Beginning the world over againOn my internet radio show yesterday, I had Nashville blogger and former NBC News Southeastern correspondent Sharon Cobb as a guest. What made Sharon's appearance so unique is that it wasn't merely a matter of me having a Democrat on the program-Sharon and I come from completely opposite ends of the political spectrum. She is liberal enough that it can safely be said that she is to the left of the average Democrat on the ground in Tennessee.
In addition to discussing the upcoming Presidential Primaries (I had wanted the perspective of a Democrat after having two different Republicans on the show), we also discussed the power of the blogosphere.
We agreed that the elites within both parties aren't quite sure how to deal with the blogosphere. Prior to the advent of the blogosphere, people's involvement in politics was limited to what they might be able to do during an election year-unless they were an elected official or a candidate. The mainstream press filtered information through to the majority of citizens, and if you wanted to find information about what your legislators were doing, you needed to spend hours of time and perhaps do mountains of research. Now, that information is available to you at the touch of a button, and it empowers people to take a stand.
One of the things that I mentioned on the show was that the only thing I cared for in the case of Democratic U.S. Senate nominee from Connecticut Ned Lamont was that Lamont showed that the blogosphere could nominate a candidate. If liberals could do this with Lamont in Conecticut, conservatives in Tennessee could have done the same with Ed Bryant had we been united behind one candidate-the one major difference is that Bryant stood a likely chance at victory.
In the days of our forefathers, the printing press fell into the hands of the common man, and books-especially political tracts-became the way that ordinary folks of those days communicated their political ideas. The distribution of political tracts became so widespread on the American continent between 1760 and 1790 that such tracts helped spark the American Revolution, and the printed page was the way that constitutional government as we know it was promoted to the American people.
One of those pamphleteers was Thomas Paine, who once wrote that "we have it in our power to begin the world over again." The blogosphere is to us today what the printing press was in the mid-to-late 18th Century to the founders of our Republic. Like our founders, we can use this unique tool as a way to promote our ideas, and like them, we have the power (if we choose to use it) to begin the world over again.
Let us use that power wisely.