Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Conventional Wisdom (Or Not)

The Republican Convention held last week in Tampa, FL and the Democratic Convention underway now in Charlotte, NC convey contrasting worldviews. GOP nominee Gov. Mitt Romney challenged President Obama's record in office while emphasizing a positive vision for the future.
If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.
VP nominee Paul Ryan delivered a stirring call the previous night. The convention highlighted a number of rising stars in the party. Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, Mia Love are among the names that may become more familiar to the nation.

The Dems convention kicked off today in Charlotte. First Lady Michelle Obama just finish a rousing call to rally supporters of her husbands re-election, but the rest of the roster of speakers tonight seemed to be a repetition of traditional Democratic themes claiming to be the party looking out for the poor and middle-class and trying to attack Republicans for undermining those efforts. Their claim to caring for the vulnerable is open to questioning both in terms of the effectiveness of traditional Democratic government-centered solutions and of moral consistency, given the openly proclaimed obsessive support for abortion-on-demand.

An underlying story of this election campaign has less to do with the efforts of the candidates and parties themselves and more with the changing nature of media that convey information to the public. Social media, talk radio and other alternatives are broadening the flow information and allowing things to  be known that are often filtered by the traditional "old media" sources. Conventional media types are frustrated that they are finding it increasingly "impossible ... to change the conversation". Actually, that's a good thing!

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