From the PDF:
…that is because it shifts power away from the center of organizations out to the edges. Millions of us now can speak on a much more level playing field than anything that has ever existed before. By definition that is bad for elites and insiders. Which can’t be good news for the incumbent party in Washington.
I think pluralism is also hard-wired into the net, and especially into Web 2.0, where everyone is one click away from everyone else and (contrary to the fears of some), you are far more likely to encounter opposing viewpoints online than elsewhere. This again, it seems to me, means the web is inherently friendlier to people who value civic debate and engagement.
This is not to say that the web is full of liberals. It still trends to the wealthier, especially if you are looking at broadband users. And given the huge technosphere, which is as big or bigger than the political blogosphere, a lot of its politics is more libertarian than traditionally left or right. But even if it’s not by design, it does seem Cox is right, and the right is losing the online future.
That’s because the culture of Web 2.0 favors dissenters and creatives over conformists. If you are uncomfortable with free expression, you’re not going to like YouTube. It’s not “who builds what,” as Cox puts it, that “means everything,” it’s what is the web good for and what do people like to use it for, that means everything.
This is why calling wired citizens the nutroots, is well, nuts.
A good local conversation on this is right here.
I also agree with Micah (I didn’t quote this part) that the right has a good hold on off line networks, such as mega-churches and gun groups. That isn’t to say, though, that these offline networks have to stay with Republicans. One thing I learned while reading Applebee’s America (I loved that book, if you read this blog with any regularity, you’re going to have to settle with that), is that while these networks may be 60 or so percent GOP, by not focussing on them, we’re loosing the 40 percent Dem/Progressives that attend mega-churches, attend gun club meetings, etc…
Though, as the online networks spawn offline networks, we’ll have a greater advantage there.