Internet Politics

Internet Politics
Jonathan Alter has recently discussed the potentially powerful effects of the internet upon future presidential elections. In his Newsweek article, A New Open-Source Politics, Alter writes that:”Bob Schieffer of CBS News made a good point on ‘The Charlie Rose Show’ last week. He said that successful presidents have all skillfully exploited the dominant medium of their times. The Founders were eloquent writers in the age of pamphleteering. Franklin D. Roosevelt restored hope in 1933 by mastering radio. And John F. Kennedy was the first president elected because of his understanding of television.

Will 2008 bring the first Internet president? Last time, Howard Dean and later John Kerry showed that the whole idea of ‘early money’ is now obsolete in presidential politics. The Internet lets candidates who catch fire raise millions in small donations practically overnight. That’s why all the talk of Hillary Clinton’s ‘war chest’ making her the front runner for 2008 is the most hackneyed punditry around. Money from wealthy donors remains the essential ingredient in most state and local campaigns, but ‘free media’ shapes the outcome of presidential races, and the Internet is the freest media of all.

No one knows exactly where technology is taking politics, but we’re beginning to see some clues. For starters, the longtime stranglehold of media consultants may be over. In 2008, any presidential candidate with half a brain will let a thousand ad ideas bloom (or stream) online and televise only those that are popular downloads. Deferring to ‘the wisdom of crowds’ will be cheaper and more effective.”

Excerpt From:
Jonathan Alter
June 5, 2006

Blog It Forward: Spreading Friendly Feelings


“Blog It Forward”

What’s this all about? Just choose a website/blog (or two or three) that you expecially like and post an article on your own site about why you feel that they are noteworthy. Why do you like them? Why are they given that special place of prominence in your thinking about bloggers? Are they funny? Are they wise? Do they provide you with valuable internet resources? Are they just too “good looking” for people to pass by? Take a little time to let your friends and other people know about them!!!

At the same time, you could send a note to the author(s) whose site(s) you enjoy, letting him/her know that you’ve shared their site with others. In the case of my suggested site described below, you might send a short message to Andrew Sullivan by sending an email to him at:

It just just might “make their day” to see their name in the spotlight! Remember, by doing this you can help to extend friendly feelings on the internet, and in these times there can never be too much love amongst bloggers here in the cyberworld.

Please read and pass along to your friends my own Blog It Forward of the Day:

Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish.

Emails to:

Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Daily Dish, enjoys an international readership. His writings are considered to reflect one of the more rational and moderate conservative voices to be found on the internet. In more recent times, many of his articles have served as a major alert about and source of strong opposition to corruption in and increasing abuse of power by the Bush administration. Sullivan’s sophisticated internet writings have always strongly supported the prohibition of any form of political/social discrimination based upon gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. As an added bonus, readers will find links to a number of valuable reading resources on his site.

Sullivan’s Background

Andrew Sullivan graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took a First in Modern History and Modern Languages. In 1984, he won a Harkness Fellowship to Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and earned a Masters degree in Public Administration in 1986. While at Harvard, he was best known for acting, appearing as Hamlet, Alan in Peter Shaffer’s Equus, and Mozart in Shaffer’s Amadeus.

Subsequently, Sullivan worked as an Associate Editor at The New Republic, editing and writing for both the political and literary sections of the magazine, while free-lancing for The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Daily Telegraph and Esquire magazine. In 1989, he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University, where he was awarded the Government Department Prize for a dissertation in political science. In 1990, he returned to Washington, D.C., where he free-lanced for The Telegraph and started a monthly column for Esquire. He was soon back at The New Republic as Deputy Editor; in June 1991, at the age of 27, he was appointed Acting Editor. In October, he took over as editor, and presided over 250 issues of The New Republic, resigning in May 1996. During his tenure , The New Republic’s circulation grew to well over 100,000 and its advertising revenues grew by 76 percent. The magazine also won three National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, Reporting, and Public Interest.

Sullivan’s editorship at TNR was often turbulent, controversial and pioneering. Under his direction, the magazine expanded its focus beyond politics to cover such topics as the future of hip-hop, same-sex marriage, and affirmative action in the newsroom. The magazine campaigned for early intervention in Bosnia, for homosexual equality, and against affirmative action. TNR also published the first public discussion of The Bell Curve the explosive 1995 book on IQ. In 1996, Sullivan was named Editor of the Year by Adweek magazine.

In the early 1990s, Sullivan became known for being openly homosexual, and for writing pioneering works on such issues as gays in the military and same-sex marriage. His 1993 TNR essay, The Politics of Homosexuality, was credited by The Nation magazine as the most influential article of the decade in gay rights. His 1995 book, Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality, was published to positive reviews, became one of the best-selling books on gay rights, and was translated into five languages. He followed it with a reader, Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con, and testified before Congress on the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. His second book, Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival, was published in 1998 in the United States and Britain. It was a synthesis of three essays on the plague of AIDS, homosexuality and psycho-therapy, and the virtue of friendship. Sullivan tested positive for HIV in 1993, and remains in good health.

In the late 1990s, Sullivan worked as a contributing writer and columnist for The New York Times Magazine, a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review, and a weekly columnist for The Sunday Times of London. His New York Times cover-stories, When Plagues End, a description of the changing AIDS epidemic in 1996, and The Scolds, an analysis of the decline of American conservatism in 1998, became national talking points. His 1999 essay, What’s So Bad About Hate, is included in the Best American Essays of 1999. His 2000 cover story on testosterone, Why Men Are Different, provoked a flurry of controversy, as well as a cover-story in Time, and a documentary on the Discovery Channel. Since 2002, Sullivan has been a columnist for Time Magazine, and a regular guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and NBC’s Chris Matthews’ Show.

In the summer of 2000, Sullivan became one of the first mainstream journalists to experiment with blogging, and soon developed a large online readership with’s Daily Dish. In January 2006, Sullivan took his blog to’s home-page where he now writes daily. He remains a Senior Editor at The New Republic.

Windows: Looking Through Their Windows

Brooklyn: Early Morning Dawn

A View From Your Window

Andrew Sullivan has observed that he gets to read some of the smartest emails on the web, “but you don’t get to know who your fellow-readers are, where they live, what they do, what they see as they look out their window each morning.” Isn’t this also true for most of us on the web? Last year, I suggested a somewhat similar theme in a comment entitled The Dawn.

In response to this sense of internet opaqueness and anonymity, Sullivan began an on-line project called “The Window Project.” He’s asking his readers to get out their digital cameras, and take a picture of the view from their windows, from the living room window, bathroom window, car-window or office view. This is just one of the window views posted on his blog. Many others can be seen on Sullivan’s website.

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