Monday, November 01, 2004

Views on the Election

This election year has been fun, to say the least. There's been controversy, tons of new voters registered, and it's going down to the wire.

Ben Silverman of PR Fuel has a "report card" of winners and losers in this year's election campaign that breaks it down as the winners and losers of this year's election. All of his points show how PR is used by the candidates, and how it can affect the outcome of the elections.

Ben brought up how Teresa Heinz Kerry has hurt the campaign:
For all she's done for charities and the less fortunate, Teresa Heinz Kerry may unfortunately be remembered for telling a reporter to "shove it" and saying Laura Bush never held a real job. Not only did Heinz Kerry alienate some in the media, she didn't do much to help her husband win any votes from teachers (Mrs. Bush, it's well known, was a teacher). Laura Bush, on the other hand, has basically kept her mouth shut, providing us with ample proof that PR people and the CEO are usually the only people who should deal with the media.
He brought up how Blogs have come out a winner in this year's election:
The power of instantaneous, global communication was evident this election year and it was pretty much due to word-of-mouth marketing. It's not surprising that blogging's rise has coincided with the rebirth of successful dot-com companies. Though it's not been mentioned much, the Internet and everyone who does business on it may be the biggest beneficiaries of this year's election. Blogs, meanwhile, have suddenly become respectable sources of information and commentary, becoming an important filter for wired news consumers.
His most important winner and loser was that we, the American people, have lost. That, in essence, we are the biggest losers this election year.
Hi, does anyone remember me? You know, the American citizen and voter? Swift boats, National Guard service, first ladies, meaningless debates, etc., the list goes on and on. Raise your hand if you actually know what anyone's real plan for health care, social security, Iraq, North Korea and taxes is. The media didn't work in the people's best interest, and the candidates pandered to the media.
I can think of two other losers this year, expanding on Ben's idea.
  • The further disenfranchising of the public. Despite the increased voter registrations, and what looks to be high voter turnout, both are not happening because we have Kennedy vs Nixon (two great men and politicians), but because we have Skull and Bones vs Skull and Bones - two candidates that are almost indistinguishable from each other, both who lack great leadership personalities, and who are not being voted for, but rather voted against.
  • Ralph Nader is a major loser. Not only has Nader lost his Democratic-leaning base, but he was supported by a hardcore Republican base, and welcomed them open-armed. He allowed himself to be used by the Republican machine to get onto ballots, and for what? Now, all the work and years he devoted as a consumer advocate were wiped away in a year for what was seen as a purely ego, self-motivated run for President. He's become a joke of himself.
Beyond the winners and losers for this election year, we have C/Net thinking that the blogosphere is going to call the election, and call it early. The blogosphere is not under the same agreements as the traditional news agencies, and has more of a free reign to call the election when it wants to, and it appears that that might just happen.

Another blogger in the industry doesn't think this will happen, but he must not read the political blogs. Little Green Footballs more or less called this election for Bush presidency, and The Free Voice, one of the Auburn bloggers, has already called the election for Bush.

Thus, what the blogosphere is best at is going to come to the forefront during election day - partisianship. Those left-leaning people will read Daily Kos, Atrios and those on the right will read LGF, Drudge, etc. And, those sites will write what their readers want to read: our guy won! We're calling it now (most likely, very early in the day).

So, I guess that's another loser for this election year - openmindedness. People only want to read views that are the same as theirs, and not be open to the other side.

Sometimes it does pay to be an independent!
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