It's not often that I get to combine my love of politics and my love of science fiction, but I'm excited about the presentation I listened to last night by sci-fi author David Brin. David's been writing a lot of essays about the conflict between romanticism and progress, including some scathing critiques of the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings stories, and this talk builds on those ideas. He talks about the 2004 election (held a few days prior to the talk), notes the urban/rural divide, and had some very good comments about how the Democratic campaigns focused on guilt and negatives, instead of pushing the progress that American society has seen under democratic rule. He also mentions debate framing, noting that both the left and the right are worried about concentrations of power; the left just fears power in corporate hands, while the right fears power from academics and bureaucrats.
More notes and commentary on his talk are posted here by Evelyn Rodriguez.