When I was a child, nearly every household in America owned a TV from Radio Corporation of America. It was this new multicolored media that broadcasted the debates from our three networks, NBC, ABC and CBS, that brightly displayed the sweat on Nixon’s brow and cost him the election. No elbow rubbing with the party faithful could lift his platform beyond the reach of this new media.
RCA’s CEO proudly exclaimed his ignorance in stating that new fangled Sony solid state was not the way to go, and in so proudly exclaiming away he went along with the RCA Corp. As victors sometimes egotistically do, Sony bought the rights to the RCA name and now produces a few solid state RCAs for the few stubborn TV console owners who refuse to let go their grip of change.
As Ted Turner started the revolution toward breaking the American media oligarchy, the big three stood idly by confident that the American public would not depart from the nightly news. Some still come home, put on their sweaters, and turn their RCAs to their favorite analog broadcast station while wetting their appetite for the family evening meal. But media outlets that hoped for this loyal group to carry them through are through.
With elections during the past few political cycles won on thin margins, the close percentages still give hope to those using yellow pages and wired home phones that Facebook and Twitter don’t matter. If the GOP Bulwark had recognized that fringe media matters even before it is mainstream, the world may never have experienced Nixon at all.
The traditional party faithful base will continue to press the flesh and are important to mobilize, but the winning edge will go to those that capture the Egypt generation, the lost X generation that is computer savvy but less apt to fight established norms, and the Northbound mass of new immigrants, less computer literate but seeking shelter from bigotry and nationalism. This group will bond in virtual fellowship under electronic leadership that offers comfort to their common plight.
It seems that no-one in the Republican Party really gets this social democracy thing yet. Main stream media yesterday reported that Barack opened his 2012 candidacy without announcement. Yet those tied to his Facebook already knew that he announced to his 19 million faithful and set up new tools for them to link friends.
This year’s social media will blow open traditional media with its low cost sophisticated market reach. It assures Obama re-election if Republicans keep trying to reach the market with stone tablets and smoke rings. No, there was no TV fanfare. No-one yelled to the sleeping GOP camp as the Democrats quietly slipped in and stole all their horses on the first day of the reelection cycle.