Tag Archives: hillary

Fake news as propaganda

In yesterday’s essay about Twitter, I also linked to my post on Instagram’s lack of native reposts. Jason Brennan has written a follow-up about fake news and propaganda, exploring what we can learn and apply to microblogging:

Aside from the normal reasons propaganda exists, it exists on social networks like Facebook and Twitter because it can exist on those networks. It’s profitable and useful for the parties manufacturing and disseminating it. To Facebook and Twitter, upon whose networks it propagates, it doesn’t really matter what the information is so long as it engages users. Facebook’s apathy to propaganda is regularly exploited.

Hillary Clinton also connected fake news and propaganda in a speech this week:

Let me just mention briefly one threat in particular that should concern all Americans, Democrats, Republicans and independents alike, especially those who serve in our Congress: the epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year. It’s now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences.

The internet is at a crossroads. Entrepreneurs love free speech, scale, and money, but those don’t always align in a good way. As much talk as there is of making an impact, very few leaders in Silicon Valley seem to think deeply about consequences.

Proud to have voted for Hillary

I couldn’t sleep. I woke up early the day after the election, thinking about my daughters, and cried. I had been so excited to celebrate our new president with them. I had been so excited to watch the returns with my kids, to share a moment of pride and optimism.

This wasn’t a normal election. This wasn’t just a debate over policy. It was much deeper. The world is already worse and darker for many people because of what happened.

There will be arguments over why the election went so wrong, but it’s more complicated than just one thing. There was the overplayed story about private emails. There was the FBI letter. There was the media treating Trump like a reality TV star instead of a threat.

Hillary did her job. She destroyed Trump in all 3 debates. She ran a solid campaign. But she has always been held to a different standard than everyone else. I’ll never get over that.

I’m proud to have voted for Hillary in the primary and in the general election, and I’d do both again. This election was very close. It was winnable. If we had ignored the polls and fought for every state, it was winnable.

Friday night, I went with a friend to see Trevor Noah’s standup show. It was great to laugh for a couple hours, about the election and everyday life. But then the night fades and we’re still in a nightmare.

After Hillary has had some time to rest, and reflect, and be her own person again, I hope she can find another cause worth fighting for. Let’s not forget that she did make history as the first woman to be nominated by a major party. She paved the way and reminded us how hard this is. That matters.

Daniel and I recorded an episode of Core Intuition the day after the election. We tried to capture that feeling of loss, and anger, but also of hope that we can have a renewed passion for our apps and ideas. Maybe some of our products have a place in the work to do before 2018.

Hillary said in her speech, the day after the election:

Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.

On this, I disagree with Hillary. Trump has already shown us who he is — someone who mistreats women, lashes out at his critics, and disrespects immigrants — and nothing he does in office will change that. The only thing we owe him is a short presidency.

With her

I’m a Hillary Clinton supporter. I was in 2008, I was earlier this year, and absolutely I am now, as Donald Trump seems intent with each daily blunder to prove he’s the worst candidate the Republicans have fielded in quite some time.

Having said that, even leaving the politics aside, I think the new podcast “With her” from the Hillary campaign is fantastic. It’s exactly what a podcast should be: well-produced, yet informal, with just enough of a look behind the scenes to feel personal. You can subscribe in Overcast or iTunes.

This is Hillary’s week

The Democratic National Convention starts today and the latest round of polls are out. FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only estimate of the election now shows Trump in the lead. Just in case you think we can not vote or not volunteer, and Hillary will coast to a win anyway… we can’t.

As a long-time Hillary supporter — I recorded a podcast episode about the primary process back in 2008, which I’m still very proud of — I’m increasingly frustrated to realize how much damage has been done with the constant attacks against her character over 20 years. She’s held to a different standard of perfection than everyone else. But she’s a very good candidate and fundamentally honest.

Let’s not forget how historic this election is. From a New York Times profile by Gail Collins:

You can argue the pros and cons of Hillary Clinton’s character, or her potential to change the nation, or her position on trade policy. But you can never take away the fact that she was the one who made the idea of a woman becoming president so normal that many young women are bored by it.

If Hillary wins, future generations will grow up learning about how Republicans (and even some Democrats) threw everything at her for decades, and she never gave up on politics. Success isn’t just the best ideas, the best product, the best marketing. Success is perseverance.

There are many people alive today who were born before women had the right to vote. Trump is wrong about what makes America “great”. The country is great because it is progressive, even if progress takes a long time. Electing the first woman president isn’t supposed to be easy. Hillary is a strong Democrat, and her place in history is worth fighting for and celebrating.

GOP train wreck, day 2

I agree with Dave Winer’s summary of day 2 of the Republican convention:

It’s one thing to nominate a grade school bully from a racist family with a potty mouth and an emotional age in the single digits. That’s pretty bad, but to call for the other party’s candidate to be jailed, that’s over the top. To let those words come out of your mouth, even as an anonymous person in a crowd, you all have crossed a line that will be hard to come back from.

History will reflect poorly on the Republicans of 2016. And nearly as bad, while flipping through national TV networks last night, I saw little or no condemnation from the news. Maybe we need a multi-party system just so the GOP stops getting 50% of the air-time.

I called it a mob last night. The only good news: the arena seemed literally half empty.

I’m supporting Hillary, again

As Iowa kicks off the election today, I thought I’d offer my 2 cents on the campaign. I’m a strong Hillary Clinton supporter.

Dave Winer writes that Hillary is what we need right now in terms of projecting a stable image to the rest of the world:

“At this moment, we need a solid hitter, someone who the rest of the world is comfortable with, and who a deeply injured Republican Party can work with.”

It’s great to see the passionate Bernie Sanders supporters, too. I was fired up for Howard Dean in 2004, so I remember what that excitement is like. But I believe Hillary would be a great president.

Eight years ago I put together a short podcast episode about the campaign, trying to capture something from 2008. You can listen to it here. My daughters — who were 7 years old at the time — make an appearance at the end of the episode. Now, of course, they’re 15, and the weight of time passing couldn’t be more clearly felt.

There’s a good line from Hillary in one of the first Democratic debates in 2015:

“I’m a progressive. But I’m a progressive who likes to get things done.”

I think that sums up what we can expect from a Hillary Clinton presidency. I have no idea what a Bernie Sanders presidency would look like — what it would accomplish — and I’m not sure he does either. My concern isn’t in the ideas, but in the execution against a politically calculating, Republican congress.

Bernie and Hillary share something in a fighting attitude, though. Neither candidate will let the Republicans walk over them. If you don’t think Hillary’s got this, re-watch her speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Healthcare fallback plan

In the software world, the best strategy is to ship early and often. Get something out there that solves a real problem, then fill in the missing pieces and continue to improve it. Iterate. In politics, though, we often only have one chance in years or decades to get it right.

The healthcare bill passed the Senate and is on its way to becoming real, even if it’s a shadow of what it could have been. We should be thankful that we got anything — the changes do matter — but at the same time I can’t help thinking it was a missed opportunity.

Who’s to blame? I wish Democrats had fought harder; I wish they’d framed the debate correctly from the start. I still like George Lakoff’s focus on calling the public option the American Plan, but I also like John Neffinger’s point that maybe the real mistake was in not starting with a single-payer plan so that the public option would look like a moderate compromise. It feels like many Democrats were resigned to failure early on.

In an unrelated tweet a few weeks ago, from comic artist Kazu Kibuishi: “If you have a fallback, you will fall back.” My failures reflect that too. To shoot for greatness you have to put everything you’ve got into your first effort.

I keep coming back to something Hillary Clinton said in a debate with Obama early in the Democratic primaries of 2008. It struck me as so true at the time that I wrote it down:

If you do not have a plan that starts out attempting to achieve universal healthcare, you will be nibbled to death.

And that’s what happened.

Palin

I made a comment on “Dave Winer’s points”:http://www.scripting.com/stories/2008/08/29/initialThoughtsOnThePalinN.html about McCain VP pick Sarah Palin that I feel like I should republish here. I’ve commented on dozens of blogs and news sites through the primaries, but I haven’t posted here on this blog, instead preferring to let off steam on Twitter. I think this comment serves as a nice snapshot in time of the race, at least from my perspective, so here it is:

Some of your points may end up being true, but let me just address number 6. Since you didn’t vote for Hillary, there are 18 million people who know more about this point than you do.

Every day this week at the convention, the main news story was Hillary and party unity. What would she say, would Democrats unite? Well she hit it out of the park with her speech, and Bill Clinton did too, and then Biden followed strong and it was easy to be excited about being a Democrat, about the story of Obama and Biden and how hopelessly lost the Republicans were by comparison. Even those Democrats who were frustrated with the party, and disappointed with Obama in general, started to warm up to the ticket.

When McCain picked Palin, it was like none of the week had happened. Everything was reset back to the primaries, in how Hillary had been treated by the press, party, and Obama supporters, and how Obama had passed her over for VP.

On the issues, Palin is no Hillary. But every day for the next 2 months, Palin will be a reminder to disgruntled Democrats that Obama messed up.

Unite the Party

After Hillary won Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island last month, I decided it was time to think less about actively supporting my own candidate, who clearly wasn’t going away, and more about the future of the Democratic Party and what it would take to come together when a nominee is chosen. I had been quick to defend Hillary on Twitter and in blog comments, but the more I considered the close race and the long month until the next primary in Pennsylvania, now finally here, the more convinced I became that a joint ticket is the answer to a unified party.

Rather than bicker with my friends who support Obama, I changed my tone to emphasize our shared values and launched a new site: “unitetheparty.com”:http://www.unitetheparty.com/. I’ve been posting there regularly since March, and hope to build a group of like-minded Democrats to write on this topic, as well as a list of supporters who want to see a joint ticket happen.

Thinking about the endgame of the race in this context provides an excellent backdrop for discussing the real issues important to voters. There’s still an opportunity to use these campaigns for good: setting the right tone against McCain and bringing awareness of the Democratic agenda to everyone.

Hillary podcast

About once a year I like to put together a podcast episode around a theme, and this weekend that subject is Hillary Clinton. I think I’ve prepared it with fairness and respect, so even if you disagree please do the same. It’s both a personal expression and a way of capturing a moment.

» Download (MP3, 6.2MB)

» Subscribe in iTunes

It’s about 13 minutes long. Enjoy.

Why I support Hillary

Obama is passionate, thoughtful, centrist enough for broad appeal, and a brilliant speaker. If he’s the nominee I’ll support him fully with every bit of strength I have. There is something special about him, and it comes around rarely in a candidate.

“Dave Winer wrote”:http://www.scripting.com/stories/2008/01/08/gluedToTheTv.html: “Obama, like Carter in 1976, may be our pennance for having re-elected Bush in 2004. We’re taking the medicine we deserve for having been crazy enough to re-elect someone who was so bad for us.”

But what about Hillary? She’s part of the establishment, and I volunteered heavily for the Howard Dean campaign. Could I support someone as traditional as Hillary? As “Mike Cohen said”:http://mcdevzone.com/2008/01/08/bad-news-from-new-hampshire: “I oppose her very strongly, not only because of all the baggage she brings, but for her anti-progressive record.”

And yet.

“I posted to Twitter”:http://twitter.com/manton/statuses/578006692 on election night that something had changed between the Iowa vote and New Hampshire: Hillary had found her voice, and it surprised me. Turns out she knows what is at stake. I always knew she was a fighter; after 2000 and 2004, we need the Democrats to show some backbone again. But I think she’s been underestimated even more deeply than that, in her ability to speak to the core Democratic base while drawing upon her new experience and record in the Senate that most people aren’t familiar with yet.

And then there is the woman factor. Some people will say this matters but they don’t really understand unless they have daughters of their own, daughters who will grow up and become teenagers, the defining moment of their lives, during a woman presidency. This is both personal and huge and it could spread like wildfire. For me, it tips the balance.

My family is throwing its support — our money for donations, our phones for getting out the vote, and our voice — behind Hillary. Thank you New Hampshire for making this a real primary election again.