Can you imagine our buttoned-up mainstream media calling McCain and Palin "liars" had bloggers not exploded with that epithet over the past month, and proved it, lie by lie? With blogs leading the way, the MSM's customary restraint fell away like scales from their eyes because gentlemanly "balanced" prose couldn't adequately convey the truth, and because the stakes are so high.
The MSM knows their failure to call this spade a spade enabled GW Bush to bootstrap two lying campaigns into a profoundly dishonest administration that has disgraced and weakened our great nation. They don't want to be patsies all over again. This time, it needs to be done right, and everyone recognizes just how high the stakes actually are.
This is yet another case of the Internet transforming our political processes. It has enabled citizen journalists to find wide audiences, unblocked by traditional media "gatekeepers. It has diluted the political influence of monied interests by raising overwhelming sums from millions of citizen contributors. It mobilized armies of partisans for political organizing and campaigning.
And it has significantly advanced the cause of finding the truth. While traditional media have disparaged blogs as being unreliable, that chaotic, unmediated world known as "the blogosphere" has led the way in ferreting truth from falsehood.
We think politically-oriented social networking is the next step towards democratizing our Republic. Micro-niche social networks are the wave of the future that is already casting its water upon our shores. By providing forums for citizens to test and compare their views, networking tools to enable like-minded people to cooperate in groups to effect change, extensive information resources for research and education, and communications tools to facilitate dialog with elected officials, networks like You2Gov will help break the stranglehold our traditional media and political parties have exerted on our great public discussions, reinvigorating our democracy.
Users of You2Gov actively utilize our tools to contact members of the House and Senate directly from the Internet during the financial crisis that is gripping the United States. There is extensive one to one dialogue and one-to-many dialogue occurring each day on multiple websites and social media like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs and podcasts not to mention email and telephone. What is starting to develop is a cohesive currency of information, tested and verified, that is flattening our ability to achieve power plurality with our leaders. As time goes on, these tools will make each citizen a recognizable base of local power, much like companies and trade groups now enjoy.
Follow Alan W. Silberberg and Ralph J. Shapira on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@you2gov