Internet To Transform American Political Discourse


crystalball1.jpgThe Web has connected people around the globe and is becoming a powerful tool for organizing movements and setting agendas in American politics.

Consequently, the presidential election of 2008 seems likely to be an election that will be strongly characterised by the political blogosphere. We may look back at the 2008 election in a similar way current political strategist look at the Kennedy Vs. Nixon election of 1960. This was the first ever televised debate. Kennedy appeared tan and relaxed during the debate while Nixon seemed a bit worn down. Radio listeners proclaimed Nixon the better debater, while those who watched on television made Kennedy their choice.

Flash forward nearly a half a century later and new medium has matured and is playing an essential role.

The campaigns of McCain, Guiliani, Romney, Clinton, Obama and Edwards are all using the Internet in a variety of ways. They are not only employing it to promote fundraising, but to update supporters while on the campaign trail, target opponents, promote events, and push paraphernalia.

According to information gathered from e-mail tracking firm Email Data Source, the top Democratic and Republican candidates kept in touch with supporters and campaign watchers by sending from 3 to 17 e-mail newsletters each in May and early June.

The ability for pundits and voters to exchange ideas and words via the Internet seems to be a healthy dose of much needed open communication in modern day American politics.

But which candidate will appear “tan and relaxed” over the Internet. If televised debates showed how impressionable voters are to physical appearance, maybe the Internet will be a medium known for effecting the depth and breadth of thought, commuincation skills, and administrative vision held by the candidates. It is transparency that the information age demands. This holds true in the arena of political debate just as well as e-commerce.


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