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Monday, November 5, 2012

A Case for Barack Obama from Someone Who Works on the Internet

Posted by on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 4:45 PM

One of the things I like about The Verge is that it's a tech website that doesn't get swept up in providing free advertisements for tech companies. They write knowledgeably, and they write well, about tech culture. Another thing I respect The Verge for is the fact that they're willing to take stands that Gizmodo, Engadget, and all the other hack tech press sites aren't wiling to take. Case in point: They just published an essay by Nilay Patel titled "Why I'm Voting for Barack Obama."

It starts like this:

Last year, I quit my job at AOL and Engadget to join a small internet publishing startup and build what would become The Verge and Vox Media. After a lot of hard work, I am proud to say The Verge has been a success — we have hired, invested, and grown during what remains a massive recession.

Our ability to succeed is why I believe President Obama should be re-elected. The Verge exists only on the internet, and Romney's position on net neutrality and network access represent a grave threat not only to our future, but to the entire technology industry. Both candidates have insisted that this election is a referendum on the future of the economy; the GOP's platform would hand control of the internet economy to a small handful of entrenched corporations with a long history of crushing innovation in the name of control. Bluntly, a vote for Romney is a vote for the worst of AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.

Given the libertarian leanings of tech aficionados, I think The Verge is going to lose readers over this editorial. And I think the people behind The Verge knew they were going to lose readers over the editorial, but they ran it anyway. I love that Republicans are already in the comments saying things like, "Why is the Verge getting so political? I wish a tech blog could be just that," and "I vote to keep politics off this site." Get a load of this concern trolling:

I just don’t understand why The Verge needs it feels it needs to step into the muck of political discourse. This place has been a relatively a nice place. But I guess everyone needs to get involved publically with their opinions for some reason.

This is the classic Republican complaint, that people with opinions unlike theirs should just shut up—funny how they don't feel that way when they're busy pretending that Kid Rock is a real star—but it makes even less sense than usual in reference to The Verge. Technology is very political. Everything is political. Patel's editorial is smart, considerate, and impassioned. That's the best kind of politics.


Comments (5) RSS

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I think there are plenty of Libertarians who think that Romney sucks. If you ask them what their biggest complaints are with Obama, they sound a lot like those on the left (drones, undeclared wars, etc.). Those folks weren't too fond of Bush either (drones, undeclared and really stupid wars, etc.).

In general, though, my guess is that while there are plenty of Libertarians in the tech field, they are outnumbered by Progressives. It is just that their numbers in the tech field are much higher than in most other fields.
Posted by Ross on November 5, 2012 at 5:50 PM · Report this
I'm a big fan of Nilay's. We don't always see eye to eye (we've had some heated discussions about patents and software), but what he writes is always well thought out and generally very smart.
Posted by arbeck on November 5, 2012 at 5:51 PM · Report this
"And I think the people behind The Verge knew they were going to lose readers over the editorial, but they ran it anyway."

It probably doesn't hurt that Markos Moulitsas ( is a cofounder of The Verge's parent company, Vox Media (
Posted by aaronbrethorst on November 5, 2012 at 6:44 PM · Report this
"a vote for Romney is a vote for the worst of AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast"

Speaking of dystopia... "Unleashing" American corporations, like the Republicans propose (and they really mean the largest corporations, because that's whose lobbyists pull their strings) would lead us closer to some "Blade Runner"-esque nightmare of concentrated wealth and power, with rot, decay and limited prospects for everyone else.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on November 5, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 5
Was going to check out the Verge, however..

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Democrats are forever claiming that republicans are in the employ of special interests, and many believe them however it is quite easy to prove that it is the Democrats who will support one technology or the other but somehow make it look like their self interested choices are done with the countenance of Mother Teresa.

Hence you find that battery cars are the salvation of the world, but fuel cells cars are not..yet it is GEs Jeff Immelt whose company would stand to gain from that technology who has been an Obama advisor for the past few years.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on November 5, 2012 at 8:28 PM · Report this

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