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Web 2.0 — Tool for Republicans

Wednesday, 29 Apr 2009 12:32 PM

By Rachel Alexander

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The World Wide Web, although it is in the hands of relatively few people, has transformed political advocacy and politics radically.

Here’s proof:

  • $10 million “money bombs” for a fringe GOP candidate by an obscure music promoter

  • $30 million collected from small donors at the drop of a hat

  • $180 million into a congressional election cycle by an invisible online advocacy group

  • $500 million raised online by Obama from 3 million small donors

    Sounds like a fairy tale. But it’s where we are.

    A new World Wide Web — “Web 2.0” — has swept across the political landscape. Unfortunately, it is part of what flattened the GOP in the last election.

    It’s also part of what will restore the GOP, and America, to greatness.

    The Web caught the right flatfooted — consider the half-billion dollars in campaign contributions to My.BarackObama.com. There have been a few rare dramatic conservative success stories (such as Newsmax itself, in fact). These have been mostly on the news and commentary side.

    The left has dominated us on the recruitment/grass-roots-organizing/mobilization side. But the Web does not lean left. Conservatives tend to be more entrepreneurial, more technology friendly, and more genuinely community minded than progressives.

    The left’s hegemony of the Web is about to end. Here’s why.

    Ralph Benko, a self-described agent of the vast right-wing conspiracy, spent two years researching MoveOn.org’s “secret blueprints” and smuggled them out in book form: “The Websters’ Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World,” which The Webster’s Press published late last year, courtesy of a grant from the highly respected Searle Freedom Trust.

    [Editor's Note: Get Benko's book. Go here now.]

    Benko was one of the original supply siders who brought the top tax rate down from 70 percent to 28 percent (and served as a junior official on Reagan’s White House staff). And he’s been involved in high tech for most of his adult life.

    After watching the left have a field day with the Web, he lost patience, did the research, and wrote the book. It is an easy to read primer for anyone who wishes to understand exactly what is going on in 21st century politics.

    It’s a witty, nontechnical book designed for the average person and it can be purchased from Amazon.com or downloaded for free as an ebook from www.thewebstersdictionary.com.

    Publisher and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes said, “Brilliantly and with wit, Ralph Benko provides agitators and advocacy groups the way to get out our message and to ‘organize’ in the Web 2.0 world. Couldn’t be more timely — or needed.”

    Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales commented, “Benko provides the reader with a gentle guide through the dark forests of political advocacy on the Internet. A must read for anyone wishing to understand how the Internet is changing politics forever.”

    In the months since Benko’s “Websters’ Dictionary” was published, conservative online communities have assembled and are beginning to mobilize.

    The largest of these groups, the 68,000-member TeamSarah.org (which Benko organized), recently conducted its first on-the-ground campaign in opposition to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' nomination as HHS Secretary. Its campaign reportedly helped change the minds of at least two senators. This is just the beginning.

    So here’s a message to MoveOn: Move over! Just a few years ago, it would have taken hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to develop and administer a social network. Now, it’s free, thanks to Web sites like Ning.com. This plays directly into Benko’s populist fighting spirit.

    Benko is a self-avowed conservative populist who believes that the wisdom of America resides in its citizens, not its government.

    There are twice as many self-described conservatives as there are liberals. Now that we know how easy and inexpensive it is to use the Web to forge a mass movement, we can, as he says, “guide the footsteps of [our elected officials] on the paths of righteousness.”

    Or, as he also puts it, “Sometimes known as ‘fomenting a bloodless coup.’”

    [Editor's Note: Get Benko's book. Go here now.]

    Rachel Alexander, an attorney in Phoenix, Ariz., is a blogger and co-creator of www.intellectualconservative.com and www.intellectualconservative.ning.com.

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