Feet on the ground – head in the clouds.

Newsweek: Adios, Sound Bites & Fat Cats – Obama is Changing Politics

with 2 comments

The ecosystem of political media has changed, with sound bites losing their authority. Consumers of news are less easily manipulated by the 24/7 barrage of bites and images (Hillary Clinton doing whisky shots, Obama bowling), which are dissected endlessly on cable. Voters search for their own context.

read more | digg story

This week, Newsweek political columnist Jonathan Alter says nothing people on Digg and other social news communities, as well as many passive users of YouTube didn’t know for a long time. It’s just really nice to see it from Newsweek, something read by many outside of these communities. The volume of Senator Barack Obama‘s online contributions is staggering ($40m in March), and at a low average donation (around $100).

The column discusses how Obama and company intentionally rid his speech on race in Philadelphia, known as ‘A More Perfect Union‘ on YouTube, of sound bytes and short snippets of specific response. Obama planned to paint a bigger picture, about how this country must look beyond petty attacks and sharp wit toward others. Alter noticed that the place where people can get this information, since it is impossible to find on cable news, is the internet. Instead of speaking to the media, Obama spoke directly to the people.

Alter ends with a rather pessimistic view of just how he views the ability of Washington to actually change and serve the people, rather than special interests. Some political action groups and special interest groups have produced positive results in the past, but the nature of modern technology has quickly made the collection in such a manner effective or necessary for the people. The internet allows people to endorse a candidate. I always thought a candidate should issue a campaign fundraiser where they ask anyone and everyone, everywhere to send one dollar and nothing more. Just one dollar to the campaign. Not so much to fund it directly, but to show just how many people will also take some time out of their day to show support this November. One dollar : one vote.

The important fact isn’t that my idea hasn’t been used, it is that things like this can actually happen today. The modern teenager has communicated with people in more countries than their parents. Over 1.3 million individuals have donated to the Obama campaign. We can’t allow that to be the only change that occurs, more voices must be heard in the White House. Every voice must be weighed when important decisions are being made. Everyone won’t get their way, but no one will be ignored.


2 Responses

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  1. It’s gettin’ close – this could be feasible with $5. The transaction costs are still a little too steep for a $1.

    The last politician with this fundraising strategy was one H. Ross Perot. He didn’t get anywhere, but I think that for who he is, he ‘outperformed’ what was expected of him.


    April 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm

  2. Agreed on Perot. Overdone is an understatement for that man.


    April 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm

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