Having spent a long time now in the software industry, I find politics and Washington, DC a curious, mystifying place. Avoid lobbying, and you’re playing with fire. Engage in lobbying and expressing a view, and you’ll take the standard slings and arrows that come with engaging with this pit of vipers.
Today’s New York Times Tech Section calls out the outcry from the left that tech-backed lobbying group Fwd.Us has the temerity to use traditional political advertising tactics to promote its pro-immigration reform agenda. Welcome to the NFL.
The current themes on immigration and what to do with ‘illegal immigrants‘ has been going on in my recollection since at least the early 80s. Its a stupid, dysfunctional political debate. The right views illegal immigration as a shibboleth to rally up its base, so no leadership will come from this side. Unions own the left on this issue, so door #2 doesn’t help at all. Serious political minds on both sides will state flat out that our lack of an approach on H1B visas etc is brain dead. But we’re stalemated, so we just have to deal with it. In the meantime, our crumby education system is failing to turn out enough qualified graduates for the US to remain a long-term leader in a high growth knowledge and information centric economy.
In this environment, Fwd.Us is stepping in, and good on them in my view. The fact that there’s flack from the left that the NYT points out is, if anything, a sign that Fwd.Us is probably doing something right.