Atlantic Magazine – October 2008

October 18, 2008

With John McCain on the cover, this issue of Atlantic covers some interesting topics, not the least of which is how technology and the Internet are shaping the upcoming election process.

In Planting the Rightroots by Reihan Salam, we learn how the Democrats have harnessed the power of grass-roots fundraising via new media while the Republican party is lagging behind.

Salam concedes it’s a turn from when the conservatives used to slam the donkeys in campaign contributions using direct-mail campaigns.

He also comments on how online tools helped Ron Paul “amplify the message of a determined minority.”

Essentially, the Salam piece attributes an electorate’s outrage as the driving factor in motivating people. It’s not the media (new or otherwise), it’s the message and the cause.

In other parts of this month’s issue, Jeffrey Goldberg explores whether John McCain has ever met a war he didn’t think could be won.

Goldberg’s most telling pullquote in the story is:

“There are some obvious, even eerie, parallels between Admiral John McCain’s steadfast commitment to victory in Vietnam, and Senator John McCain’s dogged pursuit of victory in Iraq.”

Personally, I think this attitude has been on display for the entire viewing public in each of McCain’s debate performances. And this has resulted in flagging support of the McCain/Palin ticket.

The coolest article I found in this month’s Atlantic is Eric Hanson’s neat little piece titled Innocence and Experience.

The article counts up from 1-100 and gives readers neat information tied to the age of famous people and the accomplishment or event that happened to them at that age.

For example, 11 says, “Giacomo Casanova experiences his first orgasm, 1736.”

And 23 says, “Neil Young joins Stephen Stills, David Crosby, and Graham Nash to form Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, 1969.”