To understand how a simple majority can reverse Citizen’s United (Citizens), you first need to understand that politics is all about messaging. The right hailed the Supreme Court’s onerous decision as a victory of free speech that would assure that the views of the 1% would not be buried under those of the 99%. Pity, oh pity the oppressed minority who cannot out shout the masses—but have the wealth to fight back through the media if only unconstrained by laws that virtually gag them.
Does anyone see where this is going yet? It should be obvious. Use of social media to expand the messaging power of the left should be able to overcome any advantage the right gained through Citizens.
First, ask just how effectively the right’s currency fueled messaging machine really is. Did all the money Sheldon Adelson, David and Charles Koch and others fed into the slot help Mitt Romney? For that matter, didn’t the money that flowed in on the left make the whole question of money a moot point?
Let’s next ask, since I advocate the use of social media to overcome the right’s messaging machine, you should next ask whether the 25% of the electorate who identify as Republican can withstand the 31% who identify as Democrats. Don’t be too sure about your answer. The fans of conservative political pages on Facebook share the posts on those pages at three times the rate that the fans of liberal pages share (0.11 percent conservative to .037 percent liberal for written content, and respectively 3.7 percent to 1.7 percent for memes).
Since the numbers are not large, these fans are not likely to affect the decisions of others—which is pretty much the whole point of this blog post. All the cynical idiots aside, the failure of liberals to get the message out makes it possible that polls will report the following:
Even though the 50 percent who think Congress was very unproductive are in part talking about the Republican House, they don’t want the majority to change. ~ Daily Caller
With no better sources than Fox News, CNN (Fox Lite), and admittedly biased outlets like MSNBC, it’s not surprising that voters, let alone the general public is all but unaware of the issues. You can forget about them understanding the issues. The right has no monopoly on stupid.
If you doubt that sharing relevant content on Facebook can help, consider this. A Facebook political page that had no more than four shares and fewer than 300 people “reached” on every post above and below the post (comment section) shown above reached 1,556 people after being shared by only 43 people.
If the estimated 1.2 million liberals who regularly visit political pages on Facebook were to share content, they could potentially reach over 43 million. Imagine the potential for messaging power like that to reverse any effect in Citizens United. This is Realpolitik.