Today’s New York Times has this article, The YouTube Election.
But YouTube may be changing the political process in more profound ways, for good and perhaps not for the better, according to strategists in both parties. If campaigns resemble reality television, where any moment of a candidate’s life can be captured on film and posted on the Web, will the last shreds of authenticity be stripped from our public officials? Will candidates be pushed further into a scripted bubble? In short, will YouTube democratize politics, or destroy it?
Well, for me, good campaigns don’t resemble reality television. Sure, some people may try to use something like YouTube to make their campaign like reality television, and most people will recognize how vapid such a campaign really is.
No, good campaigns resemble the political discussions over Sunday dinner. We all tried to be polite, no matter how hard it was. We struggled with issues. Sometimes, we might even admit that we had said something wrong.
In many ways, perhaps, YouTube merely amplifies who the candidate rally is. Sen. Edwards and Ned Lamont come across very well on YouTube. It shows them as personable and authentic, the sort of people with whom you can seriously discuss issues like how to make our country safer and how to address the problem of poverty.
For other candidates, like Sen. Allen or Sen. Lieberman, it merely picks up their distain for the ordinary people that make up this wonderful country called America.
So, lets get at it. Let’s see “On The Road, with videoblogs”, a nationwide citizen journalism effort, pulling in everything from Let us Now Praise Famous Men, Travels with Charley, Then came Bronson, Freedom Riders, On the Road with Charles Kuralt, RFK in Appalachia, Blue Highways and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Let’s see a collaborative documentary of all that is good in America, and how working together, we can help America be even better.