When you are part of history, it is difficult to see the history.
The effect of the Internet on this election is more profound than ever before. Stories begin on the Internet. Lies begin on the Internet. The Ordinary Ministers of the Media sometimes take their lead from the Internet. Political Ads are created for the Internet only. Scandals take life on the Internet. Talking points are debunked on the Internet. On news sites. On political sites. And of course, on blogs.
But of all the effects of the Internet, none may be greater than the ability to post, link, and share video. Old speeches, new positions. All there on youtube. Political ads that are never shown on TV, there on youtube. Gaffes replayed in all their glory on youtube.
The Internet and online video are dramatically shaping the tone and styles of today’s campaigns. Campaign talking points are sent out to bloggers and sometimes campaign talking points come from bloggers. Amazing.
Even more amazing is the ability of Joe citizen to have a voice like never before. Take for instance this Iraq war veteran. In the past, his opinion would have been known and respected by perhaps a handful of people. Today, he posts it on youtube and it has over 5 million views. Amazing.
Certainly, not all of the effects of the Internet are positive. It can also give voice to the vile in new ways as well. Always the bad with the good.
I am not writing this post to take a position on the Internet in political life. Rather, I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that this is history. Your grandkids will likely be reading about this election in their history books (if they even use books then.) Not just because we will have the first black president or female vice president, but because of the nascent role of a new medium that completely transformed politics as we know it.
Take a step back for a moment and take it all in. This is history.