This is a smart piece by a smart commentator, so it's all the more frustrating that it does not step beyond the flawed underlying frame that so many political writers seem stuck with. Let's call it the Magical Message Unicorn theory of political engagemnt
Magical Message Unicorn analyses recognize politicians, party pros & voters—& speak as if what draws voters to parties are either 1) policies directly or 2) messages about policies. Success depends on choosng the right policies or maybe the right messages
But it's just not the case that politicians hold up policies (or messages) like a magic wand and say Accio Voters and if the wizard matches the wand & the pronunciation is just right, voters magically appear. It doesn't work that way at all
Policies—or messages—reach voters across socio-organizational terrain & via communications infrastructures that sit atop (& also reshape) that terrain. There is no magic unicorn carrying messages to would-be voters. There is infrastructure: or its absence
I kept meaning to finish this thread & now @RobTaber laid out exactly where I was trying to go. To get messages out to would-be voters via trusted routes requires communications infrastructure to be 1) built & 2) maintained all the way out to the last mile
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