Through the daily troll of news/political sites i must say that nothing really stands out when i view them these days, i am densensitised to flash
graphics, java and pretty images, there is very little "content" left that hasn't been spun, packaged, polished & wrapped for your viewing
pleasure. However, over the past few months one thing stood out for me...
The Howard Dean E-Campaign!
I'm trying to stay bipartisan as i write this piece even though i can sing my merry little liberal heart out about Dean and how he has "the right
stuff" for America, but i'll try so the non-supporters can see what he's doing, and how the other candidates are going wrong in their
The main purpose of the site is to inform the potential voters of who Howard Dean is and what he stands for. DeanForAmerica.com does its job very well
in that respect, everything is set out neatly with the viewer only being a click away from details of everything he supports and intends to right, now
this is nothing revolutionary, but when you compare it to others like Gephardt's and Bush's, they are a little skinny on the content and its very
detached from the person. Bush2004 is very separated from the public with him being referred to as "The President" in every sense, sure guys, this
does project a certain image of power but your alienating your audience by making them know he isn't a normal person.
Then you dig deep into the principles of Dean and becomes gets new and exciting...
"I'm a Cortez guy," Joe Trippi roared at the end of our conversation in the corner office of Howard Dean's headquarters in Burlington, Vt. As in:
Hernando Cortez, the Conquistador who faced the Aztec hordes five centuries ago with just 400 Spanish troops at his side, and burned his own boats on
the beach in case his compatriots thought of leaving prematurely. Horses, gunpowder and steel made all the difference for Cortez. The Trippi
difference in the Democratic nomination fight has been the Internet.
(Joe Trippi is the DeanForAmerica campaign manager, and a great one at that.)
Dramatic? Yes. Accurate? You're damn right!
I had wondered if Trippi, with a Dean nomination plausibly in sight, would be turning his thinking now to the very different business of a general
campaign against George Bush. The answer was that my question was wrong. Trippi's thinking began with the fall campaign and worked backwards. The
question was how to find 2-million workers and raise $200-million in small contributions against an incumbent Republican with unlimited cash. An
entirely out-of-control, viral Internet contagion was the only means of building those numbers by November, 2004. The Dean campaign we have seen so
far (with half a million recruits and about $30-million in income) is a preview of Trippi's strategy, not a culmination.
He does have the right idea and a good working concept, the internet has been largely unexplored and untapped by the Bush campaign team, it is an
unruly domain full of liberals and snotty college students, and thats nobody Bush would want to speak to. The main GOP presence on the web is located
on the white house site and the reelection site for Mr Bush himself. Its not very adventurous, then again, nobody accused Bush and his team of being
in touch with the public, this is just a new folly we get to watch.
The Internet campaign "gets back to something we had before television, back to neighbors knocking on doors and handing out buttons to kids to give
to their parents, its almost a homely campaign that seeks to unite the supporters."
How do you think the GOPites won the state of Texas?
Incredible organisation on a scale unattempted before by any politically affiliated group, thats how they did it!
They would drive every last voter to the polls in contested area's so they had the best possible chance of winning, and of course we had the
starting of vicious slander campaigns against the alternative candidates (not always democrats). Texas is a liberal state, largely like the rest,
millions of latino's, blacks and just about every other "minority" there is. The christian coalition saw this and organised themselves, this is
America you know, you can't have those lousy immigrants having a say in the matter.
You need to win by one vote, not a million. One vote makes the difference. Its all about you and how you tick that paper.
Trippi feels that George Bush is all wrong for the Internet. "In any medium, you have to say something," Trippi said, but the Internet in particular
puts a premium on a certain style of provocation and a degree of authenticity that Howard Dean commands and George Bush does not. The other
Republican handicap on the Internet, in the Trippi view, is that Bush and Rove have not even begun to unlearn the ancient rules of campaign command
and control--rules that Trippi grew up with, too. "I know how tough it is to undo the wiring upstairs. But it's very simple: you cannot command and
control the Internet."
Its simple, politics is evolving, its gone back to the grassroots level, alibeit heavily supported by the internet and the hands behind the campaign.
TV makes an impression, but at the end of the day most of us will come to sites like this and discuss how we view those candidates and what they have
said. Trippi is the first to realise this and capitalise on our way of discussion, if you look at DeanForAmerica's site you will see this very
clearly, talk to people at the more liberal colleges and you will be shocked, Howard has been silently organising the liberal masses with the
principles that Trippi has set out, entire classes have been signing up to volunteer their services to DeanForAmerica. The "army" of 2 million
workers is nearly full, yet he's still being written off because he is biding his time, no gloating and no overt show of strength.
"We are the great grassroots campaign of the modern era, built from mouse pads, shoe leather and hope." Remarked Trippi as he answered the question
"What makes DeanForAmerica's strategy different?"
Joe Trippi has a placid assurance that the Democratic nomination is Dean's, that an epochal change in campaign politics is underway, and that we are
on the verge of a historic collision of forces in American life.
It is about the American people recognising that they have the power to change politics as we now practice it, basically every campaign has been about
raising hundreds of millions of dollars and buying tv time for ads, people got left out of the process. What the internet and the Dean campaign is
doing is putting the people back into the process they were taken from.
Our biggest hurdle in this campaign is getting people over their disbelief that they can't make a difference, most Americans dont believe that their
$25 or $100 and their right, its a big country with alot of precincts, it not gonna do anything, but when you get 2 million people donating and
knocking on doors, its an amazing thing.
Those are the 2 or 3 million who will make this difference, if Gore had done this he would have won in 2000. Get local, Go Dean. They didnt using
things like meetup.com, all these things and new concepts have happened in 24 months, the internet is now mature enough to be "harnessed"
TV changed the way the people vote and the internet is now taking over from it. This is the year people will look back at and they will say "wow,
that was the time when we shoulda known the net would change everything."
Tv is an abysmal way to communicate, they talk and you listen, its a one way system, you can bark but they dont connect back to you, back in 82 they
used the 800 numbers to comment and still there was no accurate public voice. It can't be made to be completely two way so it must be replaced. The
internet is an amazing vehicle because of its two way and multiway communications, you can chat with fellow voters and inform those who oppose your
favoured candidate. TV will still be used primarily to counter GW's "heartwarming" messages.
It will be the knock on the door, not the bark of the screen that will influence people. You OWN the campaign and the conversation is happening
between people, not paid analysts sitting behind a desk in NY.
Knowledge is no longer power, It is your opinion that empowers you.
They put up 50 state posters on the site (DFA) and within 3 minutes someone commented saying "i'm in puerto rico and you have no pro dean sign" we
put one up in seconds within 3 minutes he replied with a picture of him sticking it in his store window. Such is the outreach of the web.
Yes, we're learning, we're evolving and we're organising, we can shout just as loud as you, Rush and Coulter can, and we will, Liberals will no
longer be the stigmatised yellow bellied america haters in your eyes, we're your opposition and you WILL acknowledge it, Bush is going too far, its
time for change, time to have Dean for America.
I know this is an opinion piece, but learning of this has this affected how you see Dean and Trippi? Would you vote Dean for America?
[Edited on 10-1-2004 by Nerdling]