The TEA Party protests made national headlines yesterday as April 15th, aka Tax Day rolled by again. Hearkening back to days long past, protesters evoked the Boston Tea Party as a symbol against big government, and taxes in general. These were generally organized by conservative organizations, although the roots of this organization spread across party lines, in part it did seem more like an Anti-Obama day protest rather than a genuine outburst of the original sentiment of the 1773 protest. All that aside though, this article is not going to be about how I felt about the protests which while not necessarily agreeing with them, I still love the fact that I live in a place where they were free to make those protests without fear of government troops firing on the crowd, or mass arrests being made. For those that are curious though, this article pretty much sums up my views, oh the irony that it was from Fox News. Tax Day Blog Post. Anyway, the real reason I was interested in the Tax Day TEA Parties were how they were organized.
Mentioning that these parties were primarily organized by conservative groups had a specific purpose, to point out that they used web based planning to pull off their event. Jumping on the band wagon that Obama used to launch his campaign from newcomer to new president, conservative groups are showing that they will not be taken by surprise in future contests. The implications, while not terribly surprising, lead to the fact that web based organizing and campaigning will continue to become part of our political landscape, and become much more mainstream, rather than just a world of “bloggers.” The importance in this is two fold. First, it brings much more relevance to the internet as a medium for for the spread of ideas. More and more people get their news from websites rather than more traditional forms of media. Likely within the next few decades we will see most physical media phase out in favor of digital distribution. Second, it will help facilitate the spread of information to a much broader audience, crossing national boundaries. Perhaps this sort of spread of ideas will help bring out a more common world cohesion as more and more regular people are able to talk to each other and find common ground as human beings all occupying an ever increasingly smaller planet.