My old pal Justin let me know that our other old pal Howard is blogging from Etech as well. Here are Howard’s two first posts:
The Dean campaign was about bringing real change to a system that is broken, corroded, rusted. In the 1960s, we had the Nixon-Kennedy debate. It took 5-10 years to understand that television would change American politics. We didn’t realize that it would become a race for money, and that would remove the citizens from the process. That is what the Dean campaign ran smash into. We were trying to change that system. That system is locked in place. There is only one platform that allows the American people to take the government back and that is the Internet. It isn’t going to happen on CNN or in the LA Times. It is going to happen because millions of Americans are going to decide to act in concert to change the nature of American politics.
Is there an emerging public mind? Broadcast media are the center of the political world and that is the foundation of the central need for large-scale fundraising. What works in broadcast media is storytelling around attacking and defending, and although debate is important, there is more to democracy than that. You need fewer and fewer citizens to run a media campaign you need a lot of money and a small number of media consultants. Even though there is a need for more people to become involved in political process, more and more people have backed away from it because of the corruption that the huge money necessary for broadcast advertising brings, and because of the attack-and-defend culture. I can testify that many many people in Washington got involved in government because they wanted to make a contribution to society, and now they are stuck in the money-and-attack-and-defend culture. For example, we were attacked by the chairman of the RFC because one of the thousands of submissions to our anti-Bush ad competition was that Hitler ad. Someone said to him: “Isn’t that bullshit” and he replied: “Yes, but that’s the game.”