Build it ourselves

“We should be cautious about putting too much faith or fear into elected officials. At the end of the day, this is just a president.” As citizens, we have immense power to change the world we live in. “Politicians do not simply do what they think is best, they do what people think they want to hear, they do what they think will gain them support. Ultimately, if we want to see a change, we must force it through ourselves. “If we want a better world, we can’t hope for an Obama and we should not fear a Donald Trump, rather we should build it ourselves.”

— Edward Snowden (Big Think)

Citizenfour

citizenfour_posterWe ain’t the good guys anymore. That was my take-away from Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’ documentary on Edward Snowden. This is far and away the best documentary I’ve ever seen and it was damning. As for who’s a good guy and who isn’t, well, maybe there aren’t any good guys anymore. I’ll tell you who is not a good guy… Barack Obama. Yep, the guy I voted for, twice. Even made some donations to the first campaign. I’d say I fucked up but come on… Sarah Palin?!

As it became clear President Obama was a very different cat than Candidate Obama, I told myself he’s better than George Bush and Dick Cheney. But you know, that doesn’t make you a good guy. It just makes you not those bad guys.

Same goes for the USA. Yeah, there are some countries with really shitty governments. But that’s a pretty low bar. Turns out our shit does stink and it’s time we took a good whip.

At some point in the film I found myself thinking, “Fuck it. I hope the Republicans take the Senate. And the House. A whole bunch of Democrats have been complicit in what the NSA and the rest of the intelligence “community” have been up to and they get no more support or votes for me.

I’ll calm down but I won’t be the same. It’s that strong a film. I’ve turned off comments here but would be happy to discuss privately, one-to-one. With anyone who has seen the film.

“I do not expect to see home again”

snowden

“We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians. […] We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world. We are not at war with these countries.”

“A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama’s promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor.”

More of Edward Snowden interview here.