Thursday, June 05, 2008

The lesson of Hillary's loss

Back in the days yonder I confidently predicted Hillary Clinton would easily win the Democratic nomination for president.

And why not?

Clinton seemed to have all the ingredients necessary for success: name recognition, tons of money, a built-in loyal fan base, establishment support and most importantly of all she had at her disposal one of the most ruthless political machines in American history.

So what happened?

Technology is changing politics, that's what happened. Thanks to the Internet and its tools -- email, Youtube, Facebook --- our political process is getting a lot more decentralized and democratized.

The party elites can no longer control the message or corner the market on donations. The grassroots has become empowered.And it's online grassroots efforts that propelled the candidacy of Barack Obama.

He used the Internet to get his message out; he used it to raise millions of dollars; he used it to amass a huge email mailing list of dedicated "true believers."

The old political machine, in other words, has been trumped by a new machine -- the personal computer.

And that's good for democracy.

3 comments:

Iain G. Foulds said...

... A good angle, Gerry.
... Of course, we are both ideologically opposed to anything from the Democratic party, yet I would propose that Obama's victory is clearly a case of the Left choosing style over substance.

Miles Lunn said...

I fully agree here and I am glad that Clinton lost and Obama won. Also iain g. foulds, I wouldn't say Obama is on the left by Canadian standards. By American standards yes, but I would argue a large chunk if not the majority of the population in Canada would lie to the left of him.

Iain G. Foulds said...

... Miles... I would agree that the Left in the States is somewhat to the right of the Canadian Left.