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Geeks, Geek Issues and Voting

Cliff posted more than 14 years ago | from the getting-a-sensible-government dept.

United States 510

David Allen wrote in with a question we would all do well to think about this year. For Americans: it's high time we thought about who we want to run the country for the next 4 years. What kind of laws we would want passed...or repealed. Who would be the ideal "Geek Ticket" and why? Although slightly USA-centric, this topic might also be of interest to our non-US readers so that they can discuss what they want out of their government in the near future. Click below for the actual text.

David Allen asks: "Along with everybody else, I've been thinking about who to vote for recently. I've been seriously considering Bill Bradley, or even David McReynolds for President. Now the question: It seems to me that what I'm really looking for is a mixture - somebody who will regulate the Internet insofar as they will keep businesses from violating my privacy, but people who will keep out of the internet, so it can remain a free conduit for information exchange. (No silly crypto laws, freedom of speech and such). There's no mistaking that the internet is a big issue for me. Where do many slashdotters fall along this continuum? There doesn't seem to be a candidate who's willing to go to bat for privacy but not muck around in freedom of information areas. Of course you could always just not vote. Is there a candidate that would fit that bill, and somebody who could really make those things happen?

By the way, for slashdotters interested in getting a decent fix on what each candidate thinks, check out the candidate selector which isn't quite as arrogant as it sounds."

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How about.... (1)

BlueCalx- (59283) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435062)

...changing nothing about how we see the world? If political/corporate BS comes our way, we just deal with it.
A new year doesn't mean geeks have to change their views about the world. Just let things happen.

Very interesting topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435063)

Does anyone have any info on where the candidates stand on IT issues?

link error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435064)

The no vote link should be this []

Woohoo! (2)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435065)

I got a 61 on the Pat Buchanan scale! Other candidates scored higher, but he could be the President that would satisfy all of my deviant homosexual urges.

Apathy... (1)

kird (110317) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435066)

let's vote for Nobody in the next election and see if Nobody wins. Panarchy - where everybody rules

We know about Al Gore (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435067)

Gore is all about the internet, since he invented it during his days as a physicist.


Best Bet - Make YOur own choice. (5)

Patman (32745) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435068)

I shudder when I hear people talk of the Geek Ticket, or the Republican Ticket, or the Democratic Ticket.

I am proud to say that I don't belong to a single political party. Why? Because I make my own decisions. I support the candidate that best fits me, not the candidate with my favorite letter after their name.

I urge all of oyu to engage in some good political discussion and debate, but in the end, make your own choice. Don't let anyone shame you into a choice, and dont be a one-issue voter. Vote for more then just the guy who's best for the Net, because the Net is just a small piece of our world. No one is perfect. Make your choice on the best candidate. And for God's sake, vote. If you don't vote, don't bitch.

The Slashdot Candidate... (2)

warrior (15708) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435069)

Why don't we start our own "Geek" party? Our mascot would obviously be the penguin. I can think of a few open-source programmers who would make pretty good politicians. The ideals held by most open-source people seem to be more ethical than most politicians I've seen. Most modern day politicians just run for personal glory, making issues out of non-issues. I think the "Open Source" candidiate would get things done. Good idea? Bad idea? I just think our current two-party system stinks.


Vote Libertarian (1)

ry4an (1568) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435070)

While the Libertarian party continues to prop up scary candidates, the platform of the party is sound -- freedom. They're the only party that hits the positions I like on just about every major issue:

Pro-internet freedom
Pro-reproductive freedom
Pro-gun rights
Pro-religious freedom

Besides, ESR is a big libertarian supporter, and he can do almost no wrong. :) []

Ralph Nader The Geek Candidate? (4)

waldoj (8229) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435071)

You know, I've never really given Nader much thought. Small potatoes, wasted vote, could never win, etc.

But I sure as hell ain't voting for Bush, and I'm less and less certain of Gore.

So I took the Presidential Candidate Selector [] . And, much to my surprise, I found that nobody even came close to my beliefs, save for good ol' Ralph Nader. (Though, to my fright, Orrin Hatch showed up, though way down on the list. :)

Nader really seems to be right up there on the geek ticket, if my results and those of several fellow geeks are any indicator. Anybody know his beliefs on copyrights, patents, etc?

It's clear that he doesn't think much of Microsoft. That's a hell of a start. :)

How much would it matter? (2)

oxygen (403) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435072)

Looking at the president only as a way of changed seems a bit short sighted. If we really want to protect privacy online, but not limit business, we need to also look into the senators and congressmen/women. The president can't make the law. Laws go through congress and then to the president.


Libertarian Party/Movement (1)

chris mazuc (8017) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435073)

There's always the Libertarian party's views on regulation of the Internet: absolutely none. Personally, I think this is the best way because once you start regulating somewhere, where is the limit? "Well, it's not a big deal if we just go a *little* further." Look where we are today after a little over two hundred years of this mentality. Keeping out altogether forces the Internet to stay free, no compromises.

How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435074)

...don't validate the myth of democracy. Abstain from voting, spoil your ballot, tell the repulocrats and the demicans and the reformation to go and play with themselves all they wan't but we won't settle for democracy.

Every vote cast is a voice politicans can point to as a mandate for the will of the people -- the will of the people which is more important than your freedoms, the will of the people which is more important than your constitution, the will of the people to preserve and protect the status quo.

Don't give them the pleasure. When you vote, you strengthen the democracy, and the democracy will use your vote as justification for crushing you with the will of the people. Don't give them the excuse to continue their tyrrany of the majority.

There is no law anywhere.

hmmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435075)

I believe that Forbes is probably the closest to a geek that we could get. He atleast talks about the internet and privacy issues. And best of all, he wants a flat tax (for those of us geeks that happen to make a large salary). He even looks like a geek.

I wish...[crypto export laws] (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435076)

I wish i could ask Bradley how he feels about crytpo export laws...oh well. Other than that, Bradley is the man. He doesn't sit on both sides of the fence. When asked if he ever smoked pot he just said "Yup." then asked tom brokaw (or whoever was doing the interview) and he said yes too and they both laughed. it was great. Abortion and same sex marriages too. When asked about it he just says, abortion is a womens right, and of course same sex marriages should be legal. If you haven't already, check him out.

Ultimate geek ticket - Libertarian (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435077)

The Ultimate geek ticket? That's easy - Libertarian. Take a gander at There's a simple test you can take that will determine if you are a libertarian, lefty, righty, or totalitarian. Most people don't know they hold most of the same beliefs as the Libertarians. They only know that they only believe in some of the things their typical republican or democatic representative believe in. Usually, their vote is a compromise, the lesser of two evils. Take a couple minutes to check it out. In general: Less goverment. Individual freedom. Kinda like the original founders wanted it.

Scary... really... (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435078)

I just ran that candidate selector, and none of the candidates scored over 66. The highest was McReynolds. Scary..

Besides, "traditional values"? What the hell is that? Whose "values" are they? Not mine, i'm pretty sure...

Taxes and Social Security: (2)

Rabbins (70965) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435079)

That's what I am thinking about.

I think Clinton's plan of having the government invest a portion of Social Security is about the most God-Awful idea I have ever heard of in my life.

Could you imagine the federal government being an influential shareholder in the 500 largest companies in America!?

I would like to see social security either done away with (for individuals under the age of 30 or so), or the ability to invest a portion of that money into (approved) equities... but YOUR ownership, not the governments.

It would be nice to see a candidate come up with a realistic plan of lowering taxes. Definitely estate taxes (the end-all of the small businessman) and capitla gains taxes, but also income taxes. I really do feel we are paying tad more than our forefathers had ever envisioned.

I have not seen one who has come up with such a plan however.

Accipiter for President (2)

Accipiter (8228) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435080)

As my subject line so eloquently states, I believe I should be your next president.

Hell, I'm a people's person. I read Slashdot. I love computers. I have a significantly low tolerance for frivilous lawsuits. And I like Brocolli. Really, I do.

Anyway, our next president should be a geek. Seriously. What typical politician do YOU know of that sympathizes with the geek community? (Al Gore's "Open Source" website DOES NOT COUNT.) And believe me, we know what we're talking about. For example, when DIVX was introduced, I, as well as many many others predicted it's demise, and LOOK! It's gone.

(Hell, we as a community should run. Slashdot for president?)

-- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

Geek independence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435081)

I wonder what percentage of geeks vote our consciences rather than selecting the lesser of two evils between the Democrats and Republicans. We are certainly independent thinkers the rest of the time. Does that carry over to the voting booth?

Fusion (5)

jagapen (11417) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435082)

Personally, I would like to see the practice of "fusion" legalized and/or instituted in Presidential elections. "Fusion" is the practice whereby multiple political parties can nominate the same candidate. This is a highly useful tool for voters. Here's why:

Third-party candidates have no chance of winning the Presidency; therefore very few people will "waste" their votes on a third-party candidate; therefore... You get the idea. With fusion, a third party can nominate one of the major-party candidates that most closely represents their views. Then when at the polls, one can vote for a third-party ticket without "wasting" one's vote, because the candidate is also a major-party candidate and could win.

For example: Suppose that the Green Party also nominated Al Gore. Then on election day, Gore gets 47% of the vote as a Democrat, and 5% of the vote as a Green. These add up to 52% of the vote, and Gore wins. He also knows that he owes a good chunk of his victory to Greens, and he'd better pay attention to the issues they espouse.

I'd be happier with such a system, though I did vote for Nader in 1996.

The system sucks to begin with. (2)

cruise (111380) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435083)


"Anyone who wanted to be president, shouldn't be allowed to be president"

Presidents, Congressmen, All those bunch should be drafted. It's not a very high paying position so the only advantage to being a president is powah. And we all know powah leads to corruption and sinister stories involving cigars and stained blue dresses.

I hearby draft... um... My parrot.

You are a threat to free speach and must be SILENCED!

Voteing is not important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435084)

What ever happened to the saying "Democracy is not an end in itself but a means of preserving individual liberty". Today voteing is used to uphold majority justified social controls. It's just a waste of time to try and change the system, rather I prefer to bypass it and take advantage of it to get more personal liberties for myself and my non-socialist friends.

Geek ticket - one geek's views (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435085)

I think the geek vote is typically of a libertarian stance. Personal and intellectual liberty is high on the list of geek musts - so the standard "do what you want so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else" mentality of the libertarians would gel nicely.

In addition, the candidate would probably have to recognise new rules for the Internet - as in, noone owns it, you can't tax what happens there, nor regulate its speech.

In addition, the geek vote would swing to someone who supported schools and universities at the expense of economic junkets and militaries. Whoever courts the geek vote will have to be able to crush a penny til it bleeds, cause low taxes and space exploration go hand in hand in the list of wants. But then again, they're asking for a 3l337 administrator, right?

Someone with the balls of Jesse Ventura, (the lack of "slickness" would also appeal to geek vote), the financial savvy of a Perot, and a "you'll get more taxes out of me when you pry them from my dead fingers" stance would be the perfect blend.

Bias alert, please parse accordingly (4)

babbage (61057) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435086)

Here's an agenda I'd like to suggest: strongly consider supporting and voting for third party candidates. There has been a mentality in this country that you have exactly two choices on that first Tuesday in November (where year % 4 == 0 (heh)). Not so. The emergence of the Reform party has cracked that wall a little bit, but I'd like to see it crumble completely.

People assume that one of the Big Two parties is going to win anyway, and voting for a third party is a waste of a vote. But what if everyone stood back for a second and voted *not* for the most likely candidate, but for the candidate that seemed most likely to be the right person for the job? What if we voted as individuals, not as a pack? Maybe we'd end up with 40 candidates and none get over 10% of the vote. Maybe we'll need a runoff election every four years. But would that be such a bad thing? Maybe it would give a suitable underdog a shot for once.

Myself, I really like Ralph Nader and the Green Party -- he got my vote in 1996 and he'll get it again this year. But a lot of the hackers I know are Libertarians or Free Marketeers or Socialists or whatever, and that's fine. I'm sure there are great candidates in all these camps, really. Why not give them a shot. "Gee Dubya" is pretty obviously an imbecile and a stuffed shirt for his corporate backers -- do you really want to see him win? Is Al Gore, proud internet innovator, any better? Fuck no he's not. The survey at Select Smart [] isn't a bad place to find a candidate that comes close to your ideology, whatever it may be. And Project Vote Smart [] is also a pretty good place to learn more. And don't forget about local elections either -- they're less glamorous, but they have far more impact over your day to day life than the high profile CNN elections. Be an informed and active voter above all else. It's worth it.

I nominate myself (3)

Diamond Slicer (39462) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435087)

Q.? Can a political party exist soley on the Net?

I hereby nominate myself as the Offical Canidate of the Geek or /. Party. I should be elected because:

I am a geek - and all geeks are superior to other types of humans.
I run Linux. (Distro is kept secret for fear of alienating geek voters)
I can code C,C++,Pascal,Basic,Visual Basic, HTML and have a rudimentary (very poor) knowledge of Perl.

If elected:
I will destroy Windows - and open the WinNT source.
I will destroy and any other .com that is annoying and stupid.
I will let DeCSS go to the stars (tell DVD guys to go to hell)
I will make the stupids slaves. (This should attract voters.)

Note: The above presentation assumes that only smart people vote. Sadly (I am in Minnesota USA) that is not the case - our gov is Jesse "The Body" Ventura (an ex-pro wrestler whos iq ranges from 1 to 5). While literacy tests and like should not be reinstituted how about making a geeks vote count for 2.

Yes, I vote... but rarely does the canidate of choice get elected.

Leader on the Geek Ticket? (1)

God I hate mornings (110205) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435088)

Before I say who I would love to see run for president on the Geek Ticket, I gotta do a bit of a rant, so skip it if you want.

First of all, I think that the real problem with the current crop of politicians and law makers is that they wouldn't know a SIMM from DIMM if it bit them in the ass. Now I'm not saying they should be techs, but at least have a decent idea of how things working when talking about the web, and computers in general.
Second - I don't care what the intention is, there is NO reason to invade anyones privacy for the sake of trying get a select few criminals. Example - There is no reason to look at everyones hard drive to catch child porn collectors. That would equate to the cops being able to pull you over because you look like a drug dealer/rapist/murder etc. Get the point?

Ok here's my ideal candidate - and I know I'm gonna catch hell for this but:

Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Novell.
Putting aside his career at Sun, let's just look at what he's done for Novell:

Took a company that almost everyone wrote off for dead (their stock was trading at about 7 USD a share in Mid 97)and pulled what could be one of the biggest turn arounds of the decade. He straightened out Ray Norda's mess, got the company out of finacial trouble (today Novell was trading around 33 3/8 USD), but managed to get new products out, redesign company focus, and now (some say) he is ready to grab the Directory war away from MS with NDS. all this in 2 years? I would love to see him run the country.

But I could be nuts.
Where's my prozac?

Excuse me, but... (2)

Pike (52876) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435089)

...I think Geeks take themselves way too seriously when they talk of building their own political platform. Geekdom is hardly broad enough to warrant its own ticket.

Write in Eric Raymond in every primary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435090)

Here's a geek idea that ought to make waves. Let's see if we can create a Slashdot effect in the primaries. Write in Eric Raymond for President regardless of the party whose primary you are voting in. If every Slashdot reader does it, the press will notice.

Campaign finance reform (2)

roca (43122) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435091)

Disclaimer: I'm not a US citizen so I can't vote myself, but I do live in the US, and what happens in the US has a big effect on the rest of the world, so I do care about this.

To me, the big issue is simply campaign finance reform. Behind most of the evil legislation that's passed these days, you can see the shadowy hand of corporate lobbying and influence. It's a sickness that is destroying democracy in this country (and elsewhere).

Basing your vote on other issues is futile: it doesn't matter who's the President or what they try to do, as long as corporations have a lock on the legislative process.

So therefore I favour John McCain. Sure, he may have some odious positions on Net censorship and other things, but the fact is he has a track record of trying to deal with the corruption at the core of the political system. It's pointless to hack away at the branches of the tree of evil and ignore the root (apologies to someone-or-another for the quote).

As the campaign unfolds many people may make all kinds of promises for reform, but we all know those promises are worthless. Vote on the track record.

Electoral college. (1)

jued0001 (95852) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435092)

Until the Electoral college bullshit is removed and my vote counts directly towards the total for the President, I have no reason to get my ass out of my chair and vote. Voting someone in, so they can vote for me, is stupid.


Mello like the Yello, but without the fizz.

"Geek Ticket"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435093) speech and freedom of technology. Those sound like geek-specific issues to me. I would like to think that EVERYONE in this country would be concerned with issues like this. Freedom of speech and technology affect everyone, not just geeks. Hopefully, most of the population of this country are in favor of things like this, and other libertarian-esque ideas. Obviously the corporate interests wouldn't be in favor of this, but they can't vote (at least not with a ballot- money casts a different sort of influence). I think that if more people voted in this country, not just more geeks, our "geek issues" would be even more protected. Geeks are, after all, only a small minority, whatever we would like to think.

The Geek Ticket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435094)

It's obvious: Linus For President!

But first, we'll have to work on getting Article II [] Clause 5 of the Constitution ammended so we can have the first non-natural born citizen as President. (What's up with that, anyway? All citizens are equal, but natural born citizens are "more equal"?)

Going to have to start my own party, I can see ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435095)

The candidate selector ranked the candidates this way for me...

Score Candidates
62 John S. McCain
60 Ralph Nader
60 Gary L. Bauer
59 John Hagelin
56 Bill Bradley
56 Patrick J. (Pat) Buchanan
56 Albert Gore Jr.
50 Howard Phillips
47 Malcolm (Steve) Forbes Jr.
45 David McReynolds
45 Warren Beatty
43 Orrin Hatch
41 Alan Keyes
40 George W. Bush
34 Harry Browne
22 Donald Trump

I wonder how Ralph and Gary would feel if they knew a ranking existed in which they were equal.

All I can see is that I'm neither a socialist nor a libertarian. I can't begin to guess why Buchanan is so high up the list, as I support both affirmative action and free trade.

Still, the selector seem to cover most of the important issues of the day. Technology issues are covered only indirectly, though.

Re:Ralph Nader The Geek Candidate? (1)

tweek (18111) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435096)

Thank you for this great link. I actually got a candidate that I hadn't heard of yet. A libertarian no less! My normal voting habits of republican came out as other options below the first. Great great tool

Re:Vote Libertarian (1)

BlueClaw (78553) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435097)

A libertarian is an informed choice. At least we have a chance of retaining our Constitution & Bill of Rights. Maybe ESR will run someday. It would beat the hell out of the present choices.

Re:Vote Libertarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435098)

The only one I disagree with: Pro-reproductive freedom. They forgot to include the rights of unborn babies. Somebody's freedom to live takes precedence over reproductive rights.

Re:Ultimate geek ticket - Libertarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435099)

Harry Browne is running again for the Libertarian nomination. His web site is here [] . Given the results in 1996, I can't say that I am confident of his ability to carry a large portion of the vote, but he is an announced Libertarian candidate.

Geeks are too different... (2)

q2k (67077) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435100)

I don't think there can be an ideal geek ticket. We are all way too different. The Internet "elite" often gets sterotyped into a conservative, quasi-Libertarian type of group - but in the first 4 posts in this subject I saw a socialist and somebody supporting Ralph"corporations are evil" Nader. We all have different beliefs, different backgrounds, and ultimately we all want different things from government. Personally, I want government to leave me alone - to stop regulating every aspect of my behavior and to stop using the police power of government to take about 40% of my gross earnings to redistribute to other parties who have absolutely no claim on my personal output.

I'll be voting Libertaian - probably Harry Browne as he seems to be the leading candidate to win the nomination. You can learn more about Harry at

Democrat, Republican, WHO CARES? (3)

maynard (3337) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435101)

I'm 31 and have been voting in Presidential elections since '88. Usually I vote Democrat in federal and state elections, because I prefer most of the stated Democrat policies over Republican. But I'm just disgusted with huge soft money donations, lobbyists writing the bills that our legislators pass (along with another contribution), and the many riders and procedural tricks legislators use to subvert debate in what was supposed to be an open and public legislative forum.

I'd like to support the Reform ticket, but there's no way in hell I'll vote for Pat Buchanan. I'm actually considering joining the Republican party just so I can vote for McCain in the primary, because of his support for the McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform legislation... and I think he stands a better chance against Bush than Bradley does against Gore.

Honestly I like both McCain and Bradley more than I like the entrenched Gore and Bush and if either of them wind up in the general election I'll probably vote Democrat or Republican based on this and not party politics.

I am SICK of party politics! The constant fighting between these two behemouths is affecting our democracy/republic in very dangerous ways... I honestly feel very disenfranchised from our political system -- which as a middle class computer geek if I'm the norm then our leaders better wake up. The current duality and conflict between just two parties has turned far too corrupt leaving us citizens holding the bag time and again.

What about a multi party system based on proportional representation like Germany has? I think if we could reform campaign finance and create a system with more than two parties we might gain the citizen's trust in the political system once again. Obviously, the only way for citizens to trust their government is if the government's representatives actually act in the citizen's interests, and that's clearly not happening with our current political system.

What about moderates? (1)

Powers (118325) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435102)

Personally, I'm pretty moderate (slightly left-leaning), but moderates don't win elections. You have to have some issue on which you take a stand. Unfortunately, us moderates have to decide upon which issues we least mind a candidate taking a stand.

The top choice selected for me by the Presidential Selector was the Socialist party candidate. Yeah right. We may agree on a few selected issues, but there's this whole thing called "fundamental system of government." A socialist president just would not work under our current Constitution. The premise is actually kind of silly.

The next choice on the list was somewhere around 20 percentage points lower, and was a virtual tie between Bradley and Gore, I think. The more I hear about Bradley, the more I like him, but I fear he may not have much chance against the VP. And as I live in New York State, I can't vote in the Democratic Primary to help choose between them (only members of a party can vote in their primaries here).

Oh well. I figure it's kind of silly to start making choices when I don't even know who'll be the final candidates!

jello biafra for president! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435103)

i heard jello is considering running for president under the green party ticket.

Geek Party: Larry Wall & ESR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435104)

I would have said RMS & ESR but they would be too busy arguing over whether to call the country USA or GNU/USA.

Re:The system sucks to begin with. (2)

Doomsayer (18910) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435105)

Too true, why we are still willingly voting for someone to rule over us is beyond me. I never wake up in the morning and say gee, I'd like someone else to make all my decisions for me today.

Switzerland has used direct voting on issues for centuries now, some states have had referendums on some issues for several decades. It is pretty sad that we ask for a commander of bullies every four years.

Amazing choices... (1)

techwatcher (112759) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435106)

When I entered opinions into the "selector" URL, I was amazed and very pleased to see that the coming election has three candidates with relatively high matches for my choices -- and the third one actually has what I consider a real chance to be elected! Now, how do I find out his stance on 'Net-related issues? We can't really just extrapolate from opinions on traditional values, tax reform, and free trade, can we?

Even if we could, those are all quite complex issues, and I'm not comfortable taking one single (strongly support/strongly deny) stance on any of them. Then, there's a certain kind of synergy that introducing 'Net issues brings about. For example, I favor free trade across the 'Net, but do not favor allowing corporations to do anything they want just because they are large and "multinational." Also, tax reform cannot really be taken up without working out how the economy is supposed to function in the post-WWW era: What services will states provide? Come to that, what will comprise the "state?" Will it still be a geographic entity, partially based on ethnic considerations ("nation-state")? "Defense" issues, also, are going to change as our formerly geographic notions of place, trade, etc. are updated... As I expect we will see in the next week, international organizations will be needed to help ordinary Netizens with several fairly new global issues (viruses, trade-related fraud, bandwidth/allocation).

Re:Ralph Nader The Geek Candidate? (1)

Rabbins (70965) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435107)

Just for the fun of it, I answered the Candidate Selecter in the most bleeding-heart, left-wing, idealistic, whiney-assed liberal way possible, and Ralph Nader came up on top with a strong showing at 86.


Re:Scary... really... (1)

chris mazuc (8017) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435108)

So what exactly is this "candidate selector" thing? I've seen it mentioned in several posts but nobody ever explained what it was.

I say vote for someone from Generation X! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435109)

Yeah! Someone who's just like us. Uncharitable, rude, and always craving gratuitous violence for entertainment. Someone who doesn't give a damn about anything if it doesn't have an IPO, and of course someone who laughs when Rwandan babies die.

In short if he's not a hard core South Park fan then he ain't from Generation X and he doesn't get my vote.

Re:Ultimate geek ticket - Libertarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435110)

You mean the world's most oversimplified political quiz? Ugh!

I guess that sums up my beef with the Libertarians -- they see things so simplistically, expecting the "invisible hand", like the Hand of God, to fix everything.

Not Bush (4)

Robert Wilde (78174) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435111)

I think, whether we have to put up with McCain, Forbes, Gore, or Bradley will be generally okay. The only real threatening candidate is Bush.

In the end though, research the candidates yourself. Don't rely on the superficial mass media reports, but spend some time using the vast resources of the Internet to probe their positions, and reach your own decision. Do vote because our democracy is not a sham unless you believe it is.

Re:Ralph Nader The Geek Candidate? (2)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435112)

I took the quiz myself and was pleasantly surprised to find Ralph Nader high on my list. Here's where Nader stands according to the Presidential Candidate Selector [] :
  • Pro-abortion-rights
  • Pro-gay
  • Pro-gun
  • Pro-environment (duh)
  • Pro-education-reform, including vouchers apparently
  • Anti-WTO/GATT
  • Pro-Linux (ok, this isn't on the website, but we know this about Nader from his recent comments.)

Frankly, the more I think about the alternatives, the more strongly I support Nader for President. He might not win, but fsckit, the idea is to vote for the (wo)man you want to be President, not necessarily for the winner.

Re:Vote Libertarian (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435113)

Reproductive rights (another in a long list of psuedo-rights we've been inventing) is never a black and white issue.

I don't know of anyone who believes abortions should be allowed at all times, in all suitations. On the same token, I don't know of anyone who opposes abortion in all circumstances.

My views on the matter are so complex and have so many exceptions that I don't even consider it when I vote :)


Write-in RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435114)

I'm writing in Richard M. Stallman. Man, that guy in really radical. I can't wait to see the ESR and RMS debate!

My money's on the rich white male... (3)

PLaNeTJoe (126687) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435115)

from a wealthy and politically connected family. Someone who can argue passionately about the smaller issues while bending over to corporate America every time on the things that really matter. Someone who looks good on TV. Someone who defended the nation from the Mexican Viet-Cong or spent a summer overseas under heavy protection because he was a senator's son.

What a poor joke the American political system really is.

None of the above (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435116)

My idea is that on every ballot paper there should be a choice of

__ None of the above.

This would give you the right to answer the idiots who say "yeh, well who did you vote for"


Re:Accipiter for President (1)

technos (73414) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435117)

No. Bad idea.. What happens the first time we get a troll mucking with the USPTO? Or the first time someone flames the French government?

Ideal geek ticket (1)

RenQuanta (3274) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435118)

The ideal geek ticket would be Al Gore for president, because he invented the Internet. Clearly, he is an uber-geek. If that doesn't convince you of his technological savvy, consider that he also made his campaign website open-source. So he's an innovator and he's an open-source proponent. Maybe he should go on a speaking tour with ESR and Linus.

As for the veep, who cares? Since Gore is obviously Superman/Clark Kent in disguise, we don't need to worry about him dying or anything-just as long as he doesn't get near any kryptonite (or impeachment hearings)...

The old POW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435119)

There is a show (I believe on ABC) that comes on around 4AM eastern time. I happened to be up one day (studying for finals) when it came on. It's called "political interview" or something like that.

Anyway, on this show they have all the presidential candidates. One particular episode they had this old republican POW. I cannot recall his name. He is apparently trying to get some campaign finance reform going. Anyway, he specifically voiced that he would be an opponent of internet taxation and interference with its development. Of course, as with all politicians, I take it with a grain of salt. Then again, he was the ONLY politician Ive ever even heard discuss the issue.

On a funnier note, they had Gore and some other democrat on there the following week, Ive never seen so much mudslinging in my life.

Cthulu for President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435120)

Bow down before me you pitiable worms.

Top Ten Reasons (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435121)

The Top Ten Reasons (tm) that a Geek Ticket would be a bad idea for America.

  • 10. People think Bill Gates is a geek. He might get elected.
  • 9. Any who couldn't hack the kernel would be forced to leave the country.
  • 8. Immediate Constitutional Amendement: Death Penalty for burning a printout of the Kernel source
  • 7. RMS would force Coke, KFC, and others to GPL their secret recipes
  • 6. ESR would OpenSource all nuclear secrets
  • 5. Alan Cox would replace Jackson on the $20 bill
  • 4. Larry Wall would replace the Congress with two Perl scripts (okay, so maybe that one is a good idea)
  • 3. Hemos would ban spelling from schools
  • 2. Bill Gates would use his personal fortune to force Washington state to suceed from the Union and carry on a bloody Civil War for the "Right to Innovate"

    And the worst reason for a Geek Ticket in America...
  • 1. We would be subjected to 4 years Jon Katz pronouncements from his new post of Whiner General

Anonymous Kev

A meta-view on issues (2)

dsplat (73054) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435122)

It is still early enough in the race to consider a meta-view of what this is all about. I suggest the chapter T he Political Marketplace [] from David Friedman's [] book Price Theory: An Intermediate Text [] . I think the average Slashdot reader can handle the math. Friedman gives a lengthy discussion of the undesirability of tariffs. If that doesn't interest you, or you don't like all that math, skip to the section labelled, PUBLIC CHOICE: ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF THE POLITICAL MARKET about halfway through.


Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435123)

i would like to see an aibo in the presidency.

the aibo could be specially built by sony, with a presidential petrification cigar.

we all know about the special relationshi p [] between the aibo and natalie portman! personally, i would much rather see her on the news channels every night for a year than that lard-ass monica lewinsky, who looks like a fat-time charlie with lipstick.

the aibo would, of course, be sensitive to the needs of the open source community. where else has the aibo been given as much exposure as on slashdot... the open source nerve center (special interest)?

the aibo has only a limited set of preprogrammed responses to any given situation... already ideally suited for the presidency.

nobody would dare question the aibo's integrity. it would stand proudly for traditional american values. it would champion truth and justice for all.

with the aibo as president, and maybe rms as minister of propaganda, there would be no stopping the united states! we would lead the world into the dawning of a new golden age among nations!

i go aibo!

thank you.

Forbes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435124)

Forbes made a speech advocating privacy and how he planned to do it, just two weeks ago. There's a transcript [] available on his web site [] . You can also search other candidate statements at [] .

Re:How much would it matter? (2)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435125)

The president can't make the law.

Executive orders.
Clinton's signed a record amount into law. Sorry to burst your bubble, congress is obsolete.


Penguin as mascot--already taken. (1)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435126)

Coincidentally , the penguin has already been adopted as the unofficial mascot of the Libertarian party.

Re:I nominate myself (1)

technos (73414) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435127)

C'mon! I'm a Michiganian, and Jesse 'I was in Predator' Ventura is a step above our govenor, John Engler. I may add that Mr. Engler has been suggested as a possible VC candidate several times.

Low IQ is better than low common sense.

Re:What about moderates? (1)

JohnL (7512) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435128)

but moderates don't win elections. You have to have some issue on which you take a stand.

Like President Clinton, right? He's the most pricipled, rock solid man to ever sit in the White House. Fact is, the only "principle" he ever upheld has been the Holy Opinion Poll. I'd have to say that he is the ultimate "moderate".

Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435129)

> For Americans: it's high time we thought
> about who we want to run the country for the
> next 4 years.

On the contrary -- it's high time we realized that it is not the job of the president or anybody else to "run the country." It's time to reign in the imperial presidency.

> It seems to me that what I'm really looking
> for is a mixture - somebody who will regulate
> the Internet insofar as they will keep
> businesses from violating my privacy, but
> people who will keep out of the internet,
> so it can remain a free conduit for
> information exchange. (No silly crypto laws,
> freedom of speech and such).

I'm sorry, but you can't have your cake and eat it, too. If you grant the feds the power to regulate the Internet to protect your privacy, that same power will be inevitably be used in ways that you didn't anticipate and don't desire, such as squelching free speech.

Better to go with a technological solution for protecting your privacy, rather than an easily-eroded political solution. If you pass privacy laws, you *know* that friends of whomever happens to occupy the White House at the moment will be allowed to bend or break the law. Cryptography gives us all the tools (anonymous digital cash, secure pseudonyms, etc.) that we need to protect our privacy ourselves, without relying on the trustworthiness of the government or any business.

Penguin as mascot--already taken. (1)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435130)

Coincidentally , the penguin has already been adopted as the unofficial mascot of the Libertarian party.

Re:Excuse me, but... (1)

Kagenin (19124) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435131)

I totally Disagree with you here. Geeks are the Counter-Culture - Like "The McGovern Vote" back in '72. We have issues we want discussed and dealt with (like Crypto-export laws, Freedom of Speech and Expression, freedom to write any freaking piece of software we want to).

If geekdom isn't broad enough to warrant a Ticket, then that's still a lot of people without a Voice.

Kagenin for President

Re:How about... (1)

kevinT (14723) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435132)

It hasn't been a tyranny of the majority for a long time. It has become a tyranny of the few (minority) that actually bother to vote. All the special interests have been getting out there voters and swaying the vote for years (decades?). I live in Kansas and look what happened here. Without everyone voting, it will always be a tyranny of the minority.

Re:Ralph Nader The Geek Candidate? (1)

nojomofo (123944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435133)

the idea is to vote for the (wo)man you want to be President, not necessarily for the winner.

True, but you might think about hedging your bet, and choose the lesser of two evils. If, for example, in your state, Bush beats Bradley by 1 vote, and those electoral votes were what he needed to win the election, and you voted for Nader, would you think that you made the right choice?

Re:I nominate myself (1)

doomboy (11839) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435134)

Are you basing your disrespect for Ventura on particular statements or issues, or is it just backlash against athletic types or pro-wrestling? Before he was elected, Ventura's website gave a much clearer idea of his stand on issues than I have ever seen for mainstream party candidates. I have heard him interviewed a number of times, while he may not be an intellectual he does not come across as stupid -- particularly compared to other politicians.

Lets Nominate Linus with Alan as vice... :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435135)

Hey, if they could write the best operating system in the world, why not have them get in their and debug our political system too? :)

Just a reminder (2)

EricWright (16803) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435136)

To be prez of the USA, you have to be over 35, born in USA, and lived in USA for a certain amount of time (I think it's 14 years, but that may be the caffeine... talking). Leaves out a good many hackers and general /. populace (myself included).

Actually, I just checked, and 14 is correct. I'm amazed. Some of my 9th grade civics is still there after all these years!


Re:Accipiter for President (1)

Diamond Slicer (39462) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435137)

Your resume is interesting but... its missing a couple of important things.

What distro do you run?
And what type of a geek are you? (When did you become a geek?)
(Early - before 1980)
(Middle Age - 1980-1990)
(Fairly Late - 1990-1995)
(Newbie - 1995 to Present)

One reason why presidential canidates do not target geeks that much (at least mainstream ones like Gore and Bush) is that they are not mainstream in their beliefs. Many idiots out there oppose open source for instance. There simply are not enough geeks to make get a non-major canidate elected anyways. What we should do if we desire to have a significant impact on elections is band together pick a major canidate and all vote for him. That way if the major canidate should win by a small margin, he owes us a small percentage of his vote (say 5%). That would make us get noticed.

Other than that... I will be my own canidate. (Write In on the Ballot)

Re:Ralph Nader The Geek Candidate? (1)

Blakes 7 (1957) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435138)

IMNSHO, I think that Ralph Nader is one of the best candidates for geeks.

I would love nothing more than to see a candidate win which was NOT a Republican or Democrat. Having effectively two choices for President is not what I call having a democracy (or a republic, for that matter). Other countries have many different parties in their parlaiments so the people's views are more fairly represented.

Think about it. How well does the Democratic party or the Republican party reflect your views? With Bill Clinton as Prez, it's become all too apparent that these parties are virtually one in the same.

It's time for a change! I urge people to vote for the person they WANT to be President. Don't vote for the two so-called "front runners" simply because you think your vote doesn't count. It happened in Minnesota and it can happen on a larger scale!


Re:I nominate myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435139)

I can code ...,Visual Basic,...

Some geek.

Ok, this guy can talk but, "can he date"?

Are you a woman? (1)

bobalu (1921) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435140)

I think it should be up to them. I assume you've already adopted a few to show the depth of your belief?

Re:Vote Libertarian (1)

DuBois (105200) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435141)

"The rights of unborn babies" are best protected by mothers who have moral scruples. Government can't protect those rights and if the government tried to do so, pretty soon we'd have men getting abortions.

Legislation is force and violence. When you use force and violence to enforce your moral scruples, you have just departed from any "religion" that I'm aware of.

Re:Scary... really... (2)

Nathaniel (2984) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435142)

Try again with more 'don't care' boxes checked on the issues you don't feel as strongly about.

THAT's what you call a socialist in the US?? (1)

TMB (70166) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435143)

I just wandered through the selector's briefs on all of the candidates, and I was a little shocked when I came across David McReynolds page, read through his views, and then noticed that he's the candidate from the Socialist Party.

Now I knew that the political spectrum in the USA was a little skewed, but after reading his brief, he strikes me as the poster boy of moderate liberals, ie. just left of centre. And in the US, he's a socialist.

That would be really funny if it weren't such a frightening statement about American politics.


Multiple candidates (3)

Gandalf_007 (116109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435144)

Maybe we'd end up with 40 candidates and none get over 10% of the vote. Maybe we'll need a runoff election every four years. But would that be such a bad thing? Maybe it would give a suitable underdog a shot for once.

Not likely.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the American electoral system (which, unfortunately, includes a great many Americans), here's what happens if nobody gets a majority of the electoral votes (actual popular votes only decide which candidate the electoral votes of a state go to):

  • There is NOT a runoff election. There never was, and never will be, unless the constitution is amended!
  • The election is decided by the House of Representatives (the Senate gets no say).

Which means, that if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, it goes to the house, the Republicans vote for Bush, the Democrats vote for Gore, and Bush gets elected (which might be the lesser of two evils).

Just my $.02 to clear things up.

Re:Excuse me, but... (1)

paul.dunne (5922) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435145)

Calm down, take a sedative, and stay off the Katzdot for a few weeks, OK?

There is NO GEEK TICKET. (3)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435146)

No such thing. Can't happen. Doesn't exist. How arrogant of slashdot readers to assume they and they alone are the sum of geekdom. Since when was being a geek strictly computers? I know art geeks, car geeks, even *sports* geeks. There are some attributes that are generally accepted to be geeky, but all the candidates thus far do not meet those meager requirements. So before you go dropping your ballot, consider the following...
  • Geeks tend to have a wide range of political tastes. Really, about the only thing that's safe to say is that they're unconventional and anti-authoritarian.
  • Geeks are not (contrary to *cough* some websites) limited only to computers.
  • Most geeks would rather be doing what they like than out voting or trying to influence the stupid masses of people who vote. Just give me my xDSL and leave the internet alone, k?
  • Contrary to popular belief, Eric Raymond or Richard Stallman will not be running for president. You can still vote for them, however.

And this concludes my post. You may now moderate me down per the dogmatic policies.

Internet Party (1)

Darchmare (5387) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435147)

Not an endorsement. :>

Used to be the 'Internet' party, but they merged with the Constitution party. Go figure.

I prefer most of the politics of the Libertarian party, myself.

- Jeff A. Campbell
- VelociNews ( [] )

How to choose a president (1)

barleyguy (64202) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435148)

Following are my rules for choosing a president:

1. Never been on TV. This is to assure that I haven't been brainwashed by the media.

2. Has a basic understanding of human rights and freewill.

3. Has nothing to gain from being President. This probably precludes anyone who actually wants to be President. If you want to be President, you're probably not qualified.

4. Someone I've actually met. This is for the same basic reasons as rule 1.

Other than that, it's basically a personal preference thing. I think if everyone voted following these rules, we'd be less likely to get someone in office who is going to maintain the status quo and screw us over the first chance they get. When this country was founded, you voted for someone you actually knew, and not someone that was force fed to you by the media. Now whoever gets in is the lesser of the available evils. Sometimes people just vote for someone because they think he is the likely winner, which is the absolute stupidest thing you can do, because maybe THAT'S why he's the likely winner.

Peace, and good luck,


Re:What about moderates? (1)

Powers (118325) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435149)

Well, here's the deal. All presidents tend to moderate their positions once they take office (a gross generalization, but mostly true), particularly when the other party has a majority in Congress. They have to in order to avoid completely alienating most of the Congress.

But Clinton is no moderate anyway. He may moderate his views a bit based partially on public opinion, but we did elect him to represent us, so it's good that he tries to get a handle on what we, as a group, want. His political positions, though, remain pretty liberal.

Geeks and Issues (2)

schporto (20516) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435150)

To me it seems strange to presume that all geeks will agree on any set of issues.
Are all geeks pro-choice?
Do geeks want affirmative action to continue?
How about drug controls? More? Less?

OK the majority probably feel that Evolution should be taught, but really how many issues do geeks really agree on? Yes many probably agree on the laws governing the internet. But that's probably not even going to be much of an issue. Maybe we should make it one.

Re:Scary... really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435151)

So what exactly is this "candidate selector" thing?

In the body of the article, there is a link. That's what they are talking about. I find it helps to read the article before reading the comments. Perhaps this would work for you as well.

The Reagans said it well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435152)

Just say no. I don't think they ever had in mind just saying no to government. But I like the idea.

*ahem* (2)

Pope (17780) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435153)

And what, presently, is the population and land area of Switzerland?
It's easier to have direct representation in these circumstances.

as for my own opinions, I have voted in every election here in Toronto since I became eligible:
If ya don't vote, ya don't get the right to bitch.


get a load of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435154)

The selector picked Howard Philips of the US Taxpayers Alliance (oops, now the Constitution Party) for me as #1, and Alan Keyes as #2.

I'm pissed that my #1 choice was the same guy whose organization is related to George Wallace (okay, so that's loosely related..Wallace's American Independent party has a chapter in California that's now a part of the USTA).

Keyes is my #1 choice except he is a hard core creationist and he's unstable on homosexual issues (if homosexuality is a choice then it should be protected as such; why the ban on same sex marriages?).

My point is I lean heavily to the right (pro-life, anti-gun control, low taxes, states' rights over Federal rights), but I have a problem with destroying farmland with concrete jungles, homophobia, religious dogma, and racists.

But then the people who agree with me on stuff like protecting farmland, and on tolerance of different lifestyles, score a zero with me on their views on human life, and the right to self protection, and they all lean towards supporting Socialist governmental models.

None of these losers are acceptable! Throw 'em all back!

Anyone but a DemoPublican (1)

mr_death (106532) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435155)

Looking at the current crop of worthless, bought-and-paid-for professional politicians, I find no one that doesn't cause immediate nausea.

The least objectionable member of the DemoPublicans is McCain. He does seem to have a backbone and character; unfortunately, he's for censoring the internet and mandatory filtering.

Find me someone who has honor. Find me someone who believes that the Constitution is a limit on government power, not carte blanche for goverment to meddle with whatever it wants, whenever it wants. Find me someone with the guts to say that Social Security is an unworkable Ponzi Scheme. Find me someone who won't turn a blind eye to the corporations imposing externalities on others. Find me someone who won't be busy paying off the people who bought his last election.

OK, so I'm probably dreaming.

For this election, I'll vote for gridlock -- which means that the professional policians will have the least power to screw me. If it looks like the House will revert to the democrats, I'll vote for GW Bush to counterbalance. If the House stays republican, it would be extremely dangerous to let one party control Congress and the Executive (remember all the Crap Clinton got passed in his first two years), so I'll vote for whichever democrat has the best chance of winning.

In the End, I just want to be left alone. The government is not your Mother.

My vote... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435156)

is probably going for John McCain. Although I disagree on his Internet censorship stance, I believe him to be an honest, upstanding man, who "doesn't suffer fools". What the heck does G.W. Bush really stand for?! He's riding on a carpet of $$$ and the Bush name (I don't think George Sr. was a bad president, just caught in the position at a bad time), but I do not beleive he is as intelligent or as capable as his father. Bradley I can respect... he is also sincere and honest....and a true hippie bleeding-heart liberal to the core! :) As for Gore....well, he's Gore - and he invented the internet!

I hope it comes down to Bradley vs. McCain so for once we might have some politicians who just might, MIGHT a wee bit actually believe in some measure of integrity. In the end I guess I'm just a fiscal conservative and a social libertarian waiting for a suitable candidate (probably will never happen with such partisan politics these days)

Kevin Christie

Re:Ralph Nader The Geek Candidate? (1)

Spydr (90990) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435157)


yes it appears he is... his website [] is even running apache on linux. (too bad it's ugly as hell)


Hello? (1)

dsaxena (57330) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435158)

I find this whole thread to be somewhat ridiculous. ESR or the CEO of Novell for president? This is the reason I sometimes just want to throw my computer in the ditch and disassociate myself from the whole geek community: We are not more important than other people. There is a very worrisome elitist trend within the technology community in which people believe that they are more important to society that other people because they can use a computer. Whatever. Sorry, but I don't see ESR or Mr. CEO coming up with a good solution for dealing with some of the issues that will truly be important in the beggining of the next century:
  • How to get our relationship with Sino-Russia back on track. This IMHO is the greatest threat to us not just as a nation, but as a race. Our relationship with Russia has just been going downhill the last few years, and I for one think that we are on the brink of another cold war with both Russia and China.
  • How do we get the disenfranchised in our society back on track. Affirmative action as a method of helping those in bad socio-economical conditions is a joke. It doesn't work and it will just fall apart as more and more hispanic immigrants enter into this country. If we don't do something soon, we will have a repeat of the riots we saw earlier this century, but this time with hispanics instead of blacks.
I do think that it's important to have technically knowlegeable people involved with the proccess, and I think it would be great to see people like ESR working close to the government to make sure that their technology policies make sense. But the idea of putting a geek in charge simply because technology is now a big part of our society to be absurd.
Deepak Saxena

Vote Miguel de Icaza ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1435159)

Miguel's been winning awards left and right. He's a certain victory for us! BTW, is he an American citizen?

Non-voters don't have the right to bitch? (1)

whatsthislifefor (126424) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435160)

If a law is passed, does it not affect everyone? Just because I didn't help in the decision doesn't mean I'm not required to comply.

Moderates don't win elections? (1)

cje (33931) | more than 14 years ago | (#1435161)

Personally, I'm pretty moderate (slightly left-leaning), but moderates don't win elections.

You're kidding, right? :-)

In this day and age, you almost have to be a moderate to win an election. Consider, as an example, Gary Bauer. Bauer is, by all reasonable observations, a very decent and honorable man. He's an eloquent and passionate speaker. However, he happens to be a hardcore right-winger who would just as soon replace the United States Constitution with the Old Testament. For his positions, Bauer will never, ever be elected President of the United States. The same type of observation can be made about die-hard leftists; I have a very hard time imagining any circumstances where Paul Wellstone (D-MN) would be elected president.

The reason is that there is a difference between regional and national politics. Extreme right-wingers like Bob Barr and Tom DeLay can get elected to Congress because they're not running on the national stage. Their constituents are, for the most part, extreme right-wingers. :-) They don't have to compete for the urban New York vote or the Southern California vote. Similarly, uberliberals like Wellstone can get elected if their constituents are fairly liberally-minded people (as is the case with much of the population of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area.)

But when you're trying to win a national election, you've got to walk a fine line in this day and age. Gone are the days when we have something like a war or a Great Depression motivating the people. These are, for the most part, good times, and people don't want to elect somebody who's going to upset that. For that reason, you are not going to be elected president if you stray too far to the left or to the right.

Look at the front-runners; George W. Bush, despite his claim that he is a "compassionate conservative"; is really a moderate in conservative's clothing. Many right-wing media pundits like to refer to Al Gore and Bill Bradley as rabid liberals, but truthfully, they are far more moderate than some of the more left-leaning members of the Democratic party (i.e., Wellstone.) Bradley is showing a bit of a liberal streak with his proposed health care plan, but that's about it.
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