If you want to get elected in the US, you need media.
When TV was king, the secret to media was money. If you have money, you can reach the masses. The best way to get money is to make powerful interests happy, so they’ll give you money you can use to reach the masses and get re-elected.
Now, though…When attention is scarce and there are many choices, media costs something other than money. It costs interesting. If you are angry or remarkable or an outlier, you’re interesting, and your idea can spread. People who are dull and merely aligned with powerful interests have a harder time earning attention, because money isn’t sufficient.
Thus, as media moves from TV-driven to attention-driven, we’re going to see more outliers, more renegades and more angry people driving agendas and getting elected. I figure this will continue until other voices earn enough permission from the electorate to coordinate getting out the vote, communicating through private channels like email and creating tribes of people to spread the word. (And they need to learn not to waste this permission hassling their supporters for money).
Mass media is dying, and it appears that mass politicians are endangered as well.
Phi Beta Iota: For the first time, Seth Godin has caused us to realize that the Koch Brothers funding the Tea Party might be a good thing….it is lighting the path that eventually could be lit by hundreds of millions whose 1-2 dollar contributions will outweight the “loose change” that the super rich are willing to spend on political chicanery. Joe Trippi was there first, but this is a new spin that we find salutory.