Election Day 2012

We've witnessed the most expensive presidential election contest in history. If you don't live in one of the eight to ten "swing states", it didn't feel like much of an election. I did not see one commercial for either side. But friends who have been in Ohio tell me they have been bombarded for months. Well that's the electoral college for you.

But regardless of whether you live in a swing state of not, I urge everyone to go out and vote. I plan to do that bright and early this morning on my way to work. I have no idea how crowded the polls will be so I am going to leave extra time.

Like much of America, I find it hard to be enthusiastic about either choice this morning. My vote will be a vote against Romney and the GOP more than anything else. I don't subscribe to the GOP's social views and I don't subscribe to the idea that you can fix the fiscal mess without asking those like me who have to the means to do more. I am hoping that once their legislative strategy of "keeping Obama to four years" fails, the GOP will meet the Democrats in the middle and find common ground to deal with the messes that all of our elected officials have been entrusted to solve.

I have thought a lot about the Kid's advice to pull the lever for Gary Johnson, but that doesn't work for me. It's a two horse race and placing the lever for anyone else is a waste of a vote. And I take the job of electing a President too seriously to waste a vote like that.

But regardless of how you feel about Romney, Obama, or Gary Johnson, I hope that all of you take the time today to go out and vote. Our system sucks in so many ways, but it is our system and as citizens we have a responsibility to engage in it. Today, that means voting.


Comments (Archived):

  1. gregorylent

    america is corporatocracy … a billion dollar election is what one would expect

    1. Mark Birch

      A billion dollars seems small potatoes in order to elect what many consider the most powerful position in world.

      1. William Carleton

        A billion is indeed not that much. The larger concern is how relentless the money-raising is, that it’s as big a part of the job as policy-making.

      2. raycote

        It seem like enough to distort the process ?

    2. Pete Griffiths

      Very true. And the legalization of super pacs has just taken it to its logical conclusion.

  2. gregorylent

    oh, and definitely do NOT vote .. why encourage a dysfunctional system that will never transform itself from within.ignore them, and route around.a mass “don’t vote” campaign would send a huge message, especially needed for national elections .. local is a very different matter.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t buy that at all.every system that i have had a hand in transforming was transformed from within, not from outsideopting out is not caring.i care too much to do that

      1. gregorylent

        that’s like expecting my junkie brother in law to change himself … will never happen

        1. fredwilson

          i have seen a junkie quit

          1. ShanaC


        2. Sérgio Rebelo

          But you will not change you junkie brother in law by ignoring him either.

        3. Dave W Baldwin

          Hang in there for you may be surprised with what he will do if you help him change.

      2. Sérgio Rebelo

        I Agree with you Fred. They wouldn’t care for people who don’t care and I think that is ok. Not voting doesn’t mean to send a huge message. It means you don’t care and you allow other people to chose for you.

      3. LE

        “opting out is not caring.”Makes sense though. People always choose the path of least resistance. And what could be easier than not voting?

    2. Mark Birch

      Dude, that is a terrible idea. Change happens when as many people as possible participate in the system, a system mind you that has worked pretty well for over 200 years and has only gotten better. That is the transformative power of democracy and the true test of freedom that we the people can change the direction of our country with our votes. There is no more powerful voice, no more powerful of a force, than the power of the ballot.

      1. brian trautschold

        best comment so far.. this is 236* year old experiment continues to improve (accelerating even) only because of participation; that is how a republic works. To not vote is to lose the right to improve, complain, impact, or give any voice to your opinions.imho – the greater issue is a very large portion of voters believe a candidate should embody his/her exact view point. And we will yell louder until they do! Hogwash. it is not the lesser of ‘evils’// ‘idiots’// whatever – we can & must demand better candidates, but we will never have a “perfect” candidate unless we (this community) actively participates…Please go Vote for who you feel will best run this country for the next 4 years.*And yes the first election was actually in 1788-89, so election experiment is only 224 y/o

        1. Jim Ritchie

          I am not confident we can get better candidates. My solution is to simply limit their power. The POTUS now acts like he is a King with executive orders (decrees). We need to limit these in both power and scope. We also need a constitutional amendment for term limits for congress. Senate (2 – 6 year terms) and House (2 – 4 year terms, change from 2 to 4 year election cycle). Finally, no special laws, medical insurance or pensions for congress. Undoing the concentration of power and money in Washington is a big part of the solution.

          1. thinkdisruptive

            I think that voting is the problem. It incentivizes bad behavior, and is an artifact of a time when popularity mattered more than responsibility.A far better system would be randomized representative democracy where 1/7 of representatives are replaced every seven years (and the replacement process happens annually), and people’s names are drawn from a hat (figuratively speaking), grouped only by a desire to ensure representation from all geographies. You can’t be voted in, and you can’t be voted out. We’d get a few bad apples, but by and large, most would be motivated by trying to do the right thing, not by angling for re-election. 7 years is enough time to learn the ropes and do something meaningful, but not so long that you can build a crony patronage base to featherbed. It would take party politics completely out of the picture. The representatives would choose their own managing leader annually.A simple system like this would ensure that representatives looked like the country politically, socially, economically and geographically. And, would operate at a tiny fraction of the cost, while mostly eliminating the obstructionist bickering we have today.I can’t see anything wrong with this approach, other than it strips power from those with a vested interest (career politicians and political parties).

      2. ShanaC

        I still think we need to hold a constitutional convention – maybe about the electoral college….

    3. kidmercury

      in my opinion opting out can only work if you replace it with something.

    4. bsoist

      Opting out is not a solution. If we don’t like a current system we should rely on evolutionary reconstruction. We build new parallel institutions that will be ready to replace the old ones as they fail.

      1. kidmercury


    5. jason wright

      http://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…I feel your sentiment, but there needs to be an insurgency strategy. Not voting is not a vision.

    6. takingpitches

      I see your point in that in some very important historical contexts, boycotts have been effective for change. So, it’s a fair view.Not sure it would help in this context though. It would just encourage the party who benefited most by the “vote out” to encourage it more.I also think that given different points in our history, it is very important for me to vote — a lot of blood has been shed and work has been done, to get the right and then to expand the franchise to other groups of people over time.Saw this quote somewhere and, for me again, it’s a shame to the extent that it is true:”A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election.”

      1. Jim Ritchie

        I remember my Great Aunt telling this story in the early 70’s. She lived with her husband on a remote ranch in Wyoming. When they first married and it was time to vote, they would hitch up the wagon and drive the 5-6 six hours to town to vote. My Great Uncle would vote Republican and she would immediately cancel his vote by choosing the Democrat. I thought this was an awesome story on what it truly means to be an American.

        1. raycote

          One of them needed to get up earlier and leave with the wagon!But alas it sound like they had true love and respect for both each other and democracy.

        2. ShanaC

          they sound like an amazing couple…

      2. Donna Brewington White

        We walk across graves to get to the voting booth.Yes the political system is broken. “Not voting” won’t fix it and instead perpetuates the problem. As I said in another comment: Vote now. Disrupt later.

        1. takingpitches

          That is a powerful sentence!

        2. raycote

          Good point!Voting and continuing your efforts to “route around” are not mutually exclusive.

    7. Derek

      Not voting was so useful to African Americans prior to 1964…

    8. raycote

      Given the shear complexity and inertia of the American political system “ignore them, and route around” seem somewhat implausible ?

  3. awaldstein

    I’m with you.Not happy about choices. Much less happy about one and will vote against it.I head out in a few.

  4. mydigitalself

    What is wrong with the state of the politics when you have two poor choices to run your country? We have the same situation here in the UK where both leaders are woefully inadequate to lead a country.

    1. awaldstein

      Almost always the case that you vote against someone. There have been a few exceptions in my lifetime but very few.

    2. fredwilson

      Romney is a good man inside a bad party. I feel badly for him.

      1. Dave W Baldwin

        Here then is moment of logic, Romney would have on his shoulders doing the cooperative while we know Obama doesn’t. To get to where opportunities expand for the down and out will require the positive message along with doing the deed. Gaining revenge against the wealthy will not achieve what is needed.

      2. Pete Griffiths

        My view on Romney has changed during the course of this campaign. When it started If felt as you describe. More specifically I felt he was likely a pragmatic ‘technocrat’ who would have to pander to the crazy right in the primaries, but who would then steer back to the center and who would be trusted to not do anything socially crazy in office. Sadly his behavior during the campaign has left me with little conviction that we know the man at all. He has been so ready to say practically anything that I have no sense of what if any center he has. I am not alone in this concern. To take a single simple example, I found his readiness to endorse ads stating that due to Obama Jeep was offshoring to China and to air these ads even after Jeep had made it plain it was untrue to be extremely distasteful. (Oh yes – I am also extremely suspicious that there is something most people would find unpleasant in his tax returns. I can think of no other reason he would not disclose them.) One could argue that we need a non-dogmatic technocrat and to a degree pragmatism is of course a good thing but he has been so all over the place on so many topics I just don’t trust him.

        1. bsoist

          I don’t think I’ve ever thought he was a good man, but he certainly is a capable man – AND much more moderate than his party I think. I never considered voting for him, because I feel too strongly about the social issues, but I didn’t think he was a terrible choice. I agree with you that his behavior tells us a lot about who he is. I don’t think we can trust him.

        2. Dave W Baldwin

          Let’s see, so the Dem message is they will stop tax breaks for outsourcing… And to clarify, this reply is from a proud Independent.

          1. Pete Griffiths

            Sorry – I don’t understand. I think that Obama would like to reduce incentives to offshore. Is that what you mean?

          2. Dave W Baldwin

            I was referring to the President claiming he would end the tax break for outsourcing… There is no such thing… Yet that became a plank in the Dem plan and part of the Dem congressional ad push. IOW, elect us and we’ll stop something that doesn’t exist.

          3. Pete Griffiths

            OK. I understand. Thanks. I think what is being referred to is not an explicit tax break to offshore so much as a tax regime that makes offshoring attractive and repatriating profits to be taxed unattractive. I think it is common knowledge that there are enormous offshore profits being held offshore. Do you think this is what he had in mind?

          4. Dave W Baldwin

            I would think. Problem is, many supporters of Obama take advantage of low wage outsourcing and pay little in tax. So I think (not due solely to Obama) this subject is a lot of hype. The incentive needs to reward those that manufacture here. This incentive needs to be enough to reward those that risk exposure to those that sweat shop and/or the copycats who will use sweat shop to undermine.

          5. Pete Griffiths

            I am not sure that such subsidies are allowed under the terms of our WTO agreements. I suspect they would expose us to penalties and the risk of tariffs.

          6. Dave W Baldwin

            Good point and probably right.

          7. Pete Griffiths

            My suspicion is that Obama’s analysis is correct, though his solution may not work, indeed there may well not be any solution.analysis =globalization is an irreversible factwhilst some labor has to be local much does not need bemuch labor that was local in the US now is cheaper elsewherecapital migrates to lower cost environmentshence offshoring is structural and inexorablehence elements of our traditional blue collar middle class will continue to be erodedprognosis =the relatively low skilled manufacturing jobs will not come back in the foreseeable futurepolicy = make education and skills the US’s differentiatorgo for more highly skilled jobs that require more capital investment in education and trainingjobs that you can’t fulfill in countries with massive but relatively poorly educated and unskilled laborhence his emphasis on educationwill it work? =it makes sense but so do lots of things that don’t workeg will we be able to replace enough jobs like this?is the cost of education and skill acquisition cost effective?etc etcbut a policy that makes sense is probably better than no policy and just praying that industrial ages jobs will just reappear heresoI’ll give it a chance and vote for it 🙂

          8. Dave W Baldwin

            Inspiration. The president will have to be President of all.No Child was not going to work since emotion (fear of failure) becoming magnified by numbers. Now that is phasing out, he needs to inspire what we can achieve looking forward (tech/innovation) built upon a foundation. A big number of the communities are putting together the 1:1 flip of classroom. Though we needed to end No Child, that didn’t stop our push forward. BTW, my school district is finishing details of implementing this starting with grades 9-12, flipping to 5th as we buy for new 9th starting 2nd year. I’m proud to be part of this project. Over next 3 years, we need to push collaboration of ideas that inspire young minds (sponges).

          9. Dave W Baldwin

            My first reply dealt with the campaign message to vast audience. Moving to the term “incentives”, what are they? I ask because I know you are a good source.

        3. Tom Labus

          He denied the science of evolution to pander to the lunatic fringe of the GOP

          1. Pete Griffiths

            Yes. That’s the kind of thing I find disturbing. If you are prepared to bend to whatsoever may be the squeakiest wheel you end up like a cushion – adapting to the shape of the last person that sat on you. And that’s how he feels to me right now.http://en.wikipedia.org/wik

      3. takingpitches

        I don’t feel badly for him.Being President of the US is not the be all and not the end all of the world.If his party moved away from his “core” views, he didn’t have to compromise himself the way he has done with his never-ending flip-flops.I think the simpler explanation is that he does not have any “core” views.

      4. Tom Bakalis

        In Massachusetts Romney had the backbone to be his own man and not a party man. Obama has not shown the same fortitude in the last four years.

      5. matthughes

        Romney is a good man.He’s not the caricature many make him out to be.He’s a worker who will put his best foot forward as president – including bringing an increasingly divided country closer together.That said, the Republicans are increasingly fragmented – the Android of the political spectrum. For better or worse.I am not a Republican but generally vote that direction. I couldn’t be more embarrassed by some of the nutty social positions that come from within the Republican party but certainly do not represent most conservative-minded Americans.

      6. F. Thompson

        I felt the same about him until he started campaigning in a meaningful way.I don’t believe a good man would be willing to run such a vacuous and dishonest campaign.Prior to his campaign I thought he’d be a thoughtful, intelligent, moderate Republican.As his campaign wore on, I realized that essentially none of those words actually applied.

      7. LE

        I’m glad you said that. He is a good man.And an adult as well.Christie is still a kid apparently.See how excited he was to speak to Springsteen over the phone? (He’s been to 100 concerts apparently).That was really embarrassing.Even more embarrassing then the people who give a shit about what some guitar player and songwriter thinks about solving the worlds problems. Or some actor.

    3. bsoist

      Two mediocre choices comes from trying to please everyone on every issue.

  5. Jonathan Sandlund

    We’ve seen this new open world –more connected, transparent, and collaborative than ever– disrupt other markets and industries. Our political system– closed, opaque, and obstructive– is up next. Not an if but when. My guess is we’ll see the tides turn in two election cycles as the restlessness of a younger generation who grew up in this ‘open world’, and has come to expect nothing less, refuses to accept the status quo.Random thoughts now: I bet smart technology could accelerate this transition. Imagine if Twitter organized a monthly policy meeting. One, two, maybe three top-of-mind questions would be asked. Results would be algorithmically collected, sorted, packaged and then sent to policy makers. I bet they would receive millions of answers.And one step further, for issues that require certain expertise — let’s say medicare reimbursement rates for family practitioners — users could be pre-qualified. Forget closed-door panels with members, who are subject to influence by special interest groups, and make decisions industries they know little about.

    1. Pete Griffiths

      It would be nice. Our current voting system is a chaotic second rate patchwork of poorly regulated ad hoc state managed efforts riddled with voter surpression initiatives. It is an embarrassment to a great democracy.

  6. Tom Labus

    I’ll be heading out on this chilly morning to vote for President Obama. This is both an economic and a social vote.for me.I saw no reality associated with any of the republican fiscal approaches and the last thing we need is a dose of trickle down.

    1. thinkdisruptive

      Where is the “reality” in willfully and perpetually choosing to spend 50% more than you have?The only reality I see is you’ll progressively get less and less value for your spending, as interest consumes an ever larger percentage of the budget, and you’ll be in indentured servitude to China forever (or your kids will be). That is, until they refuse to fund your debt and your currency becomes instantly worthless.

  7. Mark Birch

    There is never a wasted vote when choosing alternative candidates. The idea of choosing a candidate on the basis of viability is self-limiting and the reason we are stuck in a two party system. Why would any party or politician find the need to compromise and accommodate if their base has no other choice?

    1. kidmercury

      all that is needed is 5% to raise awareness. the republican party has already had to become more libertarian and the democrats have to be more “green” because of third party influence. the third party candidates are not trying to win they are just trying to get equal access to the ballot, participation in debates, etc.http://www.youtube.com/watc…a protest vote for the half white guy who is pro war and debt instead of the white guy who is pro war and debt is not a protest vote at all. for most of us our votes are already meaningless because of the electoral college system. all that’s left is our principles and a strategy for the future.

      1. bsoist

        I’ve voted in a Presidential election 4 times before, and today will be the first time I’ve voted for one of the two major parties. I never felt like I was wasting a vote before, and I don’t think I’d be doing that now. The difference this time is that I actually think one of our choices is better than just the lesser of two evils. He’s not perfect, but neither is anyone else.

        1. pointsnfigures

          I voted. I voted for Romney for the exact opposite reasons Fred voted for Obama. I think Fred and I would agree on most social issues, but this is an economic campaign and I think he and I would disagree on economics. You don’t jumpstart an economy by increasing debt and raising taxes (or regulation). Slowly, ever so slowly, the younger people that are identifying with Republicans are moving the party in a more libertarian direction. That starts with smaller government. In Chicago, I know what crony capitalism and big government is all about. My gut tells me this election is about putting food on your plate, not who can marry whom. (Neither party is particularly strong when it comes to civil liberties)

          1. ErikSchwartz

            Romney has promised the first thing he will do is increase the debt by cutting taxes and raising military spending.

          2. kidmercury

            and that’s the optimistic situation which involves believing romney — a rather tall order judging by his fondness for saying whatever he thinks will get him elected. i wouldnt be surprised if he raised taxes and debt.

          3. bsoist

            >Neither party is particularly strong when it comes to civil libertiesI agree with you there.>moving the party in a more libertarian directionI see that, and I think you’re right – ever so slowly – but the term libertarian is misused quite a bit. I eventually had to stop using the term libertarian to describe myself because I don’t agree that the free market is the solution to every problem.What about Fred’s point about people of means paying more to get us out of this mess? I’m willing to do my part. I don’t want to see runaway taxation and spending any more than you do, but I also don’t buy the argument that we need to cut taxes right now to protect me from the takers – the 47%.

          4. Richard

            You could confiscate all of Freds money and it wouldn’t move the debt needle. Freds money for the most part won’t make it out of the dc beltway. The money would be better spent in citilhasahat sit quietly in pain as their young flee, saddled with student loan debt.

          5. bsoist

            Understood. I’ve written elsewhere about silly arguments from people about cutting pensions for elected officials for the same reason. It would be like someone who is more than $100K in debt paying down $0.0032.But I’m not asking for Fred to solve the problem. I wanted your response to his point – “I don’t subscribe to the idea that you can fix the fiscal mess without asking those like me who have to the means to do more.”I agree with Fred on this one in a big way. I’ve been frustrated by the rhetoric from my GOP friends because they keep talking like the only people voting for Obama are people who want a handout. If Romney is elected, it is likely that I could save a lot on my taxes. Like I said before, I don’t want spending and taxation to get out of control, but I certainly don’t think saving my money is the most important issue in play right now.You think we can get out of the mess we are in AND cut taxes?

          6. Richard

            I do want the 1% to “do more”, much more. It just doesn’t make sense that the group of the top percentile at making money send 50 % of their money to the govenment who has proven again and again that they are the at the other end of the bell curve. So yes do more, much more.

          7. bsoist

            I agree with that. I am not in favor of raising taxes on the rich. I’m against what I think the far right would do – cut taxes for the rich now.

          8. D. Monroe

            Still better yet it could be spent investing in new and innovative companies… which makes Fred a perfect case-in-point. A huge fraction of every dollar he pays in taxes is wasted and practically every dollar he pays in taxes is functionally taken away from investment in the future.

          9. Tom Bakalis

            People of means can freely pay more if they wish. All they need to do is write a check. In fact there are those that do just that and don’t seek the spotlight for doing so. Americans have been fooled by crony capitalists like Warren Buffett into believing that taxing the 1% will cure all ills. Malarchy! During the Bush years Buffett was asked why he didn’t just write a check and he replied that he didn’t approve of the way the government spent tax dollars. What about now. The fact is that raising taxes without reigning in spending will make matters worse.

          10. bsoist

            I’m not in favor of raising taxes. I just don’t mind paying a higher percentage than those who have less. I think it’s part of my duty as a member of society. I don’t like the way the government spends it in most cases either. I’d like to see a system develop where we can have more influence in that regard. I found the video Fred posted in October about the open Internet very interesting. Perhaps if we had more influence on the process, we wouldn’t be forced to choose between the big-government Dem and the big-government-but-pretend-to-be-small-government Rep.

          11. LE

            “I just don’t mind paying a higher percentage than those who have less. I think it’s part of my duty as a member of society.”Unfortunately if you don’t store your chestnuts you won’t be able to dig yourself out of a mess later on. So in making that statement you are either very financially secure, or perhaps you have some family connection to money that provides security, or you simply aren’t taking into account what the future could possibly hold when you will need the money that you paid in extra taxes.

          12. LE

            “won’t be able to dig yourself out of a mess later on”Let me elaborate on my point here. If you make and save money, and there is some big “god” event which displaces you from your home you won’t be whining like the people on Staten Island (apologize for the use of whining btw) you will be able to simply use your money to get other housing and still carry on. Money may not buy happiness but it does alleviate suffering in many cases.Or like Fred who is in NY but through his hard efforts at what he does was offered the use of a large apartment uptown even though he had the resources to do what 99% of the others couldn’t w/o government help.

          13. ShanaC

            Saving money doesn’t help if the amount you saves isn’t enough.

          14. bsoist

            I don’t buy that at all. I don’t know what your idea of “very financially secure” is, but I will stipulate that I am NOT. I also don’t have any connection to family money. Nonetheless, I think it’s possible that I have taken into account a reasonable amount of self-preservation, yet I’m still willing to pay more.Let’s not get hung up on where we disagree. I think we agree that we need to control spending. I just happen to agree with what Fred said – “asking those like me who have to the means to do more.” I don’t believe for a minute that this is somehow the miracle solution, but I don’t like the way many conservatives dismiss that idea entirely.

          15. Tom Bakalis

            You don’t deposit percentages, only dollars. If a taxpayer pays 15% and that amounts to millions whereas another taxpayer pays 40% which amounts to $1000, which scenario benefits the country more? That said, I maintain my position that before you can raise taxes on anyone you have to come up with a plan to spend the money that is collected. For at least the last 12 years we have had no restraint whatsoever on spending. This has to change!

          16. Derek

            Oh my god yes it would be a tragedy to go back to Clinton era tax rates. Remember how awful the 90s were?And the carried interest loophole is indefensible.

          17. Richard

            peer to (US Treasury-Bill Holder) Peer

          18. LE

            “crony capitalists like Warren Buffett”Buffet types don’t derive pleasure from needing or buying things with money. (Look at the house he lives in.) They derive pleasure from getting non-stop smoke blown up their ass by people who stand to gain something from them. So they are giving up something that is not important to them and that they don’t need. Look at the way he treats his own granddaughter.People are always willing to give up things that aren’t important to them. Just like they are willing to do things that don’t bring them money that they get pleasure from.

          19. Tom Bakalis

            Buffett still does what he does for the money (I’m not criticizing him for it, just stating my opinion). Look at the sweet deal he got on Goldman. Regulators looked the other way. And don’t think for a second that Burlington Northern Santa Fe didn’t benefit from the striking down of the Keystone pipeline.

          20. LE

            “Buffett still does what he does for the money”But he does it for the “money as a scorecard” and not “what money can buy”. Once he “earns the points” he can give them away and he has still won the game in his mind. That’s the key difference. But Trump on the other hand (who probably would find things to buy if he made 5x as much money) is deeply bothered by his score also. I just think to a Buffet it’s all about the game strictly. At this point anyway. Years ago I can almost assure you he didn’t have the same attitude which he can now because he’s the top dog.Oh crap. I’m watching the news and Obama just won.

          21. fredwilson


          22. thinkdisruptive

            We don’t need to cut taxes right now, but no one is arguing that (Grover Norquist, maybe, but he isn’t on the ballot). Increasing taxes on people like Fred is at best a symbolic gesture, and not a very good one for several reasons. If we confiscated all the accumulated wealth of the “1%”, it wouldn’t even pay for 1 year’s worth of budget deficit, let alone pay down the debt. Adding a couple of percent to their income tax bill will do substantially less, and it will replace productive use of capital with government wastage of capital. And, Fred, you’re free to send in more — no need to penalize others who are already doing their part.The system needs a structural overhaul and willful commitment to stop spending more than we have. I suspect most of us — even the “47%” — would be happy to chip in and do more if we had assurances that the destruction of our country by politicians would stop. I’m not willing to contribute a penny more than I am obliged to at the point of a gun (and I’m not happy about that either), until I see responsible budgeting and spending and goodwill and honesty from politicians.Unfortunately, the republicans continue to shoot themselves in the feet with insane comments about abortion, rape, homosexuality, unwillingness to ban AK-47s from the streets, while talking to empty chairs. But, even with all that insanity, the democrats are 5x more fiscally irresponsible, and will never get the nod from me. Maybe others think we can afford that foolishness, but I certainly can’t.It’s a truly sad state of affairs when the majority of the country has to hold their noses and vote for the candidate who least offends them. I agree with the @kidmercury:disqus on this one, and normally would advocate for a third party to make a point. The problem is, we simply can’t afford for democrats to win this time (although I believe they will).

          23. Pete Griffiths

            “But, even with all that insanity, the democrats are 5x more fiscally irresponsible…”This is most definitely a common belief – that Republicans are more fiscally conservative. It is so much a piece of the conventional wisdom in the US that most of us take it to be true without question. But as someone who came here from the UK I have always found this to be really puzzling. In the post war period the evidence is very clear that the strong correlation between spiraling national debt and party is with the Republicans. They may talk a good game out of office but once they get in they spend like drunken sailors whilst cutting taxes. Case in point, the much idealized presidency of Reagan.

          24. thinkdisruptive

            There is much blame to go around, no doubt. However, the difference between Obama and anyone before him is quite stark. Our national debt has increased by 60% in less than 4 years. In absolute dollars the debt increase in Obama’s 4 years is 40% greater than the debt increase under Bush in 8 years. And Bush, as we know, was no saint (another drunken sailor). The real problem here is that although the US preaches checks and balances, the only time a republican president can control the level of spending (other than vetoing everything) is when the senate and house are also both republican. Technically, congress controls the budget, not the president. And the way that bills are written here makes it exceedingly different to authorize some good things without also including a bunch of waste and pork.But I only need look at the unfunded healthcare plan, and the way it was approved (without reading the bill), to know that when democrats are in control of all the moving parts, it’s like giving a teenage girl dad’s credit card. A lot of reckless spending ensues.

          25. fredwilson

            that bit about “you are free to send in more” is total and complete bullshit. i hear it all the time and it really annoys me. please don’t drop that nonsense around here.

          26. thinkdisruptive

            Fred, your perspective is very different. Maybe you think you can afford to pay more taxes, or that some class of people can. I can’t, and most people that I know can’t.We are worse off than 5 years ago in every imaginable way. Incomes are lower. Prices are significantly higher. My house is worth less than half what it was, and at least in Georgia, that condition is likely to persist for a long time with unemployment (that which the government labels as “unemployed” because they’re still collecting UI, plus those who’ve given up and fallen off the count list) still over 15%, and that doesn’t include the large number who are underemployed and have taken jobs for much lower pay to put food on the table.Gas prices are temporarily lower (but still 2x what we were paying a few years ago), but likely to soar again, probably over $5/gal in the next few months. My healthcare costs have gone through the roof, and I get less for what I pay than ever, and more friction with insurers who don’t know me trying to impose ridiculous standards of care and nannying. 15% fewer people own their own house, and we are still the foreclosure capital of the country.All that, and our collective (national debt) credit card has been charged to the max with no way to pay it off.So, what really annoys me is people saying they’re so well off that they can afford to pay more, so everybody else should too. It sends the wrong message to politicians, and frankly to people like me. Until there is a serious commitment — and I mean absolute — to stop spending what we don’t have and start paying down the debt, I don’t support paying anything more. Anything.On the other hand, if we immediately cut all deficit spending, and start paying down the debt, while ensuring that the load is spread among all of us who earn anything rather than just half the country, then I would be willing to step up, eat less, keep my car on the road another five years (if it will last that long), and pay a bit more taxes. As part of that, I’d also want to see simplification and significantly more fairness in the tax code, because otherwise, we are headed for civil war as a country. You can’t keep sucking more and more from the same people and giving them nothing backThe problem is, that unless you understand the people and the conditions they are living with, suggesting tax policy which creates more inequity and more sense of unfairness is going to have the opposite effect of what you expect. Only if there is a perception that everyone is hurting equally, and that government is also doing its part to stop increasing the pain, will you ever get a consensus on this issue. (And, it also requires honest, trustable leadership, which we don’t have.)I get that you don’t like the rhetoric “why don’t you choose to pay more”, but it’s the equal and opposite feeling here — I don’t like the suggestion that I should pay more for less. The facts as I see them and our relative abilities to afford to spend more on government are not the same, but I would be caught in your tax trap. That’s not acceptable.I don’t consider it nonsense, but I do consider your unusually unfriendly response to be both out of character and ungracious, given that it is perfectly reasonable for us to disagree about this issue. If there was a choice between raising your income taxes by 5%, and you taking that same money to fund a couple of more startups that end up failing, I’d take the failed startups 10 times out of 10. Because the more startup ideas we try, the more that succeed, the more people are employed productively and learning, and the more likely those same people are to succeed next time. The same can’t be said of dropping more money in the government sinkhole.

          27. JLM

            .When you give money to the government, it wastes it.You can’t give a crack head “just a spot” of crack.Politicians are financial crack heads..

          28. Pete Griffiths

            There are very few organizations of any size that don’t waste money. I don’t believe government to be unique in this regard. The amount of waste and squandered resources in the private sector also beggars belief. Waste takes many forms and none of us is immune to any of them.

          29. falicon

            Fred posted this blurb from Bloomberg on his tumblr the other day, that I think best expresses why I also voted for Obama -> http://fredwilson.vc/post/3…Outside of those core issues/beliefs…I have a serious gut feeling that, given the chance, Romney will put us into a new cold war (with China)…it made for a solid economy throughout the 80’s, but we are *still* suffering from the true cost of that (on many, many fronts) and this isn’t the same global economy or societies that existed in the 80s…it will be a *very* short term solution leading to *serious* long term devastation…

          30. bsoist

            We’ll see. I tend to agree about the cold war. Don’t you think we will be at war with Syria after the election – no matter who wins today?

          31. falicon

            Sadly yes I believe we’ll be stuck in many conflicts regardless of who wins…and we aren’t even out of the current ones yet ( one of my neighbor’s a few houses down just lost their son a few days ago -> http://newjerseyhills.com/e… )

          32. JLM

            .An experience like that really brings the war(s) home.It is sad and it is unnecessary..

          33. falicon

            Yes. We have been talking a lot about it with our two sons (6 and 9) the past few days…and the neighborhood as a whole has been mourning and trying to figure out how to express our sorrow and appreciation to the family…

          34. JLM

            .What they need right now is simply the presence of their friends and good food. They have to mourn in their own manner and it will NEVER really be better..

          35. JLM

            .Syria is going to be very dicey as they are the last Russian client in the Middle East.Folks forget that Kissinger pried Egypt out of the hands of the Russians as an ally after their defeat in the desert at the hands of Ariel Sharon.The Russians could not save the Egyptian armored forces and the ensuing peace has been the longest and best peace in the region between Israel and any Arab nation.Kissinger — in one of the greatest feats of diplomacy — made them see the wisdom of defecting to our side and they did.That is why it is so damn dangerous to have someone like the Muslim Brotherhood — suppliers of two Infantry divisions to the Waffen SS on the Eastern Front in WWII — influencing Egypt, Libya and perhaps Syria..

          36. JLM

            .We are and have been in a Cold War with China since the end of the Korean War and while Nixon’s opening of China in the 1970s was a singularly important event, we are really no closer to a rational basis for mutual cooperation.I listened to John Huntsman, American Ambassador to China and a Mandarin speaker, explain the hierarchy of China — the 90-year olds give way to the 80-year olds give way to the 70-year olds — and it was absolutely transformational to see how little is understood about China and how it views the rest of the world.The Chinese have been the biggest beneficiaries of the war on terror. They are in the shadows of that war when they are our greatest rival.They are building silent submarines, attempting to launch an aircraft carrier, are conquering the military frontier of space, making huge strides in combat hacking —– all offensive strategies aimed right at the USA.They have thousands of surface to air/land/ship missiles deployed opposite Taiwan to say nothing of troops, ships, landing craft and airplanes.Taiwan was our land aircraft carrier and the Chinese are just waiting for the moment to seize it.At the same time, they are incredibly aggressive on stealing intellectual property, espionage of all kinds, reverse engineering and creating manufacturing dependencies — oh, yeah, currency manipulation and counterfeiting.Romney will put this “war” — a real war — on a more even footing and will force back the FEBA — the forward edge of the battle area..

          37. Tom Bakalis

            Its ironic that the US complains about a weak yuan. The yuan is pegged to the dollar which is kept artificially low. The US needs to figure out how to live with a strong dollar and let the chips (yuan) fall as they may.

          38. JLM

            .Any currency exchange rate has to be tested from several different perspectives including PPP — purchasing power parity — whereby a bag of goods is priced in the two different countries and a comparative measure is made.This technique shows that the Chinese currency renminbi/yuan is not fairly valued.This technique can be used on a myriad of different related or unrelated products and the results are inherently and spookily the same.It is not really the weakness or strength of a currency, it is the comparative trading value which is important..

          39. falicon

            Good counter and thoughts…if Romney wins tonight, I sure hope you are right.

          40. Ryan Frew

            JLM, I’ve heard these arguments before and it’s clear that I’m missing something. The piece about “stealing intellectual property, espionage of all kinds, reverse engineering and creating manufacturing dependencies — oh, yeah, currency manipulation and counterfeiting” I understand, although pieces of the currency manipulation are debatable. Not the point though.My question is what big advantage China would see in having “all offensive strategies aimed right at the USA”. If our economy crumbles, so does theirs. So what’s the game? Perhaps this is incredibly obvious, but like I said, I’m missing something.

          41. JLM

            .It is the complexity of their leadership in that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party — the 90-year olds) is the whip hand on foreign policy and war making while they are more capitalistic than the US within 100 miles of the coast.Until the leadership of both the political/military arms of the government and the civic/business arms of the government are conjoined — the 90-year olds, the 80-year olds, the 70-year olds die off — it will be difficult to recognize with which China our country is dealing.But common to both is a desire to dominate their partners — example their relationship with N Korea, Japan, Viet Nam — and to have absolutely no ethical barriers in diplomacy or commerce.We Americans, on the other hand, are naive to a fault relying on judicial remedies and be willing to expose our manufacturing expertise to a nation of unlimited hands.Make it in China and you will never control the means of manufacturing. Ever..

          42. Ryan Frew

            Interesting, thanks.”Until the 90-year olds, the 80-year olds, the 70-year olds die off it will be difficult to recognize with which China our country is dealing”So will we continue to see a more capitalist China as that generation passes, or will the 60, 50, and 40 year olds just fall into the current older generations’ molds as they gain power?

          43. JLM

            .No, the capitalists are the real deal and they will purchase and rent their freedom ultimately by bribing their elders.Look at Putin, one of the wealthiest guys in the world, for how it will ultimately work.Remember the Politburo, those ancient ideological goons? They got bought off with dachas, darlings and dollars.The Chinese will be the same though sex will not be the driver for the 90-year olds..

          44. jason wright

            “dachas, darlings and dollars”where can i get that gig?

          45. ShanaC


          46. jason wright

            too cold in winteris there a russian riviera?

          47. BillMcNeely

            You are correct. They have a lot of sway in Afghanistan. I can’t believe how much training of the Afghan police the Chinese do.

          48. pointsnfigures

            Today the Obama administration announced they were going to put tariffs on Chinese solar panels. There is verbiage, and there is action. Who is starting a trade war? And on solar panels. Do you think it’s because of Solyndra?

          49. falicon

            Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…the only path now is forward.

          50. Liane

            Chinese solar manufacturers are subsidized so completely by the Chinese government that they can sell at *significantly* below cost. Selling into another market below cost is known as dumping. Tariffs are the typical anti-dumping response. The other option would be to subsidize our own manufacturing to the point where our manufacturers could out-compete their manufacturers’ pricing. The chances of the Republicans allowing such a subsidy through Congress are non-existent – especially after all the huffing and puffing over Solyndra.

          51. pointsnfigures

            I am against all corporate subsidies, and pretty much against tariffs. Let the market decide. If the Chinese want to give us really cheap solar panels, what’s the worry? We have screwed up ag and energy markets with subsidies and tax breaks. End them all, let the market decide.

          52. LE

            “My gut tells me this election is about putting food on your plate, not who can marry whom.”I would love if this was the case. But somehow I feel that it’s not.

          53. pointsnfigures

            You were right.

          54. JamesHRH

            This issue with Romney is that he is a wizard at the economics that Fred laid out on Sunday – efficiencies.He is a deal monkey.Obama, despite his faults, is (by nature) a builder.But, he needs to communicate the role of government in creating new industries (and he needs to let FRed & the private sector do the VC work – sheesh).

          55. Tom Bakalis

            What has Obama built?

          56. JamesHRH

            Grassroots election machine.Obamacare.I did say ‘temperament’.

          57. pointsnfigures

            Crony Capitalism par excellence (even better than Republicans and that’s saying something!)

          58. pointsnfigures

            A dependent state.

          59. JLM

            .He is a speech giver, a poseur, a fakir and a naif.He wants to play golf and talk shit.Nothing wrong with that, mind you.He is NOT a builder as that requires a plan, hard work and steadfastness. Team building, cooperation, compromise.Whence the closing of Gitmo, the trial of KSM? He can’t even complete his own plans.He is a reed blowing in the wind..

          60. fredwilson

            and he is our President for the next four years. the President of all of the United States. i hope you will recognize that and respect it.

          61. JamesHRH

            I think you underestimate him.I wish he was more engaged, accountable & completion oriented.What he is extremely practical & volume oriented: auto industry bailout = lots of swing voters; healthcare = women & gays marriage = disenfranchised.He shoots hoops, stays fit & kills Bin Laden for street cred. He knows the power of coolness.Other than that, he is a total introvert professor type.

          62. ShanaC

            unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be an activity tied with the presidency. I would say congress has more ability than the presidency in that regard.

      2. kidmercury

        oh also attention californians! i hope you will vote YES for prop 37. probably the only time i will ever vote in favor of a law; even though CA govt is sure to botch execution and cant afford more laws anyway given their debt burden, passage will bring attention to this issue and a huge difference that way in the US food supply. GMO labelling is already required in many countries. http://www.carighttoknow.org/

        1. raycote

          The GMO labelling outcome would even have a positive effect here in Canada and around the world. We get a lot of food from America as do others and mandatory GMO labelling even just in CA would put pressure on Canadian food processors to proactively label to compete. At the present it is voluntary meaning little to no GMO labelling.

          1. kidmercury

            yes absolutely. if california passes this law it will have far reaching effects for the food of a lot of people well beyond california. plus i believe it will increase the odds significantly that other jurisdictions will follow.

          2. Richard

            Regrettably, according to people i know in the trenches, it’s a lost cause

        2. perfy

          Glad you posted this. It’s disgusting how much advertisting Monsanto is paying for on TV with their No campaign.

          1. kidmercury

            monsanto is the worst….the goldman sachs of the food industry. just like how there is a revolving door between goldman and the US treasury so too is there a revolving door between monsanto and the FDA. i do believe there is promise for responsible usage of GMO technology that creates real value but that’s definitely not what monsanto is doing.

          2. Jim Ritchie

            As a Californian and CEO of a healthy focused artisanal food ecommerce company, we have been very involved with Prop 37. It is amazing to see the outright lies coming from Monsanto paid TV commercials in an attempt to defeat Prop 37. Even some of my smart business owner friends have fallen for their deceit. It is quite amazing actually to see this in action.

          3. ShanaC

            as a non californian- such as?

          4. ShanaC

            thank you

          5. pointsnfigures

            It’s not just Monsanto. There are federal and state regulations for food that are incredibly stifling to innovation. Did you know that you can grow organic chicken in Indiana, but can’t sell it direct in Illinois-you have to go through distribution. That’s a blog post topic for me soon.

      3. raycote

        Three branches of Government- coincidence? I think not.Maybe the founding fathers are with the Kid on this one?

      4. Jim Ritchie

        I would love to have Gary Johnson as a viable candidate. Not only is he a fellow triathlete, marathoner, and mountain climber, but we are 99.9% aligned on the issues. I voted for him as I am in CA and I knew my vote for Romney would be wasted. Change is good.

        1. JLM

          .Gary Johnson siphoned off 40K +/- votes in Florida, perhaps the final margin of victory for Barack Obama in Florida and the entire Nation — a travesty..

          1. ShanaC

            why is it a travesty – people have the right to vote for a protest candidate wherever they live.

          2. Alec Perkins

            Florida was not the deciding state. Neither was Ohio. Romney could have won both and still would have lost. And the real travesty is that people feel they can’t vote their conscience at the risk of “throwing their vote away”. I’m curious if instant runoff voting could address this effectively at a national level.

        2. BillMcNeely

          I followed the Jim Collins “and” principle this year and voted for the Rice/Powell ticket here in Texas. Sometimes the most qualified need to be encouraged.

      5. JamesHRH

        Kid, I voted this down. A viable third party needs to be built in America, but voting for goofballs does not get it done.A legitimate Presidential candiadate from inside the tent, who steps out to create a third party, instantly is electable.That’s an alternative vote worth casting.

        1. kidmercury

          once you step out of the two party system, you’re toast. no tv, no media, no money, no ballot, no debate, nothing. unless you are bazillionaire and can buy it all yourself — ross perot tried that and his family got threatened. the two party system, which in reality is a one party system, does not tolerate dissent.you can resort to namecalling when it comes to candidates that you don’t like, though your opinions will carry credence if you have facts and historical precedents to support your views.

          1. JamesHRH

            Goofball is sloppy word choice. I meant unelectable.Imagine Mario Cuomo as a 3p candidate – someone the mainstream parties coveted.

          2. ShanaC

            or bloomberg

          3. JamesHRH

            Cuomo is the perfect example, as he held executive office & had gravitas in spades.Rich guys fight the gravitas issue, because they have not sacrificed for the common good.

          4. BillMcNeely

            Ross Perot did a nice job in “92 if only he had stuck with it and not dropped out in late August then ducked back in late October.

    2. jason wright

      Yes.Lamenting how flawed the system is and in the same breath dissuading voters from choosing the alternative candidate perpetuates the flawed system.

    3. ShanaC

      my friend made this exact argument. But until you get critical mass nationally plus take down the rules about the debate to make it easier for third party candidates to be heard, it is going to be a tough ride.

      1. jason wright

        Wanted: Maverick insurgent. Who could that be i wonder?

    4. Guest

      “A wasted vote is a vote in someone you dont believe in.” -Gary JohnsonI believe that. And I also believe that if you really want to talk about concern for wasted votes, we should really be discussing the Electoral College system.

    5. Kevin Morton

      “A wasted vote is a vote in someone you dont believe in.” -Gary JohnsonI believe that. And I also believe that if you really want to talk about concern for wasted votes, we should really be discussing the Electoral College system.

  8. Salt Shaker

    Apathy is a four letter word. Passivity doesn’t accomplish very much. When the current Senate minority leader emphatically says his job his to insure that the current Pres isn’t re-elected, you know the system is quite broken. There’s no system of accountability, and if there truly was you’d see our elected officials take a higher road to progress. Term limits, or perhaps an annual performance review created by constituents, would clearly get their attention. Right now there’s no short-term accountability.

  9. JimHirshfield

    So much money; what could it have been used for to better this world?Career politicians only looking to secure more time in office, not leading, just asking us to support their lifestyle.

  10. aarondelcohen

    I’ll admit disappointment in Obama and the process, but picking justices matters. Managing the American Brand across the world matters. It’s still important. Romney voters including the very thoughtful JLM should read This Atlantic piece carefully. It’s about voter suppression efforts in Florida and Ohio and is absolutely disgraceful. Whttp://bit.ly/UfMQhU I’m not proud of the democratic party and the way they bury their collective heads in the sand on entitlement reform. I think the way the party engages with unions does more harm than good. I have ambivalent feelings about the auto bailout. But the voter fraud claims made by members of the Republican machine and media are simply unfounded. Whereas the suppression efforts are fact. There are many reasons to vote for either candidate, but if you pull the lever for Mitt Romney today, you are accepting that in two crucial battleground states the Republican party tried to deny or discourage some Americans from voting.You may be pissed off about Obama’s broken promises on the economy or his ideological perspective on healthcare or FEMA. But if we have any chance of sustaining and recovering our democracy people must, must be allowed to vote. All I ask of the Romney faithful or the Obama bashers is that they consider this particularly story when casting their vote today.

  11. DonRyan

    We in Ohio are looking forward to the resumption of Cialis commercials tomorrow. It’s been pretty awful since July.

    1. fredwilson

      Ha! That’s good.

    2. bsoist

      We’re in Delaware, a suburb of Pennsylvania, so we can’t wait either.

    3. kenberger

      I just left Colorado and Wyoming where the radios were inundated with sappy, melodramatic messages starring Romney speaking a half octave higher than normal in an urgent voice reminding the listener how he knows how to create jobs because he did that as governor.

    4. Alex Murphy

      +1 in VA for that … Cialis and the green lizard.

    5. takingpitches

      I was in Vegas this weekend and, coming from New York, the commercials were wall-to-wall.Thankfully, we found other things to do in Vegas 🙂

    6. raycote

      Those deep pocketed political folks are obviously pretty stiff completion for Cialis.Sorry 😉

  12. William Mougayar

    US Elections Summary:Too much moneyOne choice is RomneyThe other is ObamaThat’s the dramaDon’t like either candidatesIt will be decided in swing statesMiddle-ground, Middle-ground on the wall That’s a bad compromise for allI hope this election’s extremes is a turning point that can produce:- better choices for US Presidents in 2016- improved parties after they get their heads examined, or a new one that emerges with effectiveness- the return of US leadership around the world where the US President is a real leader that is not plagued by internal economic issues or wars that don’t make sense. – A US that can solve issues rather than be a spectator to them.In sum, let’s hope for a revitalized US, a US that pivots its way out of the gridlocks that have faced it. A US where less expectation is placed on the politicians and more on the people themselves to make change happen.

    1. Kevin Morton

      Well said!

  13. bsoist

    >I have no idea how crowded the polls will be so I am going to leave extra time.My son votes for the first time today. He went out to beat the rush early, but he tells me the lines are very long. He lives downtown – not sure which polling place.

    1. John Clyman

      I live in Washington, a purely vote-by-mail state. Having a week to fill out your ballot at your leisure, then dropping it into a ballot box or the mail when it’s convenient for you, is so dramatically superior to actually lining up at polls that I can’t understand why every state hasn’t made the switch.

    2. Guest

      I voted on the first day of early voting, so no problems for me.

  14. John Revay

    My sense is that Obama will win. I hope he pivots to the center ASAP – his legacy will be much better if he does

    1. JimHirshfield

      Your spidey sense?

      1. John Revay


    2. kidmercury

      i’ll take obama in a landslide. i almost thought about betting on it but i still prefer financial markets for all speculative activity. i think nate silver’s analysis is correct and impartial.

      1. Richard

        A landslide? That would require another “inside job”

        1. John Revay

          Grand Conspiracy

        2. kidmercury

          landslide based on how the electoral college will breakdown, not popular vote. that is just my guess. every election involves stolen votes but generally it only makes a difference if it’s close. blackboxvoting.org has their ear to the street on signs of rigging.

      2. Mark Birch

        I am with you Kid. While I am no Obama supporter, I felt the polls have been wildly distorted. I do not see how this race is close.

        1. ShanaC

          how so?

          1. Mark Birch

            When I dug into Nate Silver’s analysis, I knew it was accurate. As we can see this morning, he was not just accurate, but stunningly so and far beyond what any other poll or pundit postulated about the results.The media wanted the circus and the close race for their own purposes. They chose to ignore data that clearly showed that people were not buying into a Romney presidency in such as way that the electoral college swung massively in Obama’s favor.It makes for great theater, but data is a partycrasher that no one wanted to acknowledge. Data won this election.

          2. ShanaC

            you ended up being way right about this. His map made him look like a witch.

          3. Mark Birch

            Or a wizard 😉

      3. Alex Murphy

        Agree about Nate Silver. For those that have not had a chance to read it, the data is interesting … will be fun to look back at this in 12 hours or so.http://fivethirtyeight.blog

      4. bsoist

        I agree about Silver’s analysis, and I think it’s not nearly as close as most polls indicate, but I don’t think it will be a landslide. Fivethirtyeight.com clarified today that they think Obama will win, but that it will be close.

    3. Tom Labus

      He’s center right now.

  15. jason wright

    “I have thought a lot about the Kid’s advice to pull the lever for Gary Johnson, but that doesn’t work for me. It’s a two horse race and placing the lever for anyone else is a waste of a vote. And I take the job of electing a President too seriously to waste a vote like that.”proportional representation

  16. Siminoff

    Well said Fred. Exactly how I feel about this years election.

  17. ErikSchwartz

    The GOPs record on both foreign policy and social issues are deal breakers for me. Until the GOP gets out of the 1920s on social issues I cannot support them. On foreign policy they can spout all the “fiscal conservative” rhetoric they want, until they stop trying to police the world we will be broke.

    1. bsoist

      Exactly. If we cut our war spending by even just a reasonable amount, we wouldn’t be arguing over the other programs so much. After the big bird debate, I read about the fleet of 2,443 F-35A jets we have.Last year the government spent 300,000,000 on PBS and 20,000,000,000 ( according to Pentagon *estimates* ) to operate its fleet of 2,443 F-35A jets ( a fleet we paid 217,427,000,000 to purchase ).I’m not a military expert, but if we could cut that fleet to 2,400, we’d have plenty to fund PBS – even if we just destroyed the jets. I’m not sure we could find a buyer we trust willing to buy them, but if we could sell them at 40% of their original price, we could raise enough to fund it for an additional 5 years.I know the bigger question is whether the government *should* fund things like PBS ( I think it should ), but in my opinion, this is an indication of a) how silly it is to blame PBS for our debt, AND b) how disappointing it is to have an entire debate without mentioning military spending once.

      1. Dave W Baldwin

        You may want talk to Putin… Looks like we had to offer harbor to a Russian data miner AND a nuclear attack sub during Sandy… That doesn’t include their jets skimming the West Coast.

        1. bsoist

          Like I said, I’m no expert. I grew up in Atlantic City. Many of our family friends worked at the FAA and we were told that Soviet planes were always being “escorted” off the coast.My point is that we seem to argue over the small numbers, when the big numbers are not discussed as much. Cut a little of the big stuff, and we don’t need to argue about the other stuff. I don’t mind the philosophical arguments – *should* the government fund PBS, the arts, etc? What I do mind is arguing about them as if the money we will save can help us fix our fiscal problems.

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            Agreed! We need the numbers on lowering increase combined with some flexibility needed as we move from one fiscal to next. I still say the way to get there is for over 50% to register Independent. 😉

  18. markslater

    protest vote all the way.voting for either candidate is an endorsement of a $6 billion dollar campaign process, a vote in favor of the lobbyists that will eventually dictate policy, and vote for a system of government that doesn’t need fixing – it needs disrupting.Sorry to keep wanking on about this, but the last 9 months watching this abomination has me very very disenfranchised. I don’t see how any of these guys represent the people and i for sure dont see how the process of electing a president is not so broken – count it $6 billion dollars – that you would not register a protest vote.

  19. Richard

    Invest and vote for the long run, listen to your Kids.

  20. kirklove

    I vote for Perla.

    1. fredwilson

      a winning vote

  21. Khan

    I can see the logic of not voting third party if you are in a swing state. But states like New York and New Jersey provide a unique opportunity to send messages to both major parties on issues that were under represented or flat out ignored in the election with very little threat of impacting the overall outcome.

    1. kidmercury


    2. perfy

      Absolute truth. From a purely economic sense, any vote not needed to win a state is a wasted vote. Every vote for Romney in California is “wasted” and yet so is every vote for Obama above and beyond the amount that is needed to defeat Romney in that state. From this perspective, a vote for Gary Johnson is no different, with the exception that there is a goal for Johnson besides winning, and that is the 5% mark. For that reason, I voted for Johnson as I feel it is the best possible use of my vote in California.TL;DR: Voting for Obama would be a waste as he will easily carry California. Voting for Romney would be a waste as he will be crushed. Johnson is the only vote that makes sense.

  22. Dave W Baldwin

    Interesting debate.1) Per suggestion of Twitter being vehicle to solve all the tax/spend problems, remember, this is a Republic, meaning you vote someone to represent, take responsibility and make a hard choice. At the same time, those who are deemed so smart and should not be questioned per that choice/vote should be wise enough to explain it to the majority.2) Per compromise, that takes offering the straight up from both sides. The problem is both sides will in the end turn everything into exhausted political one liners.3) Solution(?). Remember the ‘numbers’ people are trying to direct you to straight lever. If the real majority would simply demand an I (Independent) or NP (Neither Party) for registration, then the power of parties would lessen.Otherwise, the attacks not based on reality will just continue and the population in a pickle facing existence on whatever they have at basically 0% growth will grow…and that is a bad investment.

  23. guest

    Obama = poop

    1. kidmercury

      a remarkably sophisticated analysis — i must commend you

      1. Rohan

        Was scanning the comments quickly.. and this stood out.Hahahahahahaha

      2. ShanaC


    2. raycote

      That is a shitty opinion!The use of the = sign does however give it the illusion of being well reasoned 😉

      1. ShanaC

        unless he is using it to set variables?

    3. Pete Griffiths

      or Obama :=poopor Obama==poop??

    4. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      They just announced …POOP = Proud Obama Offered Presidency.

  24. Alex Murphy

    I am headed to NY today for AdTech and so my wife and I got to the polls in VA 30 mins before they opened so we could catch the train. There were 50 people in front of us. By the time the polls opened at 6, there were 100s in line. Our system may suck, but by comparison to other systems it is awesome.Regardless of what happens today, our country will continue to operate, continue to thrive, and still be the best place in the world. That is the gift we have been given by those that came before us, and we need to make sure we give that same gift to those that come after us.Go Vote!

    1. raycote

      I live in Canada and have voted for decades in municipal, provincial and federal elections and can honestly say I have never waited more than 15 minutes to vote.When I see the long lines of early voters on TV it just strikes me as so third world.America so clearly has the technical and organizational resources to deal with such a basic yet serious voting access issue.What gives?

    2. ShanaC

      I did and maybe I should invite you out for celebratory voting coffee thursday 🙂

  25. Evan

    If you had read Bob Woodward’s recent book, you’d have realized that it was Obama who failed to bring people together.

    1. Pete Griffiths

      I have long lost all respect for Woodward. To get the access he needs to write his books he has moved to the dark side of thinly disguised hagiography.

  26. TSC

    You live in a solid blue state. You can vote for whoever you want and it won’t change the outcome. Why wouldn’t you vote for the candidate (Johnson) who is most aligned with you views? How is that possibly wasting your vote?

    1. fredwilson

      it doesn’t feel right to me. i want to vote for someone who is actually inn the race

  27. gregorylent

    business-as-usual doesn’t care who wins, nothing will change with either (pre-vetted) candidate’s victory. nothing that will have any long term transformative effect is allowed to be discussed anywhere during the “campaign”.when a = b the choice between a and b is spurious … voting is just a way to pacify the population.the two party system is perfectly designed for maintaining the status quo.i can’t believe the minds here who take it seriously.

    1. perfy

      And yet you said below don’t vote. This is the election closest to being able to break (or help break) the two party system by getting Johnson to 5%.

  28. Lynn Skinners

    I just love when libs like you say you believe people “like me” should “do more.” You’re so full of it!!! When was the last time you told your accountant to make sure to not take advantage of EVERY deduction and loop-hole so you don’t have to “do more.” Put your money where your socialist mouth is and write Uncle Sam an extra check this quarter. I bet you won’t. Just playing by the rules right? Good answer – I’ve heard that before? BTW, just how much do you think people like you should pay in taxes anyway? 40%? 50%? 70%? 90%? Seriously I want to know. This is the question “rich” libs never answer – and never will. ALL TALK!

    1. ErikSchwartz

      I love when people refer to the opposition as “libs”. It makes them seem so erudite.

      1. Lynn Skinners

        And what percent of taxes would you prefer to pay?

        1. ErikSchwartz

          Prefer to pay? 0%.Are willing to accept paying in order to not live in a sewer, have an educated healthy workforce, have police and fire, an interstate highway system that works? Much more than that.

          1. LE

            “”Prefer to pay? 0%. “I think it’s important to understand that in any situation that involves negotiation with the potential for the other side to take advantage of you there has to always be push back.I noticed this back in a different business when we had certain customers who we feared having to call up and tell that we had to charge them more because there was something more difficult about the work we were doing that became apparent after the job was already started. Or they changed or added items. So sometimes we just ate the extra work for fear of the anger that the other side would show upon being informed of the extra charges. Walk away from the customer and set boundaries? Not an option.On the other hand there were customers that would cheerfully take up the (redacted) anything that we came up with. No push back. Some who didn’t even ask for quotes at all.So who do you think ended up paying more?The nice clients of course ended up paying more to compensate for the difficult clients.So I think the problem here is that we all have different values of what we think the money that we pay in taxes should go for and what is fair. Obviously.One thing I find particularly ridiculous is the fact that people focus on the “percentage” as opposed to the total amount as being important as well. Focusing on the percentage is just a populist way to get people on board with an idea.In business you’d rather have .001 % of a big customers business then 100% of the corner stores business.That said I do agree with Lynn Skinners about what he is saying regarding Fred. It’s easy for Fred to say “should pay more” because what he says won’t change the outcome. There isn’t any “skinners” in the game. We don’t know if Fred is just saying this or really means it and it really doesn’t matter.I think Fred also has to be aware that regardless of whether he really does think he should do more that it’s not right to include or push for something that others might not feel the same way about. Taxes after all don’t take into account “total financial situation” which means assets, security of job and spending habits. I’m not a sports fan so it doesn’t matter to me if there were no sports teams in my city. But I do understand that others enjoy sports so I’m ok with the public spending on this up to a certain point.

        2. Guest

          Only as much as I consume. fairtax.org

    2. ShanaC

      Ok, we agree, we need to reform the tax system. There shouldn’t ne loopholes in the first place. But if there are going to be, why not arbitrage them (that goes for you too)

    3. fredwilson

      actually i have told my accountant to not take advantage of many loopholes. i have said that i am against capital gains treatment for carried interest which is a huge loophole. i think if you knew me you would take back that comment. but you are entitled to your views, even if they are wrong

  29. Tom Bakalis

    “Hope and change” has morphed into “vote for revenge”. It saddens me.

    1. raycote

      I thought that revenge vote comment was against the Republican effort to limit voting access?

  30. takingpitches

    The argument that it usually boils down to for me every election is:“Republicans are the only reason to vote for Democrats”To be fair, for some friends and family, the precise opposite is true.

    1. fredwilson


  31. porlowsky

    Well said fred

  32. Donna Brewington White

    I would enjoy either one of our two main candidates and his wife as neighbors or as a conversationalist at a dinner party. I agree with each on some issues and disagree on others. Neither excites me as a presidential candidate. However, I do believe that one is a better leader overall and will be more likely to move the needle toward a healthier economy over the next four years. If we don’t fix this economy I’m not sure that the rest matters.I do believe that an economy that promotes investment is a stronger economy. Our consumerism is getting the better of us.So, not excited about the election but I admit that the act of voting has not lost its significance. That moment in the booth feels sacred. It has been too hard won to be squandered or ignored.But I wish it was more than that. The whole political thing is broken yet I believe that more than ever we have the means to fix it. Just not today. Vote now. Disrupt later.

  33. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    Interesting to see people debating the election even today! As Canadian, I have always been amazed by the length of the election cycles in the US. It seems to distract too much from the actual act of governing. In Canada, our election periods is few weeks and that feels long enough.

  34. Derek

    Coloradans, please vote yes on legalizing marijuana. If it passes we’ll see a steady stream of similar initiatives in other states over the next 10-20 years. Peoples lives are being wasted because of weed, but not for the reasons prohibitionists think.

    1. kidmercury

      shameful that this issue still has to even be debated. legalize it already! it shouldn’t have been banned in the first place!!!!

      1. ShanaC

        actually, this one is complicated. If it is just legal otc, it becomes a lot harder in certain ways to perscribe and monitor pot quality. Apparently there are variances in types of pot when it comes to medical mj….which we don’t know a lot about….

        1. fredwilson

          it is a crime that it is a crime

    2. fredwilson

      i agree with you DJ. how did that play out?

  35. Alana Muller

    Well said, Fred. Thank you for reminding us of our responsibility and our privilege. We live in a country that allows us the right and the opportunity have a voice. Whatever anyone thinks of the process or the candidates or the issues, we are a lucky bunch.

  36. sunbear22

    To most of us outside the US this election is looks like a giant IQ Test for America!http://catallaxyfiles.com/f

    1. Dan Abnormal

      Pakistan FTW!

  37. John McGrath

    Well said. “Our system sucks in so many ways,” that’s the money quote for the day.Still, I enthusiastically voted *for* Obama, as much as against Romney. Like Bill Clinton, if anything I’m more enthusiastic about him now, because he’s proven himself able to make hard choices in difficult times, and in a difficult environment. Presuming he wins, I hope the next four years leave you more enthusiastic about him than the past four.

    1. thinkdisruptive

      OMG. What have you been smoking?

      1. John McGrath


        1. thinkdisruptive

          Through the haze of rose-colored glasses.The data don’t support your conclusion. Making hard choices in difficult times is the minimum standard we should expect of any leader, but unless those choices are the right ones, that doesn’t justify continued support. In 4 years, you’ll be looking back, still lauding those “hard choices”, but wondering how the US lost a decade of productivity and economic strength.

    2. JLM

      .Actually the most entertaining moment of the whole campaign was hearing Clinton, the serial perjurer in chief, lecture us on liars.”I never had sex with that woman, Hilary Clinton.”.

  38. Guest

    Fred,Do you know how I first found out about Governor Gary Johnson? He added me on Google+ about 14 months ago. He hosted the first town hall on a Google+ Hangout. He wants to stop wasting money on “wars”.The Libertarian Philosophy is to have as less government as possible. I can do whatever I want as long as it doesn’t affect your ability to do the same.This is complete bullshit:”I have thought a lot about the Kid’s advice to pull the lever for Gary Johnson, but that doesn’t work for me. It’s a two horse race and placing the lever for anyone else is a waste of a vote. And I take the job of electing a President too seriously to waste a vote like that.”The only possible way to ‘waste a vote’ would be to vote for someone you don’t believe in. If he’s on the ballot in all 50 states, then he has a mathematical chance of winning. I can’t recall if he resolved the litigation blocking him from the ballot in one or two states. But if he wasn’t a serious threat, then why block him? why keep him out of the debates? Who benefits from a ‘two horse race’? That’s like flipping a coin.Put it this way:Obama = AttorneyRomney = InvestorJohnson = EntrepreneurI voted for the entrepreneur. I also have family in New Mexico, so his perspective is much more familiar to me.There is not much of real difference between Romney and Obama. Sure, one doesn’t like gays or abortions, but are either of those executive issues? no. Do they agree on Foreign policy? yes. Wasting taxpayer money? yes. Whining about outsourcing to China? yes. Products of ‘Academia’? yes.He only needs 5% of the vote in order to obtain Federal Matching Funds for the next election.

    1. leigh

      I think sometimes you have to vote against someone when the race is this close. We have totally split the middle and left vote here in Canada (to the tune of 65% of the vote) so have ended up with a party who doesn’t reflect the majority. It may feel like the right thing to do in the moment, but when you start to see key social policies eroded and you go to war with x, you might just feel differently. At least it’s food for thought.

    2. fredwilson

      and as JLM points out, Gary might have given the election to Obama

  39. Sean Saulsbury

    When Fred says he thinks we can’t get out of this mess without “asking” the wealthy to “do more” what he means is FORCE them to pay more. Asking implies the right to say no, which is not what he is advocating here.I sympathize with Fred on the social issues and agree with him there, but the only way “out of this mess” IMHO is to spend less, not to tax more. Not that Romney is great on this issue, mind you, but Obama is far, far worse. So I will be holding my nose and voting for Romney this election.

    1. raycote

      I’m Canadian so I’ll not pick sides here.But the shear organic complexity and entanglements of economic cyclicality surly make a simple unequivocally mono-point doctrinaire solution like “spend less” overwhelmingly suspect.

    2. fredwilson

      we will be doing a lot of both. Obama is not suggesting we can get out of the mess by simply taxing our way out of it. he has proposed massive cuts. we should be making even more massive cuts. and we should be asking folks like me to pay more.

  40. WA

    Opting out is an interesting paradigm. Are there constraints on the definition? I would hope so. Not showing up at the poles is an opt out which I agree with Fred, reflects not caring. However, I will passionately argue getting into that booth, “pulling the curtain”, and making the conscious decision to not pull a lever for either of the two major candidates or any other candidate for that matter is in and of itself, not an inaction but an action. An action consciously taken by the voter. To not vote for either candidate and strike the lever for a 3rd party simply to take a vote from the other two I would argue is an opt out that is more damaging than not showing up to the polls at all. It is incumbent on the citizen to show up but the course of inaction may be the greatest action of all in the voting process itself if the voter has a strong philosophical issue against either party platform and no knowledge of the other choice of parties or that they do not agree with the platforms of those third party options.This is the longest comment I believe I have ever made here. I am strong and consistent follower, mostly silent, of this blog for over 8 years. I have learned much from mostly all of you here. I am silent when the topics are so out of my expertise that I fear the embarrassment of seeming less than informed. And to be brutally honest there are those times I do post and find that in the end, I am out of context. I am OK with that as it is part of the learning experience as well. My chosen field and ongoing career is far from the business at hand here most of the time. Yet so much of the the innovation and creation I have seen start here, in the “House of VC”, that has gone from thought to theme to product (or service) in the market place has served to become commoditized utility for most of the business conducted across all sectors of the economy and very very very much in my own business line. It has been and continues to be fascinating and epic. I see that which happens here since my first peek in 2004, as nothing short of having been witness to the “Big Bang” of Web 2.0 and the past 8 years of technology advancement on a global basis. It is from the community here which I consider myself a disciplined and active listener. I have gained the ability translate to my clients in business during the day and my students in the evening (I am an adjunct on a south Florida campus) what I learn from all of you here. I constantly utilize the incredible resources recommended-from periodicals, books, websites and networks-that is so selflessly and willingly shared.In this case of the question of not voting for a major candidate being a form of opting out…I was compelled to answer, to speak actively from a platform I was schooled in and in many ways have guided my career by. I spent my 4 years on campus as an undergrad at the turn of the 1980’s decade. I did this in Albany NY in the Rockefeller School of Public Affairs and moved to San Francisco upon my graduation in 1983. One of the most memorable classes I can remember was titled “Voters at the Polls.” I was enamoured at an early age with the philosophical construct of when seemingly apparent “inaction” can actually be one of the most prudent actions taken and statement to be made. In this context I am reminded that not casting a vote on particular issues or candidates may be the furthest thing from opting out but is constrained by a very important caveat. The caveat is this: You must show up. You must be present. And you must pull the “curtain” for your right to not “pull the lever”. Only then can this “no vote” be legitimately counted as a your own vote and not considered the the opt out vote. So in the light of full disclosure for this election I voted, I did it early and also for a major candidate…but will defend to the death your right to not do so and help make a difference…as long as you show up at the polls to make that statement.

    1. raycote

      To be present or absent at the actual polling booth in order to execute your decision not to vote seem like a somewhat semantic fine point without a difference in outcome ?I get the self respect aspect of proving motive but in our hearts we all know or true motives.Or is it about holding your head high in the eyes of others whom might be judgmental and miss-interpret your inaction as uncaring or lazy because that seem valid enough.

      1. WA

        Philosophically it makes all the difference. It is not about holding one’s head high nor caring about how others will judge. It validates the action over the rhetoric of the argument. An action was taken. All actions or in-actions following that are related to the act of showing up are an action was the point. It is philosophy. Perhaps a way of the means justifying the end instead of the other way around…It was the basis of a lecture that caught me at a young age…And I guess the stuff horse races are made of! 🙂

  41. JamesHRH

    I think you have hit the nail on the head. Lesser of 2 highly capable yet unsavoury choices.The GOP’s brazen ‘small ball’ political tactics of the last 4 years is shameful.Hopefully an Obama victory shames the Tea Party out of their view.

    1. William Mougayar

      Interesting that Romney has the most support in Kenya, Pakistan and Poland. Not sure how to explain that. And very surprised that Canada shows little support for Romney.

      1. Tom Labus

        They’re more used to “soviet” style lying.

    2. Carl Rahn Griffith

      I always used to be fascinated by elections – especially America, along with our own (UK), of course. But, over recent years I have become very apathetic as have many others it seems – over here at least – is that apathy prevalent in USA?I don’t know why; so many reasons, sadly. Maybe because the whole system seems so totally screwed-up, politics is even more detached from reality and impotent – or corrupt; both seem the same.Our financial systems lie in tatters and people are rapidly failing to put on a ‘brave face’ – even in stiff-upper-lip Blighty. That’s saying something. Friends and associates I know all over the world say very similar things of their systems. A friend in Spain has people doing unnecessary jobs on his house just so he can pay them something – they won’t just accept hand-outs – so they can feed their kids – not pay bills or clear debts but to feed their kids. Spain, 2012. Let’s not even analyse Greece. It’s heartbreaking. And when I watch – eg – Max Keiser or read @umairh the insanity of our failed system just pains me. Sure, they are both eccentric and Max is very Peter Finch/Network but he speaks a lot of sense – he’s not a joker. Neither are. It’s a time of manic laughter. And yes, the UK is beginning to feel a lot like Spain and Greece. I jest not.”Politics is the entertainment branch of the Military-Industrial Complex” ~ Frank Zappa.Anyway – good luck, America…

  42. David Petersen

    The single biggest problem that this country has is the insane defense budget*. In the final debate, the two candidates were fighting over who was going to spend more on the military in the coming decade. I found it disheartening.We are a world moving towards peace, and spending more than every other country combined on national defense makes no sense.That said, I don’t think a vote for any candidate outside of the two party system is a waste. Based on that logic, your vote is a waste anyway because Obama is guaranteed to take New York. I don’t think your vote is a waste and I don’t think that you think your vote is a waste.The real reason that you (and most) haven’t voted for a 3rd party candidate, I think, is that we just haven’t had a 3rd party candidate come along who has the qualifications and charisma necessary to win an election.*The money in politics might actually be the biggest problem, because I think without that we wouldn’t have a military budget where it is.

  43. ShanaC

    I dount you all are going to read this anyway.I really dislike voting. On a national level, I don’t think who I vote for president (or senate here in NY either) matters. On a local level, I feel like I am forced to vote for the party since three quarters of what these people handle have absolutely nothing to do with the reasons we vote for them (in fact I don’t know why I vote for family court judge…would someone explain that to me???? ) It ends up being a vote for a party rather than a vote for a person or a potential idea on either the national or local level.Hence, I’m grumpy. Though watching the returns do make a great drinking game.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      “I dount you all are going to read this anyway.”I read this Shana. Not sure how I happened upon it.Voting is a matter of principle. But voting really isn’t enough.We are smart people. Seems like we can figure out a way to fix this.

      1. ShanaC

        oooof I misspelled doubt. Typo.This is a systemic problem of how we set up our country. As I said, in my area, we vote for family court judges. Frankly it isn’t democratic in the sense of the original meaning (a demos voting in).

    2. fredwilson

      why do you doubt we are going to read it?

      1. ShanaC

        190+ comments when I wrote this

    3. Dave W Baldwin

      You make a good point. To both sides it comes down to party and power.

      1. ShanaC

        thank you.

    4. Carl Rahn Griffith

      My big issue with voting is that people seem to think it then absolves them of any responsibility/accountability for the woes in our society – a society which is utterly screwed at present.I posted elsewhere on first-hand experiences and it’s bloody scary. In my 52yrs I have never seen such an erosion of confidence in the future let alone a destruction of so many lives.Yet we seem to think that if we vote every few years, well, it’s over to ‘them’ to fix it.It’s ‘them’ who got us in this mess, with our compliance, subconsciously or not.How do we ever expect things to change?“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein.

  44. Luke Chamberlin

    “It’s a two horse race and placing the lever for anyone else is a waste of a vote.”I used to be afraid of “wasting my vote” until I realized how small and insignificant I was.Statistically speaking, I mean.As one person out of 130 million registered voters, any individual is statistically insignificant. Your vote will not determine the outcome of anything.No presidential contest has ever been decided by a single vote, and the chances of it ever happening are infinitesimally small. Like, the sun will burn out before it happens small.If you are casting a vote to make a difference in the presidential race you are bad at math and/or delusional. You have to vote for a different reason.I think most people on this blog understand the math, and so there isn’t really a fear of actually wasting a chance to determine the results of an election. So the fear is something else.Is it a fear of missing out on being part of the winning team? A fear of feeling foolish about going against what most people are doing?Once you figure out what the fear is you can vote for whomever you like. Feels freeing. Feels good.

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      You think fear is driving people to vote … that is an interesting way to look at it. Though i don’t agree with you… up-voted for looking at it in a different angle.

      1. Luke Chamberlin

        I think fear drives people to vote for only one of two parties. But then again I think fear drives every human decision.

  45. Aruni S. Gunasegaram

    I’ve been reading your posts about Sandy and am glad you & your family are safe. I’ve been seeing the strangeness via my facebook friends. I haven’t had a chance to comment until now, but I sure hope Obama wins. Being President of the US has got to be one of the toughest jobs ever and not for the faint of heart and whoever ends up President needs all the support he can get. Election times are one of the few times we see how almost split down the middle we are as a nation on our beliefs right now.

  46. nomenot

    Virginia here, I cannot wait for the election to be over just so I don’t have to see another political ad. BTW- I am glad you included Gary Johnson in your post. The best choice in my opinion, and I didn’t need to see one ad to come to that conclusion.not a waste of a vote…..http://i.imgur.com/wk83w.jpgvoting for the less of two evils in not the solution. The more votes Johnson gets the more the current politicians will see that the shift in the American people’s feelings towards certain issues.

  47. Shripriya

    I disagree with the “wasted vote” stance. If we want to change the system, we cannot cave to the system out of fear of wasting the vote.Picking the better of two average candidates is not what this country deserves. And that will never change if we don’t actually vote for an alternative or have a category that boldly states “NOTA since we deserve better”.

  48. John Revay

    10:45 PM (Election night) – they still have not called OH, VA and FL.It looks like Obama will get another four years.

  49. leigh

    The relief on my 90% Canadian FB feed is palatable. I’d say (And this is unscientific) that there is around a 80% “phew” feed happening

  50. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    ‘Elections’ across the world is becoming more like ‘Rejections’ …People are more inclined to vote for some party not because they ‘like’ what that party is upto or doing so far … but because they ‘dislike’ what the other party is doing. Majority of people vote for X just because they don’t like Y.It is just like looking at who is ‘less ugly’ in a beauty contest OR something like that…really not a good thing to have on the whole for the whole world.

  51. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    Fred. Now that… it is all over and done.How do you take the result? Will that be the post for tom’row?

    1. fredwilson

      good idea. i will do that.

  52. Tom Labus

    Congratulations to President Obama on his great victory.Fiscal, energy, tax reform, climate

  53. BillMcNeely

    Two thoughts:First, Nothing happens in Washington because you and I the voter value being right over getting stuff done. Our representatives just reflect us.Second, Another niche group that has moved into a leadership role this election year was the Iraq and Afghanistan veteran. In politics there were 42 such veterans seeking office this cycle here is a list: http://iava.org/blog/iava-t…In Tech Startups Veterans have moved into the industry in a big way. Over the summer Startup Weekend had a Veterans only event in San Diego,Tech Stars had an event in DC, Craig Newmark and Steve Blank had one in SF, Incline began operations in NYC to train vets to code, Angelist has a couple hundred veterans listed now ( shoot Nick Frost is a vet himself!)During Sandy, Team Rubicon a group of veterans who use military skills to bring disaster relief to folks http://teamrubiconusa.org/Veterans are beginning to move out of the military and the defense contractor industry back into normal stuff and begin to have a positive impact.Unemployment and mental health issues still affect us but the good we are doing thanks to the skills and values we learned in the military are shining through.

    1. ShanaC

      and mazel with that. 🙂

  54. Bus Hire Durban

    I guess a congratulations is in order, seeing that Obama had been re-elected to steer your nation in victory. We trust that he would truly make a difference for all Americans.In South Africa, generally folks are also very serious about voting. Conversely, there is also a large portion of youth who are not really interested in voting, with a mindset that says, “the country will sort its own problems out.” They are the future, and youth have to become more active in voting “for change.”

  55. ErikSchwartz

    Bravo. Well said.

  56. kidmercury

    droppin’ it like it’s hot, charlie!

  57. Brian Pfistner

    Well said and very sad. What bothers me most is this -http://demonocracy.info/inf…My vote is for Romney, I think he and Ryan ‘may’ be better at addressing it. That being said, as an ex-Marine, I always stand behind my elected Commander In Chief, whomever it may be.

  58. raycote

    That sure sums it up!And reaches well beyond just the American political system.Transnational corporate feudalist are slowly but surely, with support from the best governments money can buy, building out an array of international agreements that in effect place mega Corporations at the top of the Org. Chart just above citizens and their democratic governments.And NO I’m not against the corporation as it is an invaluable democratic institution when constrained to its rightful place in the democratic hierarchy.These agreements are easy to get into but like the Mafia it is hard to get out.Don’t get me wrong I’m not against internation agreements.BUTWe vote for municipal representatives.We vote for state/provincial representatives.We vote for national representatives.We have not yet voted for any international representatives!

  59. ShanaC

    i think we need an amendment to pull that one off…

  60. fredwilson

    and it didn’t seem to impact the election in the end

  61. LE

    Many of those pharma commercials are works of art. I particularly like the one of the guy in the mustang who needs anti freeze in the desert and stops at a filling station in the middle of nowhere and pours in a bottle of water. If you study all the shots and the narrator it is truly exceptional.

  62. ErikSchwartz

    I thought it was a Camero. Or is that a viagra ad?

  63. LE

    You are right. A ‘maro. I’ve been trying to find a video on the web of the commercial but haven’t been able to. Can’t figure out if the car in the garage that he pulls in next to was his wife’s or if he’s divorced and it’s his daily ride.http://forum.studebakerdrivhttp://www.denverpost.com/o

  64. ShanaC

    thank you for sounding like a mensch in this discussion

  65. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    Now the question is how it is going to be different from the past 4-years.Hope it is a good result for everyone.For some reason (which i can never comprehend) many countries around the world wanted this result only.