Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"Don't Boo My Opponent - Get Out And Vote!"

... said the candidate for President. The one who is expected to win today.

His opponent, mired in tradition, strives for boos. Although he promised a clean campaign, forces beyond control - his own party, for example - have been throwing slime. In the final week of the campaign, faced with polls telling them that slime isn't working, they have doubled their effort.

Someone must feel that seeing the same TV commercial ten times increases the interest generated by seeing it once. Someone must feel that hearing authoritarian voices telling us what to do inspires faith and loyalty.

Being the party whose President was crow-barred into office by a Supreme Court ruling and has since bankrupted the country with a war of adventure, the Republicans started the race a few laps behind. Candidates not linked to special interests were hard to find. Their presidential pool included an actor who once played the role of President on TV and could play it again if needed and a former mayor whose city once was tragically attacked. The purest of them all came forward.

Embarrassed by own his riches - 7 homes and 13 cars - their candidate immediately attacked his opponent as an elitist. This elicited a response about "the white-haired old man" from a hot modern actress whose name was used unwisely in their ad. A video response.

Suddenly the campaign was McCain versus YouTube. McCain made a speech standing in front of a green screen, not realizing the video editing power in the hands of the multitudes. A feast was created in his name.

Meanwhile, the former community organizer who had become the candidate of the Democratic Party organized America. From the ground up.

Interested voters who discovered his web site could find themselves invited to a party in their neighborhood. They were invited to connect with peers. If they contributed a buck or two online, they were invited to call voters on the phone and to go with groups to visit them.

The Obama campaign constructed a digital matrix on which real life then could grow.

McCain's campaign put up billboards. Surfaces. Mottoes. Obama told people that they were the change they needed.

Why sit and boo when you can stand up and vote?

And so, today we will.

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