Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Politics Online

The Democratic Party has always been the "younger" party; quicker, faster, more tech-savvy. Al Gore "invented" the Internet, after all. *winks* It didn't really take that long for Republicans to learn their lesson, though. If John McCain had been ... well, more appealing, then the conservative online community may have mobilized for him the way liberal bloggers and such did for Barack Obama.

The fact is, as anyone who has ever visited an online political forum knows, there are just as many conservatives online as there are liberals. Now, they have a candidate around whom they can rally. He's just not running for president; not right now, anyway.

The Washington Post reported today on the massive online campaigns of all the major candidates in the Virginia governor's race. Terry McAuliffe YouTubes, Creigh Deeds Twitters, and Brian Moran is rounding up bloggers. The three Democrats meet tonight in a debate co-sponsored by Huffington Post and Collegiate Times, two major online media outlets.

Bob McDonnell is not exactly lagging behind. His Facebook page, the Post reports, boasts more fans than both Deeds and Moran combined. While the liberal bloggers have their choice for the moment, conservative bloggers in the Commonwealth can choose between either supporting the Republican cadidate or not. Many, it seems, would choose him even if it weren't by default. He's certainly done a good job of representing conservative principles, and his record speaks for itself.

As I said earlier, the blogosphere has balanced itself out in recent years to reflect the actual political landscape of the country; and, like the country itself, bloggers need a reason to be excited about a candidate. There will always be partisans who are more against the other candidate than they are for their own candidate. When you run a campaign, your job is to get others to agree with you; to inspire them to support you and your cause. Online, your supporters would already be touting your message. The only obstacle is how to organize them; how to channel their talents and enthusiasm to make it work for you.

As the article points out, the candidates have all hired people to run their online campaigns, including veterans from past presidential campaigns. The number of Democrats familiar with organizing online support for candidates is not surprising, considering the number of Democratic campaigns waged lately, and the fact that there are only a handful of Democrats currently running for office. The same goes for the Republican campaign. It's a buyer's market, as they say.

I'm happy that the Internet is now being fully employed by both sides. Conservatives may have had to wait, but they've found a candidate to support, and they're now going to work. In a democracy, the only way to have a fair contest is for everyone to know all the issues involved. It's one of the reasons I started this blog: to ensure that both sides of the debate would be articulated fairly. I've had this blog for a little over two months, now. I want to get my word out as much as I want to get anyone else's out. There are things I believe, and I want to share them with other people. Like the Republican Party, I'll just have to become more adept at using the Internet.

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