I haven't asked for permission to quote directly, but I responded to an email from a friend this morning that predicted anti-Bush crowds at the Republican convention in September would shut down traffic. Comparing to the 1968 Democratic convention, “The anti-war movement back then was small and loosely organized compared to the massive, internet-supported movement building against Bush-ism-in-general this year.”
I post the following for a broader discussion with an open mind and fully aware I'm a novice at thinking critically about politics.
My answer in email:
I completely disagree with characterizing the
internet-supported movement building against Bush as
massive. Haven't we learned anything from Howard
Dean? The internet is an echo chamber of a relative
few with the ability to bang pots and pans and appear
to have a ton of support.
I wasn't alive in 1968 and I don't know how big the
anti-war movement was, but real rallies and protests
are real activism. Posting Bush jokes, comics, and
tirades on blogs and message boards is not. It's
venting and pretty useless because you're not raising
awareness to anyone that doesn't already agree with
you. Listen to Air America Radio for the same effect.
We're liberal minded urbanites with computers and high
internet literacy. Not exactly the cross section of
the country. If I went into work everyday and read
nothing political online ever, my sense of the next
election would be hopeless. An election on my floor
would be something like 10% Kerry, 70% Bush, 20% I
have to pick up my kid at 3 o clock, who cares.
I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see the Republican
convention becoming a shitstorm of protest.