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The Party of the Internet–Something New in Politics Evolving Along With A Need to Recognize This New Paradigm

Posted Nov 08 2010 9:53pm

This is an opinion piece below but I think he’s on to something as when you watch the news and being in the “geek” corner that I am as well as being out there communicating on social networks, yes, I agree the parties are becoming much less significant and it is due in part of how we collaborate, communicate and get our information today.  Gone are the days of being glued to the television watching election results for one.  I watched and kept up on Twitter.  One item too I might mention is the fact that once results were pretty much known, the conversations of the geeks talking on the networks went right back to talking about what Facebook was going to announce the next day, election took the back seat almost immediately.

In a secondary fashion this is kind of sad as it said something about the youth and our future leaders in where their priorities lie.  We were all so very tired with all the antics and stuff from the 70s that didn’t even mean anything to me anymore and I was in that era.  I have some nice memories but with what I saw and heard, its was more or less a duck hunt (no pun intended).  Geeks just kind of sat around on the web and laughed at so much of it and made fun of the silliness of some of it. It was almost seen as a “distraction from life” in essence.  It was obviously a time to where the youth who we hoped would get out and vote did little or nothing.

This also makes me wonder about this type of marketing too for Medicare.   Seniors know they are not going to get Andy Griffith on the phone to help them and if they read here often enough they know that their care is going to be processed by algorithms, well at least my 86 year old mother gets that from reading and realizes there are big hungry algorithms out there

Memories are great and I have many of them but when it comes to dealing with what is at hand today, it doesn’t appear to have a whole lot of relevance.  I think this makes a statement of some sort about how we might start rethinking some new normal here as if we have to live through another carnival campaign like this year, we are all in big trouble. 

For those who want no party affiliation but a wonderland of information to read and be entertained with, the internet is certainly the place where all this happens as we no longer need to cluster around televisions or radios any longer.  For some of those who ran for office and those in leadership, you are more than welcome to hang out with us too!  Perhaps there will be a party of the internet in the near future as the crowd consists of more than just geeks anymore, but we are here too.  BD   

Yet Beckel goes further, arguing that the Internet itself has become its own kind of party. “Think about it,” he told me, “the Internet is its own organizing tool. It provides message, it provides community, it provides rapid response.” In other words, the Internet provides much of what the parties once provided.

In fact, as I listened to Beckel’s argument, I was reminded of the media visionary Marshall McLuhan, who proclaimed back in the 1960s, “The medium is the message.” That is, the medium itself -- be it print, radio or television -- provides its own special rules, which anyone using the medium, including politicians, must follow. Scholars have been debating McLuhan’s point ever since, but it’s obvious that politics has been changed by changing media.

That’s why, Beckel says, both parties are losing their long-term grip on voter identity; the big winner of the future, he adds, will be free-floating independents.

And now politics confronts a new medium, the Internet. Once again, politics will change. The problem is that we haven’t figured out how politics will change in the Net era. But one thing we do know: Thanks to social-networking sites such as Facebook, politics can be entertaining, even to non-junkies. Why? Because Facebook is about you and your network. You can exchange any information you want with your old friends, and new friends -- in a way that is both inexpensive (free, in fact) and cool. Thus the town square has been revived online; a new ecology of personal and social interaction created.

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