Because the ratio of representatives-to-voters is so out of whack, intermediaries have become necessary: unions, lobbyists, special-interest groups, SuperPACs. But social media can break the stranglehold of big money and mass media on our elections.
What surprised me is that the Romney team lags behind the Obama team in overall digital activity. I figured, given McCain's low online profile compared with Obama's in 2008, that Romney would have created a more visible and active presence.
Mitt Romney is not exactly big on the Internet. Obama nets more supporters and dollars through his online campaign, and draws more traffic in news and search -- one of the rawest indicators of what Americans are looking for online. But is that even a good thing?
When I saw these numbers, I immediately thought of Mark Twain, who once said: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." He meant that facts are one thing, but their interpretation can be quite another.
In late May, the Obama campaign unveiled its latest innovation in the usage of social media: The Dashboard. It serves as more proof that Barack Obama is a master of the deployment of social media in political campaigns.