Of all people...
Iain Duncan Smith, former head of the Conservative party (Tories) in Britain, who was frequently castigated during his term of leadership for being "out of touch," writes a magnificent column in today's Guardian about blogging and the influence of the blogosphere on public opinion in the US and the UK.
Duncan Smith may be a Brit, but he hit the nail on the head with this piece, pointing out:
"You would also expect this electronic revolution to be good for the Democrats, but the American left's relationship with the internet has been disastrous. The internet has sunk a knife into Bill Clinton's moderate Democratic party. Mainstream business people were Clinton's principal funders, simultaneously approving and driving his centrism. But the Democrats' new paymasters are the 600,000 computer users who, in 2004, supported Howard Dean's bid for his party's presidential nomination. Dean energised an unrepresentative group of voters with a stridently anti-war message. Electronic money powered Dean's campaign, and all of the other contenders for the Democratic crown soon pandered to his base."Most Americans don't even get this, but the fundamental difference is that mainstream conservatives and moderates have already moved to the internet as a place where they can air their views, likewise the extreme fringe left. The mainstream liberal doesn't have to look to the internet to express his opinion, it's already on the TV and in the papers.
A further example:
"The Democrats' problem has only worsened since. The dailykos.com site of a Democratic consultant gets 500,000 hits a day. That site's memorial to four American contractors murdered in Iraq was "screw them". Hatefulness also pours out of the popular websites of Michael Moore and MoveOn.org. The conservative blogosphere has dubbed the Democrats' IT base its MooreOn tendency."If this is the voice that the left speaks with on the internet, then Duncan Smith is absolutely right when he says
"All this should put the fear of God into the metropolitan elites. For years there have been widening gaps between the governing class and the governed and between the publicly funded broadcasters and the broadcasted to."This also has strong implications for Britain, where the government-funded networks provide a majority of news and entertainment. It will be interesting to see where it goes. Read the whole thing here.
(h/t: Tim Blair)