Salimah E. just forwarded me this fantastic piece – from the Chicago Reader – about Obama. Part of what makes it fascinating is that it was written 13 years ago. Just read it and look how consistent Obama’s past and present is from a values and goals perspective. This piece could have been written yesterday. What a rock that guy is.
Also interesting to read the piece from a technology angle. Consider again that it was written a decade before Web 2.0. But look at how Obama’s language and values around community building fit so perfectly with the social media technologies of today. Reading this (again written in 1995!) it becomes obvious that Obama would immediately see the potential and opportunity around online, self-organizing, social media. It explains how and why his stie has done so well. He literally lives and believes in the values of self-organizing to a degree that few other politicians do and so is willing to hand big parts of his site over to its users. (in this case users, supporters, or followers all feel like inadequate words, sigh).
“What makes Obama different from other progressive politicians is that he doesn’t just want to create and support progressive programs; he wants to mobilize the people to create their own. He wants to stand politics on its head, empowering citizens by bringing together the churches and businesses and banks, scornful grandmothers and angry young.”
Obama, different than other progressive politicians? Hmmm, I’ll confess that this line also makes me like the piece because it resonated with Taylor and I’s piece on the death of progressive politics. (Shameless link, I know).