If you’re looking to make sense of what’s happening in national politics right now, pick up a copy of The First Campaign. At the risk of sounding like I’m kissing my professor‘s ass, I’m going to say that it’s probably one of the best books I’ve read on politics in the last year.
The basic thesis of the book is this: The 2008 campaign will be the first one in which the Internet will be a deciding factor in the outcome.
It might sound cliche to say the Internet is changing politics, but it’s actually occurring in significant ways NOW. Not only does Garrett make a compelling case about the new era in which we are entering, but he also ties it in with everything else going on in the world. One of these major trends is globalization, in which goods, services, and people move almost effortlessly across geopolitical borders.
Let’s talk about a more timely topic related to all this. How about, say, John McCain and his admission that he’s not so good with technology. In fact, he doesn’t use e-mail or surf the Web. He lets his staff do that for him. Graff had an op-ed published in the post about this very topic.
Indeed, knowing how to use the Internet is an essential skill set for the President of the United States to have. By the time the next president leaves office, I will venture to say that most Americans will rely principally on the Internet to communicate and consume information. If we can expect that people running for office know the price of a gallon of milk or gas, shouldn’t we expect that they also know how to compose a simple e mail message or find something using Google?
Enough of my thoughts. What do YOU think?