Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   12 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

GOP "Webification" Effort Could Backfire

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to None 2/1/09

Become a Fan
  (285 fans)
- Advertisement -

It is not a bit surprising that Republicans, seeing the powerful success of Obama's bottom-up campaign, with its historic fundraising power, its grassroots mobilization and the database of millions, want to try to replicate the technology. It may not be that simple for newly elected RNC chair Michael Steele to "web up" his right wing minions.

First, the user demographics indicate that Democrats are significantly more likely to use the web, according to the book, Groundswell.

Second, whatever extent the GOP succeeds at incorporating web 2.0, social networking and other bottom-up technologies, they should expect some bite-back-- unintended consequences.


image by traviscrawford

Former GOP senator Ted Stevens cluelessly described the internet as a series of tubes.


The problem is, Republicans tend to be more top-down oriented. They LIKE authoritarian, father figure leaders. They like the power of the church, of big corporations. They like to give them power. Their values include respecting those in power.

The internet doesn't work that way. WEB 2.0 doesn't work that way. They work almost the exact opposite. There are so many books that have been written on this-- Wisdom of the Crowds, Here Comes Everybody, Crowd Sourcing, Groundswell, The Starfish and the Spider, and What Would Google Do?-- it might be hard to imagine that the GOP wouldn't realize the risk they are taking. But my experience talking to senators has convinced me that they, for the most part don't get it. They might have facebook and twitter accounts, but they don't really understand that the web doesn't just do FOR you, it also does TO you.

- Advertisement -

One of the reasons the Democrats have taken such a significant percentage of under 30's is the internet and what the internet has done to the neuropsychology of under 30's, also called Millennials.  Between one to many email, instant messaging google, amazon, linux, I-tunes, DIGG, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Wikipedia and so much more-- the web has changed the way this generation that has grown up knowing the internet thinks. The internet enables the bottom up, grass roots, democrat mind. This has changed everything. You can't use the web, especially WEB 2.0 social networking functions-- the kinds Obama's campaign used to beat Hillary's and McCain's campaigns-- without being affected. You start expecting you'll be able to participate, cooperate and have serious input.

The "Millennials," having had their brains marinated in WEB 2.0 and all the stuff the GOP wants to adopt, since their early teens or more, have had all these web bottom up processes and ways of functioning deeply imprinted on their neurophysiology. They see, judge and operate with bottom up values which are far closer to the talk and walk of Democrats.

If the GOP truly attempts to start using these web tools and technologies, they may find the dwindling base they have shrinking, even departing faster than before, as users wake up to realize that the top-down, authoritarian, or screw-cooperation and helping each other libertarian, anti-government principles Republicans embrace just don't gibe with the new "feel" they have for the way things should be.

The Democrats need to be careful too. Obama, while waiting as president-elect, talked over and over again about taking a bottom up approach to dealing with the economic crisis. But he's done very little to really go the bottom up distance, and the members of congress simply think that generating jobs is doing bottom up full service. The truth is there is so much more potential for bottom up ways of dealing with the crisis. While the GOP is bumbling its way into WEB 2.0,  risking accelerating the attrition of its base, the Dems should be tapping the wisdom of the web crowds who lean left-- Jeff Jarvis, Craig Newmark, Clay Shirky, Don Tapscott, facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg-- not that Obama didn't already have Google and Facebook principals on his campaign team.

But we're focusing on right wingers here. The idea that using technology changes the user is nothing new. Missionaries have been using this idea for centuries as a way to win converts. It may be a first though, for a partisan organization to adopt a technology only to discover the adoption has a reverse effect, causing a loss of supporters. Unfortunately for the GOP, there is an inevitability to the need to adopt internet ways. They will, almost certainly, dive headlong into facebook, twitter, and all the technologies the digital, millenial generation lives with. It will be interesting to see if the GOP masters them or if the web technologies master the GOP.
- Advertisement -

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Google Content Matches:
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A Conspiracy Conspiracy Theory

Terrifying Video: "I Don't Need a Warrant, Ma'am, Under Federal Law"

Ray McGovern Discusses Brutal Arrest at Secretary Clinton's Internet Freedom Speech

Cindy Sheehan Bugged in Denver

Libertarian Legacy? Ron Paul's Campaign Manager, 49, Dies Uninsured, Of Pneumonia, Leaving family $400,000 Debt

John Kerry's Odd Symptoms-- Eyes and Tongue


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
9 people are discussing this page, with 12 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
And when somebody drags the stinking carcass of th... by Roger on Monday, Feb 2, 2009 at 10:41:15 AM
Maybe the last neocon, rightwing Gingrich extremis... by Rob Kall on Monday, Feb 2, 2009 at 10:47:49 AM
I'd really like to see some of the your ideas ... by Sherwin Steffin on Monday, Feb 2, 2009 at 1:17:22 PM
I mentioned a whole batch of books and authors tha... by Rob Kall on Monday, Feb 2, 2009 at 1:33:53 PM
Republicans spy in order to steal.... by John Hanks on Monday, Feb 2, 2009 at 1:37:37 PM
Looks to me like the approach is strictly top down... by Ed Martin on Monday, Feb 2, 2009 at 1:52:49 PM
Email from the President since you do not know abo... by Yurdelite on Monday, Feb 2, 2009 at 7:50:35 PM
I finding Barack also is verse in saying one thing... by Janiece Senn on Monday, Feb 2, 2009 at 8:45:27 PM
I for one am looking forward to the Republicans pu... by Janiece Senn on Monday, Feb 2, 2009 at 8:30:17 PM
It is interesting to me, as I have been following ... by William Whitten on Tuesday, Feb 3, 2009 at 3:17:04 AM
Double entendre...Lol... by William Whitten on Tuesday, Feb 3, 2009 at 5:56:35 AM
Ron Paul supporters will swamp everything the Repu... by Richard Carpenter on Tuesday, Feb 3, 2009 at 8:12:03 AM