Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

How not to convince your reps

Jerry Stratton, December 24, 2006

There are two ways to influence a politician: change the number of votes they’re receiving, and change the amount of money they’re receiving. For most of us, we can only really affect the first. In Dems to the Net: Go to hell, Lawrence Lessig complains about the Democrats appointing Hollywood Howard Berman to chair the House IP subcommittee, and tells Democrats he won’t be doing that either.

This is like making a congressman from Detroit head of a Automobile Safety sub-committee, or a senator from Texas head of a Global Warming sub-committee. Are you kidding, Dems? The choice signals clearly the party’s view about the issues, and its view of the “solution”: more of the same. This war—no more successful than President Bush’s war—will continue.

Here’s what any politician reading that saw:

blah blah i’ll continue to vote for Democrats no matter what blah blah blah

Lessig compares this year’s elections to Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. But he’s taking the part of Charlie Brown’s teachers: not saying anything anybody will hear; it has nothing to do with the show.

Copyright reform will probably end up going the way of medical marijuana: everyone “supports” it, but very few cast their votes based on that support. Rather than voting for someone based on that issue, they vote against other politicians based on other issues. The result is that there’s no need for politicians to support their issues. It won’t gain anybody any votes.

The only issues that matter are the issues you’re willing to change your vote for.

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