I wrote this on JRE blog on November 27 2003:
Comparing blogs is very interesting and telling. I only visited Kerry and Dean blogs a couple of times for a few minutes, so I may not be correct - someone put me straight if I am wrong, please - but the main difference I felt was the difference between the 'heart' and the 'brain'. There is a lot of emotion, zealous loyalty to the candidate, putting down of other candidates, and fixation on polls and horserace on other blogs. Now, of course, all of that is present here, too, but we have an extra dimension as seen from long thoughtful posts on various issues. While they have 'heart', we have both 'heart' and 'brain'. Does it bode well for the election? I don't know. Certainly some voters go with their heart, others study the candidates and go with their brains. Those are just two styles, one not neccessarily better than the other. Some people put a high premium on personality, others on the platform. In my opinion, JRE is the only one who, looking at the blog if nowhere else, appeals to BOTH. That also explains the numbers from those two UNH polls linked elsewhere on this thread. We actually know how our candidate stands on various issues and what his plans are. Others mostly just enjoy being a part of a 'movement' without too much thinking. Is that correct? Another thing is the role of the blogs. There is, of course, the role of information being transmitted from the campaign HQ to the supporters. Hey, even Bush blog does that! The second role is for supporters to get in touch with each other, organize campaigning efforts, exchange news and encouragment. All Dems blogs perform that function (sorry, Reps, no place for you to go). But the third essential function has yet to really come forth on any blog and, it is here, that our blog has made the first baby steps ahead of others, but is yet to reach its full potential. That is the function of two-way communication between the campaign managers and the supporters. It is not fully developed perhaps because the campaign managers come from the olden times, learned their craft in another century, and are not aware how differently campaigns need to be run in the age of Internet. Apart from geographical regions, age, gender or socioeconomic groups, even "clusters", there is also a new, very big and very important group of potential voters and supporters who may live everywhere, but mentally really inhabit cyberspace. I would like to see not just Elizabeth Edwards, but John Edwards, and all the top people of the campaign come to the blog every day, read every post, reply to questions, send the trolls running (these don't have guts to respond to a top manager, they feel safe to flame us, the little folks). I'll feel much better if a tough question is answered by someone official. If it is not written down in the Real Solutions, we try to use logic to figure out what would John think about it, and may be right most of the time, but an official response would make it clear with no remaining nagging doubts. If this was to happen, than the idea of little logos next to names makes sense: managers, staff, volunteers/interns, supporters, and trolls could be differentiated that way. Sorry if this sounded like frustrated whining and complaining, but I just want to make us even better....
I wrote this on JRE blog on December 02, 2003:
In 2000, GWB ran his campaign on anti-intellectualism. Remember, Gore wrote a book on ecology and environmental policy. Why is there such an anti-intelectual climate present here? It is inconceivable to elect someone like Vaclav Havel here. Why? Yugoslavia/Serbia, portrayed here as barbaric, elected Dr.Ante Markovic (economics) for Prime minister in 1989. Dr.Vojislav Kostunica (professor of constitutional law) replaced Milosevic as the President three years ago. Dr. Ivan Djuric (professor of philosphy), member of Reformist party was a presidential candidate for the united democratic opposition in 1991 and was the only one to give Milosevic a run for his money. Later he had to flee the country and a few years later he died of cancer. Dr.Dragoljub Micunovic (professor of philosophy) was the founder, ideologue and leader of the democratic opposition, elected to the first Parliament, later became the Speaker, and recently ran for President. Dr.Zoran Djindjic (professor of philosophy) was the charismatic leader of the democratic opposition, got elected into Parliament, later got elected for Mayor of Belgrade, even later for Prime Minister. He got assassinated a few months ago. Dr.Zarko Korac (professor of psychology) is currently the Deputy Prime-Minister and actually runs the country (the prime minister is not so bright this time around). Where are the professors in US Congress, or White House? Why is high educational level of candidates not revered here as it is in Eastern Europe? Is that explained by the quality of the educational system? Better educated electorate is more likely to vote for an intelectual as it treasures knowledge more, while less educated individuals are a bit afraid of brainiacs. Is that correct?