Saturday, June 29, 2013

The US Flat Earth Society vs. A New Political Reality

The US Flat Earth Society vs. A New Political Reality

by Meg Curtis, PhD

When President Obama complains about the Flat Earth Society in America, he needs to check his rear view mirror. His speeches address race and sex. He refers to Edward Snowden as a "hacker." Obama is the creation of the 1960s. His most famous words yearn for "Dreams from My Father." Newsflash: This is the twenty-first century, and Obama's strategies have not even begun to acknowledge the real change in America's workforce.

First, with every development of technology, communications workers have upped their power ante. This group constitutes the "Communications Workers of America (CWA) ... the largest communications and media labor union in the United States," according to Wikipedia. The CWA, in turn, is "affiliated with the AFL-CIO, the Canadian Labour Congress, and Union Network International...and the worldwide membership of the AFL-CIO total[ed] 11,000,000, as of 2008." The CWA has its own connections, and those are not limited to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in DC.

Second, while Obama agonizes over race and sex, the following developments have occurred:

"In October 2003, 77 million persons used a computer at work, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported ....These workers accounted for 55.5 percent of total employment. About 2 of every 5 employed individuals connected to the Internet or used e-mail while on the job."

These statistics cut across racial and gender lines. They practically define "labor" now while the US President harps about the birds, the bees, and skin.

Third, we come to that elite group of high tech workers who, just like Snowden and Obama—we hope—have security clearances. Even in 2011, the Washington Post's research revealed that enough security clearances had been issued to cover nearly the entire population of Washington, DC. That report, described in "Checkpoint Washington," admitted: "The official count is so much greater than previous estimates that it caught security experts off-guard."

Across the board, this fall-out of the computer revolution seems to have occurred without America's leaders recognizing its consequences. Computer users should also now define the largest voting block in this country, and they are ripe for some smart politicians' plucking. Can America ever stop fighting the last war, and get onto current challenges? Technology unites, threatens, and characterizes our everyday life. The high tech wars have started, and America is right in the middle of them. Where oh where is Obama?

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