell.

All three require leadership of a sort we have not seen since Reagan. I hope Barack Obama is up for it. Because it’s going to be a very hard job.

And I hope that the Democrat's party machine can recognize that Reagan did indeed bring new thinking to the debate.
It's time to break the molds of entitlements (both citizens and corporations), to look for new solutions, new mindsets, to look forward, not back.

Good piece Doc

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