Okay, politics time.

I’m a political junkie, but I’ve largely kept that out of xkcd (other than occasional cracks about science and net-related issues). So this will be a one-time thing — after this post, you’ll hear no more political advocacy on this site for the rest of the election. But I think we’re at a balance point, where a few words between friends who are generally in agreement might make a difference, so here goes.

Please support Barack Obama.

I want, for once, someone I can vote for not because I dislike the other candidate, but because I’m proud of mine. Obama is the real thing.

Obama has shown a real commitment to open government. When putting together tech policy (to take an example close to home for xkcd) others might have gone to industry lobbyists. Obama went to Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons (under which xkcd is published) and longtime white knight in the struggle with a broken system over internet and copyright policy. Lessig was impressed by Obama’s commitment to open systems — for example, his support of machine-readable government information standards that allow citizens’ groups to monitor what our government is up to. Right now, the only group that can effectively police the government is the government itself, and as a result, it’s corrupt to the core. Through these excellent and long-overdue measures, Obama is working to fight this corruption.

Obama stands against bad governing not only in his support of specific practices like open data standards and basic network neutrality, but in his work against corruption from day one. He’s sponsored legislation to restrict gifts to Congress by industry representatives (which also carried a whole slew of anti-corruption measures that were a breath of fresh air). He’s fought against vote fraud. He’s been pushing for election and lobbying reform from the start, and in his campaign he’s refused to take lobbyist money.

Clinton has done nothing of the sort, and when questioned seems baffled that anyone would have a problem with what is, by any reasonable standard, bribery. I find her basic lack of integrity troubling, and I think as president she would continue fighting to maintain the status quo. It’s vital that we start the work of picking up the messes left by the irresponsible governance of the current administration, and, as they say, you don’t get out of a mess with the same kind of thinking that got you in. Obama is the guy to to get us out.

The Democratic party has a long, painful history of nominating unlikable, uncharismatic ‘default’ establishment candidates who are eventually swatted aside by the voters. Nominating Clinton would be continuing that tradition at the very time when we have a chance to do so much better. Let’s not let that chance slip by.

I want someone who can lead the country. When people grow cynical and detached from government, or blinded by partisanship, evil runs amok. Obama represents an honest shot at making our government something we can be proud of. I’m tired of throwing things at CNN. I’m tired of feeling depressed when I read speeches by the founding fathers. I want Jon Stewart to smile again. For a brief moment, next Tuesday, we’ll have a shot at finally getting things right. Please help.

I’m disabling comments because I don’t want xkcd to become a place for ongoing political argument, anger, and hurt feelings. The internet has enough political discussion threads — if you’d like to participate in that, I recommend heading over to sites like reddit. As for this site, there are lots of comics and projects I’m looking forward to on the horizon. Also, someday soon we’ll be able to spectrally image the surfaces of Earth-like extrasolar planets, which is way exciting. Space is on the verge of becoming an adventure again, Windows Vista is flopping, and Mario Kart will be out for the Wii soon. I think the future will be okay.

%d bloggers like this: