Interview with Andrew Rasiej: Founder of the Personal Democracy Forum and Techpresident.com

Founder of the Personal Democracy Forum and <i>Techpresident.com</i>, former Dean consultant

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Andrew Rasiej: Essentially, open-source politics is the acknowledgement that the citizens of a city, county, state, or country can solve far more problems for themselves than any single elected official. The thing is, the Internet is really a reflection of what exists in the real world but with certain facilities that are more efficient and easier. In political life, an organized minority is always stronger than a disorganized majority. And organizing is easier on the Internet.

Mother Jones: What should candidates be doing that they’re not, and why?

AR: They’re not making authentic video. They think every time a video camera’s pointed at their face it’s television. They still think that the technology department is a separate department in their organization; they don’t realize that technology isn’t a slice of the pie —it’s the pan. Technology affects everything. The pollsters should be using the Internet to do polling, and getting more nuanced information than just calling up people on the phone. I could go on and on. With Internet advertising, political candidates generally rely on consultants who get paid a percentage for recommendations of television buys, and there’s no mechanism for them to get any of their royalties for making recommendations on Internet buys. Therefore they’re pretty much missing an opportunity to use Google, banner ads, blog ads, and other kinds of Internet ad tools to get their message heard.

MJ: Are they also failing to embrace the web due to their fears?

AR: Big ones. They’re terrified.

MJ: Are those fears justified?

AR: Sure, if you’re not transparent.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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