Every election will be "The election that technology X changed forever."

Pundits like to point out when some new media technology changes seriously changed politics. When I was young, everybody talked about how the Kennedy-Nixon debates ushered in the era of the TV candidate and changed politics forever. (It did indeed seem unlikely a candidate in a wheelchair from polio could win today, but in fact in Bob Dole and John McCain we have two candidates without full use of their arms.)

No doubt when radio came into play there was similar commentary.

But now it's more rapid. So I'll make a prediction. Form now on, the pace of change in media and the other technologies of politics will be so rapid that every election will be different in some important way from those before it, due to technology. Some of the changes will be overhyped, some will be underhyped, but there may never again be "politics as usual" -- meaning politics as they were 4 years ago.

This will be both good and bad. Most interesting to me is the cost of media. In the USA, most political corruption and influence comes because all politicians feel they must raise a huge amount of money, so much that they spend more time doing that than actually doing their jobs, and they will even admit this. They feel they need to raise this money to make media buys, in particular TV ads. So anything that breaks this equation, such as formalized political spam may have the potential for great good. As for the rest of the changes yet to come, it's hard to say how we'll feel about them.


I agree that there is far too much obsession with raising money in the political world, although I would argue that the expenses behind advertising themselves are not the only part to this problem. Some technology is making things cheaper for advertising. We're seeing some quite good use of the internet as a tool for advertising candidates without the issue of "slot buying."
There is a problem I see with fund raising where the person who is able to raise the most money is often seen as a "better candidate" purely on the grounds of their fund raising skills. After all, if they weren't awesome, people wouldn't have given them all that money, right? I don't know exactly how we can address this problem as it is one of societal perception, but it's something that has bugged me as I see it in the news.

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