Comment Of The Day: Community Organization Is A Conservative Notion

……. Normally I do not go to this level on blogs like this. Blogs that are supposed to be about business, finance, technology, etc. You really should have posted this thread on a political blog. You lost cred Fred and I  will no longer follow your blog.

Originally posted as a comment by Gideon on A VC using Disqus.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Oren Michels

    Gotta love Fred for hoisting this from the comments and featuring it front and center. I am simply astonished by comments like this.This is Fred’s blog. He flogs his portfolio companies; he explains to us how VC works; he talks about technology; he talks about music; he shares opinions on current events. Sounds to me like what would happen if one was to have the opportunity to sit down for a nice long dinner with Fred and talk about the world.I believe the only person who has the privilege of saying what this blog is “supposed to be about” is Fred. I started reading it because of the VC content, but I’ve benefited greatly from the music recommendations and the links to the Gotham Gal’s restaurant commentaries (doing “the pig” was wonderful, and it didn’t need any lipstick).Should I ever get to sit down for dinner with Fred, I certainly hope that the conversation will not be limited to “business, finance and technology.” I for one am a huge fan of the “etc.”

    1. TimWalker

      Amen to everything Oren just said. Fred, you have every right to take the John Scalzi approach to your blog. (That’s why Scalzi titled his blog — 10 years strong & 40,000 hits/day — “Whatever.”)Politics isn’t separate from everything else, despite the widespread tendency for people to shut down their critical-thinking faculties when the topic of politics arises.Now if we could just get *Oren* to blog more regularly . . . 😉

      1. Emil Sotirov

        “Politics isn’t separate from everything else, despite the widespread tendency for people to shut down their critical-thinking faculties when the topic of politics arises.”Amen… politics is the ONE thing that cannot and should not be separate from everything else. Why do people “shut down” is beyond me. I just can’t stand this voluntary self-silencing that so many people take for good manners… when it comes to politics. Politics = citizens talking.

        1. tim

          If Politics was truly about citizens talking I could agree with you. But Politics has turned into citizens yelling and threatening each other.

          1. Emil Sotirov

            Tim… yelling and even threatening each other was part of politics forever… citizens should have a little bit of the “thick skin” required for every politician. There is no way around it. It is a bit like the yelling that is normal for sports. People in southern cultures (like the inventors of politics in Greece and Rome) are OK with some yelling. It doesn’t stop them from being friends after the “session”… 🙂

          2. fredwilson

            emil, you are so right. i need to develop thicker skin so i can continue to blog about politics at this important time. it means my posts will attract comments from people (or machines – i honestly wonder if “reality check” is a real person) who will annoy me to no end. i need to tone down the emotion and ramp up the rational arguments.

          3. willcole

            I’m in.

          4. leigh


          5. Reality Check

            if you can’t handle it, fred, then don’t throw it out there. meaning, if you’re going to make poor arguments to even poorer political stances, then it’s probably best to just keep your viewpoints to yourself. stick with what you know best. then again, it *is* indeed your blog and you can write about whatever you want. but just like the original commenter alluded to, people can stop reading. i assume you’re not doing this for readership though. listen, i respect you talking about it, because you’re right, it’s something we should consider more closely more often. however, in listening to your arguments, i can tell that you’re honestly very concerned about this election … and it sounds like you’re concerned about the fact that obama’s celebrity is withering – he’s not the same guy everyone thought he was 8 mos ago – and since dems are realizing obama does not have the experience they would have wanted ,,, and the fact that mccain made a very good pick for vp (you won’t admit it but deep down you know it – even hillary thinks so) … and the fact that so many people throughout the country do indeed support those ‘crazy’ right-wingers … it all just annoys the hell out ouf you and your cozy way of life in manhattan. you’ve said yourself that you supported clinton and if you truly did, then you should know obama isn’t right for potus. deep down, i think you do, but you have this idea that the ‘change’ bullshit that obama is talking about is legit. as an educated man and experienced businessman, you should be able to sift through that garbage and look beyond the rhetoric.

          6. fredwilson

            I can handle itMore is coming and you can come back and try to throw cold water on itWho knows, I might even elevate your comment to the front page like I did this one

          7. Reality Check

            I’ll tell you what … you give me an argument that’s worth a damn and I’ll start posting under my own name, just to make it more interesting.

          8. fredwilson

            Let’s discuss the bush/mccain doctrine vs the scowcroft/brzezinski/obama doctrineThat’s a pretty serious issue don’t you think?But you need to post under your own name. I do that every day. I don’t hide behind a phony name like reality check. Pls do the same on my wife’s blog

          9. Reality Check

            Like I said, Fred … give me an argument worth something, and I will be happy to write under my own name. But stop with the ‘Bush/McCain’ diahrrea. I’ll be happy to talk specific policies, but I’m done with the ignorant comments bashing Palin for being a bad mother (see my last post on GG) and attempting to argue that managing a campaign is adequate experience for being POTUS.

          10. markslater

            mr reality check…….ARE YOU OUT THERE? earth calling mr reality check. How’s that economic reality check sitting with your mount gay and tonic now? we all wait with baited breath for you to come out. As you no longer have campaigning to do as your campaign has been suspended, as your boss got his own reality check.

  2. rick gregory

    Yea, like this is your personal blog or something… er, hold it…What I love is that the entire comment is several paragraphs long. So… it’s fine for Gideon to rant on a post that probably will get him far more readers for his comment than if *he’d* posted on his own blog…. but it’s not OK for Fred to make the post that gives Gideon those readers?Sigh.

  3. awilensky

    Fred,Needless to say, he and we are in your house, and you just go and say whatever the hell you feel. As if I need to tell you.

  4. CoryS

    Telling a passionate, visionary person to be in a box is why so many companies have failed. What I’ve learned from Fred, and the larger social media movement, is that our professional and personal lives are colliding. Should we feel uncomfortable with Fred’s opinions about certain things? Absolutely. Just because I don’t agree on any one topic on this or a number of other blogs doesn’t mean I won’t look forward to seeing his mind work elsewhere.What is most interesting is how both Obama and Palin have been able to create a level of PR focus that probably hasn’t been seen in recent decades. Unfortunately, it makes talking heads on both sides unresponsive to dialog as topics have canned answers. Many of the responders on your post are happy to repeat these arguments like a chess match – liberal bias; executive experience; race; sex.We’re missing seeing these candidates talk about our wars, the growing wealth gap, our massive budgetary shortfalls, Social Security and Medicare funding gaps and the vision for where our country will be in 4-8 years. Not in some pious set of platitudes, but in detail. Cut taxes -> Will we have to cut SS? End the war in Iraq -> how will we handle the turmoil (and possibly additional deaths) that will create?Bring more jobs to the US -> will being an isolationist help our country compete?Drill off the US shores -> how much time and financial relief does this really give us?I don’t feel “lipstick on a pig” or “zero executive experience” gets me closer to a decision. I’m undecided and being turned off in a race with two very qualified candidates. I’m trying to hang in there, but going negative and/or defensive isn’t getting any points with me.

    1. Guest

      Cory, what state are you in?

      1. CoryS

        One of the states where Obama is ahead in the polls by more than 10 points.

  5. Kenosha_Kid

    For what it’s worth, I will continue to read this blog every day. One of the more interesting and insightful ones around. That said, you did lose a little cred, Fred. A fine line between political debate and crass banter (“idiot” “barbie doll” etc.). I honestly thought, and still sort of do, that someone kidnapped your URL and went wild. This is meant as a compliment…. woke up on the roadside, daydreaming about the way things sometimes are…

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t want cred. i want to be me.

      1. Kenosha_Kid

        What a nice line. If it isn’t a song already, it should be. Ideally by Lou Reed.

  6. S.t

    Fred — b/t me & you, I love it when you post something political (even though my comments aren’t exactly ‘welcomed’). I hope you keep posting on politics every once in a while, and I hope it doesn’t cost you too many readers. I think (not sure) your posts on politics get more comments then you ‘regular’ posts. Maybe you should line up a cross-promo gig on Huffington Post?

    1. fredwilson

      your comments are welcomed but when you get to mudslinging, i get annoyed

  7. tim

    I didn’t read the original comment but he does bring up a valid point. This election brings out passionate opinions about the issues at hand. The unfortunate side effect of that is you realize some people that you’ve come to respect have rather naive or idiotic opinions about the issues outside their normal comfort zones or areas of expertise. I’ve gotten to a point where I run across a political thread in a blog – I just skip it and move on with life. Which is what I did on Fred’s “Community Organization …” entry. If I want political opinions I go to a political site.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t think it’s valid which is why i posted it. i want this blog to represent everything about me, including my political views. if you think they are naive, so be it. some do, some don’t. that’s life.

      1. mattmaroon

        The only valid point is that it will piss some people off. But you already knew that.

      2. tim

        I disagree with you on the validity but we agree on “that’s life”. But I also disagree with the original commentor who chose to stop reading your blog because you threw up an opinion on something that he disagrees with. People read blogs for a variety of reasons. I’ve worked for many startups backed by VCs and I am interesting in the process and opinions that go on in that world. But I can care less about your political leanings which is why I choose to skip it and have lunch.

  8. awilensky

    I like the whole Wilson family political editorial coverage. Yay Mrs. Wilson!I find myself turning away from the campaign coverage as the negativity and counter jabs ratchet up. Whereas John Mcain is a criminal who should just be getting out of jail now for engineering the S&L thrift scandal cover up, Obama is no saint for trading in dirty Chicago land deals.I am a conservative Democrat, and will vote for Obama as a default option, (Mcain is a corpse and a virus). As to Gov. Palin – I like her. I disagree with 100% of her political and policy positions. But, you see, she is a rare breed, i.e., a Citizen Representative – an exceptionally rare commodity in a class of officials that run our legislature like their own family business.

  9. banane

    I’m in a group that also restricts political conversation- but we know all of our stripes 🙂 I for one am enjoying hte political conversations on otherwise tech blogs (yours, Scoble) because I think we *need* to have discussion and re-examine these issue amongst ourselves, and not just rely on talking heads on TV for our critical decision making. If we can’t separate Fred from VC-Fred vs. Political-Fred, that’s our loss.

  10. bijan

    if your blog was only about finance, technology and business , I would be bummed outbut fortunately I know that won’t happen.

  11. mattmaroon

    You have to love people who are so solipsistic as to believe that you should write on your website about what they want to read and nothing else.

    1. awilensky

      solipsistic – triple word score.

  12. Aruni S. Gunasegaram

    I enjoy reading your posts on politics Fred. As I saw in the comments of the original post, it’s hard to keep emotion out of it. I’m discouraged that the tactics taken on by the campaign managers for McCain/Palin seem to be working. I saw that one of your commentors did not want to admit that Palin’s youth/looks had anything to do with the nomination. If that’s the case you should point him to the buttons that several of the vets and attendees were wearing at the RNC that said something like “We’re voting for the Hot Chick” or “Vets for the Hot Chick” I’m sure I’ve messed up the slogan but I do remember references to her looks on the buttons.Honestly, I think that’s completely disrespectful not only towards her but also to women who have tried long and hard to gain respect based on their talent and brains. Although I don’t agree with Palin’s politics I’m actually glad that we live in a country where she has the courage to say ‘yes’ when asked to run. My guess is that if Ferraro and Clinton had not taken the first steps that she would not have even been considered.Finally, Fred please don’t focus/emphasize that she only got picked for her looks. That kind of talk, in my opinion, is what contributes to the “Democrats are Elitist” mentality. Remember that when Obama started there were a bunch of “Obama Girl” stuff going around with scantily clad women. For a long time, women were accused of voting for the best looking candidate and we were told that we shouldn’t have the right to vote because we would focus on looks and not the issues. She’s not a dumb person (as evidenced by where she finds herself right now)…just not educated in the way we think she should be to hold such a high office.

    1. Guest

      I read somewhere that when GHW Bush picked Dan Qualye for his running mate, one Republican Senator proclaimed: Somebody that handsome is certain to have an effect on the race.The name of that GOP Senator: John S. McCain

    2. Guest

      I read somewhere that when GHW Bush picked Dan Qualye for his running mate, one Republican Senator proclaimed: Somebody that handsome is certain to have an effect on the race.The name of that GOP Senator: John S. McCain

  13. Brian

    Fred,I like the discussions your post generate. I would not change what you post.My only suggestion would be to tone down the hate of people who disagree with you. It makes you look intolerant.I can understand why some readers would stop reading the blog after seeing your comments in the comment thread. This is the same problem newspapers have. You do not keep readers when you insult them. You do not persuade people when you insult them.

    1. fredwilson

      Good point, but they should not insult me either

      1. Brian

        You cannot control what people post to the comment section, BUT you can control your response.Fred, not many of the comments in that thread personally attack you, but you personally attacked the poster in response.Then the next day you say you hate half of the people who left comments.This is your blog, so you can obviously do whatever you want. However, unless you want this blog to become an echo chamber you should lay off personal attacks of posters.

        1. fredwilson

          I refuse to moderate my comments. People can say what they want and I willleave them up.But the effect of that is I feel the need to respond when attackedYou might not think those responses deserved the attack back and maybe youare rightBut the one thing I’ve learned is you can’t let the right wing mudslingersget away with their tactics and I am not going to do it anymoreIf I have to sling mud back, so be it

          1. Sethop

            Fascinating. I’m amazed you can find the time. Full power to you Fred.I think the people who think you should be afraid of losing your audience seem to have rather missed the point. Seems to me you’re more likely to end up with an audience you enjoy interacting with if you simply speak your mind.Also, I think if you took the time to worry about what people might think of how you fight back, you’d waste too much time on mincing your words. And lets face it, trying to be nice about it is no fun. If fools want to say dumb crap on your blog it’s fully within your rights to use them as an object lesson in why people should say less dumb crap in blog comments. Playing nice would just encourage them.I am not a regular in your comments section (or anywhere, I no barely have time for bloggers let alone commenters), but I have been poking around your political posts and comments, and I haven’t ever seen you pull out the flamethrower 3000. A few barbed phrases here and there, but nothing compared to what’s getting thrown at you, so methinks you’ve nothing to worry about on the mudslinging front, you’ve clearly got this down to a fine art. I still marvel that you find the time for it…I guess having a wife who blogs (and therefore *understands*) must be very helpful in that regard, and owning your share of disqus (and now zemanta) gives you a fairly strong professional rationale as well. Hmmm. I think I’m beginning to understand…

      2. Brian

        Fred,You cannot control what people post, but you can control your response.This is your blog, so you obviously can do whatever you want. However, unless you want this blog to be your own personal echo chamber, you should work on becoming more tolerant of people. I would go cold turkey on the personal attacks.

  14. jer979

    That is just ridiculous, Fred. This is your blog. It’s about you. I don’t agree w/your politics, but I’m not going to cut you off b/c I learn so much other ways. YOu have your opinion and you share it. I guess there’s a line…if you wnet 85% political in your posts, I would unsubscribe as well (probably before that), but based on this one…seems crazy.

    1. Adam

      To all of you who have expressed support for Fred and urged him to be himself: Telling someone to be himself is kind of a funny piece of advice. Someone who is himself doesn’t need you to tell him and someone who is not cannot become himself by following your wishes. In the end, those of you who support Fred in this way are quite similar – in this one respect – to the people who do not support him. Both groups want to influence what he is all about.So Fred, don’t be yourself. Be me. But with more hair.One more thing: Let’s not try to fool ourselves or anyone else. People blog for the attention. Or at least so they can enjoy the illusion that they have someone’s attention – even if they know it is an illusion (which in my case it is and in Fred’s case it is not). That attention may be an end or it may be a means. But blogging is a social act. If you want to just be yourself, you don’t need to sit at a computer and type.Fred clearly hopes to have some result vis a vis other people. Whether to persuade them. To earn their trust, loyalty, friendship, money… Given that, it does matter what others think of him. The “be yourself” advice is a bit off unless it comes with clarity around the implications. Sure, be yourself if you truly don’t care who you piss off and you just want to find the group of folks who are like you…To be clear, I am not commenting on the particular incident here. Just making a more general point. As to the specifics, I agree with most folks here that Fred should post about politics if he wants – so long as he is prepared to lose the people who would leave if he did so (and it sounds like those folks are few and far between).

  15. Farhan Lalji

    I wonder if Gideon stopped using email because of the occasional spam mail that get’s through. Or throws babies out with the bath water.If you don’t like a particular subject, just don’t engage with the political posts if you feel so strongly about.The blog reflects your personality, whether that’s traveling, food, your kids, technology, your investments, or you politics. Your human and have the write to talk about whatever you like on YOUR BLOG.

  16. kidmercury

    even though i hate on and mock all americans who choose to ignore 9/11 truth, the truth about mccain’s vietnam war story, the truth about obama and his relationship with zbigniew brzezinski and chicago politics, while spending more time debating crap like “executive experience” instead of real issues like the fraudulent monetary policy and how both candidates in the one party war system will enable this, i still think that post was one of the all time greats in AVC history, doubly so for it being dropped on 9/11. besides, what did it get, 180 comments or something like that? it probably generated some inbound links too. a little bit of controversy, especially when the feelings behind it are honest (still laughing at the palin/barbie comparison…..hahahhaha….where there’s humor, there’s truth), can certainly can be good for blog business (just don’t go overboard and talk about 9/11 truth or the jfk assassination or something like that…..fluff controversy only, otherwise you’ll be put in the kook bin). anyway, the market should always reward honesty, so i hope your blog revenue jumps as a result.

  17. leonardkish

    This election is about “business, finance and technology.” The outcome will likely have a dramatic impact on each. The last eight years have been an assault on on just about all endeavors and discussions scientific and intellectual, including entrepreneurship (…. The assault on science and intellect continues in this campaign with the shift toward a culture war against those “wine-drinking, brie-eating liberals.”

  18. Kate Brodock

    I think I agree with most people here.1) If Fred is as insightful on politics as he is on tech/VC, I want to hear about it, whether I agree with it or not. It doesn’t affect what I think about his views/insight. If anything it gives everything more validity. I also completely agree, it IS Fred’s blog, isn’t it up to him to decide what’s “supposed” to be on there?2) Isn’t one of the main trends for social media to add personality to your brand (if we’re going to label this blog the brand of either Fred or his company)? So why the heck not?Kate

  19. Gabriel Nijmeh

    Simple life rule is to manage your emotions…. if you come across something you don’t like, debate it civilly or just filter it out. Some people have this massive propensity to make inane comments that add up to nothing… and then get pissed when called out on it!Life is too short to get riled up and bothered by every thing you come across that you disagree with…. that’s living with a heavy heart and mind.

  20. Steve

    I gotta think that anyone who would give up what they see as the value of this blog because of the occasional post with which they disagree is not someone you want as a reader. They’re the kind of person who only wants to hear from people they agree with and that doesn’t leave room for much in the way of learning/enlightenment.