Obama’s Internet Supporters Are All Pot Heads and Poker Addicts

You know, we all love the Internet. Heck, I make a good portion of my living on Al Gore’s most famous invention so it gets a big thumbs up from me, for sure. But we have to admit that there are an awful lot of goofballs on these Internet tubes. In some ways, the whole venue isn’t quite ready from prime time, if you will.

Let’s take Obama’s Internet experience, for instance. His giant email list and heavily active campaign website was touted as the new way to affect politics. Obama’s mybarackobama.com site was crowned as the new mover and shaker of Washington. During the end stages of the campaign millions of people streamed to his site every day, polls were taken, ideas shared, “meet-ups” planned and executed, and a massive voter drive all successfully added to Obama’s big November win. And once he took the White House it was assumed that Obama would take this Internet army to new heights of political activism. So, what has happened since Obama took residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…

About nuthin’ at all.

In fact, some of his Internet efforts have turned into a joke. During the transition period Team Obama created what it called the “Citizen’s Briefing Book.” This webpage was sold as a way to “help” Obama program his agenda as he took office, a way for the people to feel empowered and connected, and a way for Team Obama to understand what the fans wanted done as he began his presidency. The site featured a way for web visitors to submit ideas to the president and promised that the top ideas would be featured in the president’s plans as he moved forward. Other visitors to the page could vote on these ideas and the top ones would be enshrined in policy, Team Obama promised.

The result is am embarrassment of comedic proportions. After 44,000 submitted proposals by Obama’s fans and 1.4 millions votes tallied for them, the results were surely not what Team Obama expected. The final vote and top ideas were posted on the site but were quickly forgotten and formed no part of Obama’s agenda. Why? Here’s why:

In the middle of two wars and an economic meltdown, the highest-ranking idea was to legalize marijuana, an idea nearly twice as popular as repealing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy. Legalizing online poker topped the technology ideas, twice as popular as nationwide wi-fi. Revoking the Church of Scientology’s tax-exempt status garnered three times more votes than raising funding for childhood cancer.

That’s right, in this day of wars and world-wide terror attacks, economic collapse, foreign threats and constant natural disasters Obama’s fans were more concerned about getting high, gambling at cards, and the status of a nutty, but tiny, pseudo religion.

So what did we learn from this web effort? What else than that Obama’s fans are goofs that have no clue about the serious issues of our day.

Of course, this whole experiment is a perfect example of why a direct democracy is the last thing we Americans should ever want. Most people are not informed enough to vote intelligently on every issue of government. The founders knew this and that is why they vigorously opposed a direct democracy — even feared it — and created this representative democracy.

I am not saying that everyone in the voting public is stupid. Far from it. But most people simply don’t have the time to stay up on all these issues as they lead their lives. They have their families, their employment, their lives to worry about. To worry about all the things government is supposed to do is what we expect of our representatives. And it is their duty to navigate the delicate balance between being guided by their own ideals and that of the voting public. That is their job, after all.

So, let Obama’s pot headed, gambling addicts hand wring over the Church of Scientology. But please spare us any thought that the Internet could become our sole forum for government.

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