A Look at “The Argument”Posted: August 7, 2011
Following twelve years of Republican rule, Matt Bai followed the newly formed group of “progressives” who were tapping in to new technologies online from all over the country. They were breaking in to the age of blogging, which began a shift in politics to a more tech heavy environment, which everyone would have to adapt to. In his book, “The Argument; Billionaires, Bloggers and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics” Bai dives into the political sea of these new progressives spreading across America.
The book opens with a look at Election Day in 2004, in which Bai describes the events of day from an insiders perspective, recounting the events that take place unheard of to outsiders. Known to few, the conversations that take place through this day were also shifting online. Bai introduces Jerome Armstrong, who was one of the first to start online political blogging. On election day, Armstrong received over 100,000 blog hits after receiving poll stats and knowing how to reach out and grasp an audience that would be looking for this information before media received the news and announced it through television.
Bai moves on to discuss the power of the list and knowing who to contact first when news hits, how having a list of respondents for mass e-mail can be key to spreading information quickly. He uses examples of MoveOn.org, a movement that began with the Clinton scandals, at a time when impeachment sounded like a good idea to a large conservative population. MoveOn just wanted everyone to get over the drama and move back to politics. He the moves on to discuss other ways in which we have moved into an online capacity for politic information gathering and dissemination. They key events, told in a tone that oddly resembles Malcolm Gladwell’s writing style (in my opinion). Bai recounts key events and the context in which they took place that moved us into the technological era we are in with online politics.