Famous Political Blogger Visits Second Life
by Maverick Grunfeld
While waiting for Markos, Second Life resident Idella Quandry provided musical entertainment leading up to the interview. Besides being a musician, Idella is also an author who penned “The Price of Right: How the Conservative Agenda Has Failed America – and Always Will.” Additionally, a speech from Bill Clinton at the Netroots Nation conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was played in world. The Justice League Unlimited (JLU) provided peacekeeping services for the event.
Markos was interviewed by SL resident Jimbo Hoyer (Jay Ackroyd in real-life) from the group “Virtually Speaking.” Virtually Speaking serves as a public affairs talk-show in a virtual reality. SL resident Widget Whiteberry managed the Second Life activities while Jimbo spoke with Markos at the conference.
Markos started by sharing thoughts on how, in his opinion, the Democrats were successful in the most recent election cycle. “It forced Democrats to be Democrats. It was when they started to advocate for progressive issues, people started to vote for them.”
Markos described himself as being a Republican until roughly 1994. He described an opinion of how the political environment as well as public movement has impacted the GOP, both short and long-term. “You have sort of principled conservatives who are appalled at the state of the Republican Party. Can they remake themselves?”
Markos believes that the term “compassionate conservative” has become a point of debate within the conservative Republican core. He explained that some Republicans are distancing themselves from the term which was frequently used during Bush era politics; with the Republicans believing that part of the administration’s shortcomings were due to the compassionate approach.
“This notion that you can be a caring American is a dirty word [referencing the Republican core]. They cannot win when they reject a core American value” stated Markos, who believes the future outlook for Republicans is grim.
NetRoots Nation works to provide an online and in-person campus for the exchange of ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence public debate. NetRoots was developed by many volunteers over time as virtual activism (through mediums such as blogs) increased in popularity. This year’s event in Pittsburgh is its fourth year.
“It’s been a great event every year. We’ve built a rather large community around it her in SL” said Second Life resident GenJCChristian Homewood regarding NetRoots Nation’s efforts in Second Life. “People always come away inspired and ready to do something positive in their real-life communities. We’ve had a couple attendees go on to run for office.”
“The best thing about NetRoots Nation in Second Life is that it allows people to attend parts who probably couldn’t go otherwise. It allows them to share in that community and it builds this community here.”
The Second Life residents attended a social after the interview with Markos. Before he departed, Markos shared his thoughts on the growth and impact of NetRoots Nation over the last four years. “I had no idea what these people were planning four years ago. I showed up in Vegas thinking I wasn’t going to find NetRoots Nation.”
“Instead I found a big room, with a big stage and professional signage. A bunch of volunteers were able to put on a better conference than the pros” he said.
Through such activism, Markos said that “Good things start happening.” The conference continues into today both on Second Life and in Pittsburgh.
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