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XKCD Guy Endorses Barack Obama

I have been less the NPR / Politics junkie than I have in the past. And in the February 5 primary, it doesn’t take much thought for a Democrat from Chicago to prefer Barack Obama. I have already had the privilege of voting for him twice to get him in to the Senate. I just really like the guy: he is eloquent and he seems like and honest, good-hearted, hard-working guy who can pull things off.

But I don’t know much for him on the substance, so I have kept kind of quiet on the matter.

But, well, the XKCD guy, who is really bright, endorses Obama. He gives as good an explanation as any:

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.


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 like Hillary Clinton, as well. Don’t know much about her, but the thing is we have had “Clinton” or “Bush” in the White House for two decades now, and it is time to do something different. I liked the Clinton years, but they could have been . . . more inspired.

I can’t say that the system won’t grind Barack down in his first year in office, but you gotta dream, right? And Barack Obama is the candidate who inspires me most.

Update: Lessig has a compelling 20-minute video as to why he supports Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton.

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