A worrying trend that has emerged in recent elections is the advent of viral emails that reinforce lies about particular candidates, and how these lies settle into the subconscious and effect voters' opinions, even when the allegations have been thoroughly debunked. This is why rapid and overwhelming response to false allegations is absolutely critical to modern political campaigning. Sen. Obama learned this lesson with the church controversies of the primary season, and is now sending signals that he will not let himself be swiftboated in the General Election.
At Mr. Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago, where for two months separate teams had focused on Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain, aides are adjusting their duties. One area in particular where Mr. Obama is adding muscle is a team that is tasked with tracking down rumors and erroneous statements circulated on the Internet.It is a good sign that our nominee is paying such close attention to even the least crap circulating on the Internet. It means they are fighting for their reputation and fighting for the truth. It's a good indicator that they will fight hard for facts and reality as an Administration, too.
“The growth of the Internet, which has been a fabulous asset for helping to build the Obama community, is also a place where erroneous e-mails live,” said Anita Dunn, a senior campaign adviser. “That’s a challenge I don’t think previous campaigns have had to deal with to the extent that the Obama campaign has.” - The New York Times
But the most critical skill these actions demonstrate is the ability to deal with change, and adapt to it. In fact, it is this ability which some research demonstrates is at the heart of the difference between conservatives and liberals. There is no doubt that we are living in a time of widespread change. Our demographics are changing, our economy is changing, our family structures are changing, and the risks and opportunities our country faces are changing. It is critical that our next President is not only willing to adapt and pivot to deal with the fluidiy of circumstances, but is actually good at it.
The practical application of this study is that in times of change and upheaval, when the correct course of action may change from day to day, we are better off with liberal minds in charge, since they would be more likely to recognize that their standard response needs to change. One would imagine this could be relevant come November. - Leesburg Tomorrow, September 19, 2007Now, to make sure we put someone with the flexibility and judgment to lead America through the times ahead in the White House come next January.
(With a pretty huge tip-o-the-hat to OpenLeft.)
[update] Here's a link to the Obama campaign's website to fight rumors and smears: Fight The Smears. This is the kind of fast response and public repudiation which will be critical to keeping the truth in the spotlight.