It was 1960 during the Presidential election between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy. The polls were running neck and neck and there was no clear-cut winner until one event that changed politics forever.
It was the first ever televised presidential debate. It was not so much the substance of the debate that had such a profound impact, but rather how each of them appeared on the new medium of television.
On one side you had Richard M. Nixon the sitting Vice President who sported a slight five o’clock shadow which, against the black and white picture, made him appear brooding. Along side was a young and photogenic JFK that the camera took too immediately. This event catapulted then Senator Kennedy into the White House and into history.
Fast forward to the 2008 Presidential Election, again we had cross generational candidates. Both Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama were very adept at television so there was no real advantage there like in 1960, but what made the difference for Barack Obama was just as profound if not more than television was for Nixon and Kennedy. It was the internet, and it made all the difference in the world to who now occupies the White House.
Obama’s campaign took a page out of Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign and built up an army of supporters by using social networks, blogs, and websites to raise millions from small donations solicited on the Internet.
The Republican Party must learn from this and meet the Democrats internet advantage head on. The internet is the future of politics and the party that uses it most effectively will be the ones who raise the most money and win elections.
Right now we, as Republicans, are the scruffy faced Richard Nixon and the Democrats are the JFK. It need not be that way. Conservatives and Republicans dominated the Internet till around 2006. We can take it back, and must get it back to stop Barack Obama from making this country no longer the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
Reposted from a blog article I wrote on the Emery County Republican Party website.