Open Levinson

Paul Levinson's Open Salon Blog

Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson
New York City, New York, USA
March 25
Fordham University
Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To Save Socrates (2006), Unburning Alexandria (2013), and Chronica (2014) - the last three known as the "Sierra Waters trilogy". His science fiction and mystery short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. His eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), New New Media (2009, 2013) have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into twelve languages. Paul Levinson has appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” (PBS), “Nightline” (ABC), and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. His 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2010. He reviews the best of television in his blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009. Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City


MARCH 6, 2012 11:38PM

Super Tuesday: Money Isn't Everythng in Politics

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Mitt Romney outspent Rick Santorum better than ten to one in GOP primary states voting or caucusing today.   The result:  Santorum won in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Dakato;  Romney won in Massachussetts, Virginia, Vermont, and Idaho, and may win by a whisker in Ohio.  And Gingrich, who also has spent much less than Romney, won big in Georgia.

Is this an example of money talks, everyone walks your way in voting booths across America?  Hardly.  Rather, these results show that people vote their hearts and minds, whatever media satuaration may say to the contrary.

Which I think is a very good thing, even though I would not vote for any of these candidates in any election.  But a defeat for money is a good thing for democracy in America.  I've been saying, ever since the outrcry against Citizen's United, the Supreme Court decision which unleashed big spending and corporate financing of campaigns, that it's no big deal.   Because, as John Milton and Thomas Jefferson saw, as long as there's some truth in the field, no amount of falsity - in today's terms, false advertising - can drown it out.

Of course, people will differ on what they perceive to be truth.   I think the greater truth resides with the policies of Barack Obama as what America most needs.   But what we certainly don't need is a Presidential election determined by money, and  Romney's weak showing decisively says that's unlikely to happen.

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Yes, I saw that also in California in 2010. Meg Whitman spent herself silly on her Gubernatorial campaign; 240 to 250 million, depending on who you talk to, and yet, she's not Governor Whitman. Mainly because she also turned people off by the double handfuls. Jerry Brown, who spent far less on his campaign, is once again Governor Brown, proving that yes, there is TOO such a thing as a second act in Politics.

And, if you're a real dick head, people won't vote for you, no matter how slick your ads, or if you've got Koch wallets paving your road with gold. Look at Scott Walker, and the million Wisconsin voters who turned thumbs down on him before he'd been in office six weeks. I think Bush II managed to get elected because he didn't reveal how really awful he was until after the election was stolen.

Money does help...but by no mans is the whole enchilada in politics. It has become very popular to put down the voting public, but the "voting public" shows plenty of spine at times...and it is heartening to see.

We disagree on lots of things, Paul...but I agree with your thoughts here completely.
Make that " no means..."