Thursday, March 26, 2009
On a more serious note I asked him about a remark he made about modern American politics being determined by who gets the money. I accept it is a major factor (here too)
" Modern technology has made money a nearly decisive factor in elections, and other factors have become nearly irrelevant."
I'd be interested in seeing an expansion of that & of possible cures. Having read "Take Back Your Government" you seem to be saying that people being willing to volunteer no longer works. I know Obama had more money than McCain but was that not an effect of his initial popularity rather than the cause of it? While a majority of Presidents were wealthy, or married to money, before they entered politics a fair number weren't. Perot who had no shortage of money foundered on the disadvantage of not being an established party.
It would still be possible for a Perot-like movement to restore political power to volunteers, if enough political volunteers could be found. It's still possible to work one's way up in the political party hierarchy through the old fashioned ground game; but this is pretty rare, and takes more time and devotion than most people are willing to put into it, and, alas, it takes a lot of people getting out there. The Perot movement was the last such effort that looked to have a chance of success. That doesn't mean that it's impossible: but it would probably take someone with the resources of Perot, and a bit more stability -- and who was devoted to a Take Back Your Government reformation.
That's not only not impossible, it will be likely if there are enough people out there showing an interest in that kind of reform. In the meantime, there are Political Action Committees; find one that seems closest to your views. Or several. Control of finances is important to both parties now.
It's not impossible for a conservative Obama to arise. It's less likely because conservatives don't have the temperament for an Obama-like campaign, but as need arises heroes often appear.
I will have a lot more on this another time; I'm late,
========== I will link & comment again. Palin seems to me to have tapped a vein of popularity similar to Obama's (though not among media controllers). Whether she has the ambition for the role (& whether that is a plus or minus point) we will see.
The book Take Back your Government by Robert Heinlein with an intro by Pournelle is a handbook for party political activism. Originally written in the 1950s from Heinlein's personal experience it has dated in some ways, mainly because so much political campaigning is now done by advertising agencies rather than people. It is out of print & excessively expensive in 2nd hand, which strongly suggests a reprint would sell well.