single Category Archives politics

It's worth re-reading the Emma Lazarus poem "The New Colossus" that was set at the base of the Statue of Liberty in 1903 (and which was moved indoors since 1986). Here are a few things I noticed:

  • Lazarus names Lady Liberty "Mother of Exiles." It makes one comparison unavoidable.
  • She rejects the "storied pomp" of "ancient" Europe and antiquity for the humbleness of the New World. #NeverPomp
  • "From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome." Nice one.

I don’t have a biting analysis to sum up the 2016 election or the handful of days since then. And I especially can’t speak with the voice of an immigrant, or a person of color, or a woman, or a member of the LGBTQ community, since I belong to none of those groups.

But seeing the acute anger and fear among my loved ones and colleagues in communities targeted during the campaign—people facing political threats, verbal assaults and most of all physical violence even as you read this—I’ve felt grief-stricken and confused. I’m writing not to tell you about my grief (which isn’t that interesting and has the luxury of being felt from comparative safety) but about my confusion.

There's an article by me in the latest newsletter from the Citizen Services office of the General Service Administration. The issue is devoted questions of citizen participation in governance. I had the chance to interview some personal heroes of participatory culture, including Eben Moglen, a crystalline communicator and evangelist for the end of information ownership; Brian Reich, a guru of change-means-change and not just cool tools; and Beth Noveck, author of Wiki Government and, more importantly, keeper of the Open Government initiative at the White House.

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