Hangin’ with Obama

It’s been a long time since I posted something, I know. You can expect some changes coming to this site in the near future, not the least of which is the return of regular updates, and not just updates on writing. Updates on, just, you know. All sorts of stuff.

In that spirit of other-stuff-ness, I was watching the very first Presidential Google+ Hangout (must be capitalized!) today while I was working, and it was a surprisingly awesome moment for me. Not because I’m a huge fan of Obama, although I think he’s a decent president at least, and not because what he had to say was groundbreaking, but because of how personal it was.

That deserves some clarification too. Obviously there’s no way that I had privileged access to any sort of executive communication, so if I could watch this hangout, so could millions of others. And when millions of people are watching, the president is never, ever personal, or intimate, or familiar. He pretends to be those things, just like every president since TV was invented, but that’s not what I’m talking about either.

What I mean is this: there were eight other people in that hangout (seven, if you don’t include the event coordinator). They were carefully selected for their demographics, but they were real people. One of them cut Obama off while he was talking. One of them disagreed strongly with his position on foreign aid. That could’ve been me, or you, or anyone.* Maybe I’m just naively enthusiastic, but that seems incredible to me. Technology is changing our government, and it’s changing it for the better.

*Full disclosure: it never could’ve been me. I don’t have the stones to argue with the president while millions of people are watching, and I’m at least man enough to admit it.

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