Campaigners for Social & Political Change in Europe

Campaigners for Social & Political Change in Europe



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  • Sophie Scholl
  • Rosa Luxemburg
  • Greta Rothe
  • Käthe Kollwitz
  • Katharina Leipelt
  • Clara Zetkin
  • Dolores Ibárruri
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Agnes Hodgson
  • Maria Bochkareva
  • Andree de Jongh
  • Nancy Wake
  • Lucie Aubrac
  • Andrée Borrel
  • Marie Louise Dissard
  • Hélène Viannay

The message of the campaign contains the ideas that the candidate wants to share with the voters. It is to get those who agree with their ideas to support them when running for a political position. The message often consists of several talking points about policy issues. The points summarize the main ideas of the campaign and are repeated frequently in order to create a lasting impression with the voters. In many elections, the opposition party will try to get the candidate "off message" by bringing up policy or personal questions that are not related to the talking points. Most campaigns prefer to keep the message broad in order to attract the most potential voters. A message that is too narrow can alienate voters or slow the candidate down with explaining details. For example, in the 2008 American presidential election John McCain originally used a message that focused on his patriotism and political experience: "Country First" later the message was changed to shift attention to his role as "The Original Maverick" within the political establishment. Barack Obama ran on a consistent, simple message of "change" throughout his campaign.

Fundraising techniques include having the candidate call or meet with large donors, sending direct mail pleas to small donors, and courting interest groups who could end up spending millions on the race if it is significant to their interests.

In a modern political campaign, the campaign organization (or "machine") will have a coherent structure of personnel in the same manner as any business of similar size.

Campaign manager Edit

Successful campaigns usually require a campaign manager to coordinate the campaign's operations. Apart from a candidate, they are often a campaign's most visible leader. Modern campaign managers may be concerned with executing strategy rather than setting it - particularly if the senior strategists are typically outside political consultants such as primarily pollsters and media consultants.

Political consultants Edit

Political consultants advise campaigns on virtually all of their activities, from research to field strategy. Consultants conduct candidate research, voter research, and opposition research for their clients.

Activists Edit

Activists are the "foot soldiers" loyal to the cause, the true believers who will carry the run by volunteer activists. Such volunteers and interns may take part in activities such as canvassing door-to-door and making phone calls on behalf of the campaigns.

A campaign team (which may be as small as one inspired individual, or a heavily resourced group of professionals) must consider how to communicate the message of the campaign, recruit volunteers, and raise money. Campaign advertising draws on techniques from commercial advertising and propaganda, also entertainment and public relations, a mixture dubbed politainment. The avenues available to political campaigns when distributing their messages is limited by the law, available resources, and the imagination of the campaigns' participants. These techniques are often combined into a formal strategy known as the campaign plan. The plan takes account of a campaign's goal, message, target audience, and resources available. The campaign will typically seek to identify supporters at the same time as getting its message across. The modern, open campaign method was pioneered by Aaron Burr during the American presidential election of 1800. [1] [2] [3]

Another modern campaign method by political scientist Joel Bradshaw points out four key propositions for developing a successful campaign strategy. “First, in any election the electorate can be divided into three groups: the candidates base, the opponents base, and the undecided. Second, past election results, data from registered voter lists, and survey research make it possible to determine which people fall into each of these three groups. Third, it is neither possible nor necessary to get the support of all people. Fourth, and last, once a campaign has identified how to win, it can act to create the circumstances to bring about this victory. In order to succeed, campaigns should direct campaign resources— money, time, and message— to key groups of potential voters and nowhere else.” [4]

Campaign communication Edit

Election campaign communication refers to party-controlled communication, e.g. campaign advertising, and party-uncontrolled communication, e.g. media coverage of elections.

Campaign advertising Edit

Campaign advertising is the use of paid media (newspapers, radio, television, etc.) to influence the decisions made for and by groups. These ads are designed by political consultants and the campaign's staff.

Media management Edit

The public media (in US parlance "free media" or "earned media") may run the story that someone is trying to get elected or to do something about certain aspects regarding their specific country.

Demonstrations Edit

Modern technology and the internet Edit

The internet is now a core element of modern political campaigns. Communication technologies such as e-mail, websites, and podcasts for various forms of activism enable faster communications by citizen movements and deliver a message to a large audience. These Internet technologies are used for cause-related fundraising, lobbying, volunteering, community building, and organizing. Individual political candidates are also using the internet to promote their election campaign. In a study of Norwegian election campaigns, politicians reported they used social media for marketing and for dialogue with voters. Facebook was the primary platform for marketing and Twitter was used for more continuous dialogue. [5]

Signifying the importance of internet political campaigning, Barack Obama's presidential campaign relied heavily on social media, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and new media channels to engage voters, recruit campaign volunteers, and raise campaign funds. The campaign brought the spotlight on the importance of using internet in new-age political campaigning by utilizing various forms of social media and new media (including Facebook, YouTube and a custom generated social engine) to reach new target populations. The campaign's social website, my.BarackObama.com, utilized a low cost and efficient method of mobilizing voters and increasing participation among various voter populations. [6] This new media was incredibly successful at reaching the younger population while helping all populations organize and promote action.

Now Online Election campaign has got a new dimension, the campaign information can be shared as in Rich Info format through campaign landing pages, integrating Google's rich snippets, structured data, [7] Social media open graphs, and husting support file formats for YouTube like .sbv (SubRip), .srt (subtitle resource track), .vtt (Video text trace), high proficiency and effective algorithmic integration will be the core factor in the frame-work. This technology integration helps campaign information to reach a wide audience in split seconds. This has successfully been tested and implemented in 2015 Aruvikkara Election, 2020 Kerala Panchayat Election. Marcus Giavanni, social media consultant and blockchain developer and second place opponent in the 2015 election, was first to file for the 2019 election. [8] Marcus Giavanni Uses Advanced Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Voice Indexing Predictions to box in campaigns. [9]

Husting Edit

A husting, or the hustings, was originally a physical platform from which representatives presented their views or cast votes before a parliamentary or other election body. By metonymy, the term may now refer to any event, such as debates or speeches, during an election campaign where one or more of the representative candidates are present.

Other techniques Edit

  • Writing directly to members of the public (either via a professional marketing firm or, particularly on a small scale, by volunteers)
  • By distributing leaflets or selling newspapers
  • Through websites, online communities, and solicited or unsolicited bulk email [10]
  • Through a new technique known as microtargeting that helps identify and target small demographic slices of voters
  • Through a whistlestop tour - a series of brief appearances in several small towns
  • Hampering the ability of political competitors to campaign, by such techniques as counter-rallies, picketing of rival parties’ meetings, or overwhelming rival candidates' offices with mischievous phone calls (most political parties in representative democracies publicly distance themselves from such disruptive and morale-affecting tactics, with the exception of those parties self-identifying as activist
  • Organizing political house parties
  • Using endorsements of other celebrated party members to boost support (see coattail effect)
  • Using a campaign surrogate - a celebrity or person of influence, campaigning on a candidate’s behalf.
  • Remaining close to or at home to make speeches to supporters who come to visit as part of a front porch campaign
  • Vote-by-mail, previously known as "absentee ballots" have grown significantly in importance as an election tool. Campaigns in most states must have a strategy in place to impact early voting
  • Sale of official campaign merchandise (colloquially known as swag, in reference to the baiting technique) as a way of commuting a competitor's popularity into campaign donations, volunteer recruitment, and free advertising [11]

Informational campaign Edit

An informational campaign is a political campaign designed to raise public awareness and support for the positions of a candidate (or her/his party). [12] It is more intense than a paper campaign, which consists of little more than filing the necessary papers to get on the ballot, but is less intense than a competitive campaign, which aims to actually win election to the office. An informational campaign typically focuses on low-cost outreach such as news releases, getting interviewed in the paper, making a brochure for door to door distribution, organizing poll workers, etc. [13]

Paper campaign Edit

A paper campaign is a political campaign in which the candidate only files the necessary paperwork to appear on the ballot. [14] [15] The purpose of such a token effort may be simply to increase name awareness of a minor political party, to give voters of a certain ideology an opportunity to vote accordingly, or to ensure that the party has candidates in every constituency. It can be a cost-effective means of attracting media coverage. An informational campaign, by contrast, may involve news releases, newspaper interviews, door-to-door campaigning, and organizing polls. As the level of seriousness rises, the marginal cost of reaching more people rises accordingly, due to the high cost of TV commercials, paid staff, etc. which are used by competitive campaigns. [16] Paper candidates do not expect to be elected and usually run simply as a way of helping the more general campaign. However, an unexpected surge in support for the party may result in many paper candidates being unexpectedly elected, as for example happened to the New Democratic Party in Quebec during the 2011 federal election.

A forthcoming study in the American Political Science Review found that campaigns have "an average effect of zero in general elections". [17] [18] The study found two instances where campaigning was effective: "First, when candidates take unusually unpopular positions and campaigns invest unusually heavily in identifying persuadable voters. Second, when campaigns contact voters long before election day and measure effects immediately — although this early persuasion decays." [17] [18]

One reason why it is hard to judge the effectiveness of an election campaign is because many people know who they want to vote for long before the campaigns are started. Voters are more likely to vote for a nominee based on whose values align closest with theirs. Studies suggest that party flips come from the analysis of how a voter sees their parties performance in the years before a campaign even begins. [19]

Another study suggests that at the 2017 Austrian legislative election, 31% of voters admitted to either developing of changing their party preferences during the election campaign. The study provides data that shows how the main parties within Austria had differing levels of voters flipping toward them, thus proving that an election campaign has some level of effectiveness that differs between parties, depending on factors such as media presence. [20]

Presidential campaigns Edit

A large body of political science research emphasizes how "fundamentals" – the state of the economy, whether the country is at war, how long the president's party has held the office, and which candidate is more ideologically moderate – predict presidential election outcomes. [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] However, campaigns may be necessary to enlighten otherwise uninformed voters about the fundamentals, which thus become increasingly predictive of preferences as the campaign progresses. [21] [26] [27] [28] Research suggests that "the 2012 presidential campaigns increased turnout in highly targeted states by 7–8 percentage points, on average, indicating that modern campaigns can significantly alter the size and composition of the voting population". [29]

National conventions Edit

A consensus in the political science literature holds that national conventions usually have a measurable effect on presidential elections that is relatively resistant to decay. [26] [27] [28]

Presidential and vice-presidential debates Edit

Research is mixed on the precise impact of debates. [26] [28] [30] Rather than encourage viewers to update their political views in accordance with the most persuasive arguments, viewers instead update their views to merely reflect what their favored candidate is saying. [31]

Presidential primaries Edit

The fundamentals matter less in the outcome of presidential primaries. One prominent theory holds that the outcome of presidential primaries is largely determined by the preferences of party elites. [32] Presidential primaries are therefore less predictive, as various types of events may impact elites' perception of the viability of candidates. Gaffes, debates and media narratives play a greater role in primaries than in presidential elections. [22] [33]

Strategies Edit

Traditional ground campaigning and voter contacts remain the most effective strategies. [29] [34] Some research suggests that knocking on doors can increase turnout by as much as 10% [35] and phone calls by as much as 4%. [36] One study suggests that lawn signs increase vote share by 1.7 percentage points. [37] A review of more than 200 get-out-the-vote experiments finds that the most effective tactics are personal: Door-to-door canvassing increases turnout by an average of about 2.5 percentage points volunteer phone calls raise it by about 1.9 points, compared to 1.0 points for calls from commercial phone banks automated phone messages are ineffective. [38] [39] Each field office that the Obama campaign opened in 2012 gave him approximately a 0.3% greater vote share. [40] The Obama 2008 campaign's use of field most offices has been credited as crucial in winning Indiana and North Carolina. [41] According to one study, the cost per vote by having a field office is $49.40. [41] Using out-of-state volunteers for canvassing is less effective in increasing turnout than using local and trained volunteers. [42] [43]

Political science research generally finds negative advertisement (which has increased over time) [44] to be ineffective both at reducing the support and turnout for the opponent. [45] According to political scientists Stephen Ansolabehere and Shanto Iyengar, negative ads do succeed at driving down overall turnout though. [46] They also find that "negative ads work better for Republicans than for Democrats, and better for men than for women unfortunately, negative ads also work better in general than positive ones." [46] Challengers who spend more time campaigning get a higher vote share against incumbents in state house elections. [47] According to political scientist Lynn Vavreck, "the evidence suggests that campaign ads have small effects that decay rapidly — very rapidly — but just enough of the impact accumulates to make running more advertising than your opponent seem a necessity." [48] A 2019 study of online political advertising conducted by a party in the 2016 Berlin state election campaign found that the online-ad campaign "increased the party's vote share by 0.7 percentage points" and that factual ads were more effective than emotional ads. [49]

According to political scientists Donald Green and Alan Gerber, it costs $31 to produce a vote going door to door, $91-$137 to produce a vote by sending out direct mailers, $47 per vote from leafletting, $58-$125 per vote from commercial phone banking, and $20-$35 per vote from voluntary phone banking. [50] A 2018 study in the American Economic Review found that door-to-door canvassing on behalf of the Francois Hollande campaign in the 2012 French presidential election "did not affect turnout, but increased Hollande's vote share in the first round and accounted for one fourth of his victory margin in the second. Visits' impact persisted in later elections, suggesting a lasting persuasion effect." [51] According to a 2018 study, repeated get-out-the-vote phone calls had diminishing effects but each additional phone call increased the probability to vote by 0.6-1.0 percentage points. [52] Another 2018 study found that "party leaflets boost turnout by 4.3 percentage points while canvassing has a small additional effect (0.6 percentage points)" in a United Kingdom election. [53]

A 2016 study found that visits by candidate visits to states have modest effects: "visits are most effective in influencing press coverage at the national level and within battleground states. Visits’ effects on voters themselves, however, are much more modest than consultants often claim, and visits appear to have no effects outside the market that hosts a visit." [54] The authors of the study argue that it would be more effective for campaigns to go to the pockets of the country where wealthy donors are (for fundraising) and hold rallies in the populous states both to attract national press and raise funds. [54] A 2005 study found that campaign visits had no statistically significant effect, after controlling for other factors, on voter turnout in the 1992, 1996, and 2000 elections. [55] On the other hand, a 2017 paper of the 1948 presidential election provides "strong evidence that candidate visits can influence electoral returns". [56] Other research also provides evidence that campaign visits increase vote share. [57]

According to a 2020 study, campaign spending on messaging to voters affects voter support for candidates. [58] Another 2020 study found that political advertising had small effects regardless of context, message, sender, and receiver. [59]

Political campaigns have existed as long as there have been informed citizens to campaign amongst. Democratic societies have regular election campaigns, but political campaigning can occur on particular issues even in non-democracies so long as freedom of expression is allowed. Often mass campaigns are started by the less privileged or anti-establishment viewpoints (as against more powerful interests whose first resort is lobbying). The phenomenon of political campaigns are tightly tied to lobby groups and political parties.

The first modern campaign is often described as William Ewart Gladstone's Midlothian campaign in 1878-80, although there may be earlier recognizably modern examples from the 19th century. The 1896 William McKinley presidential campaign laid the groundwork for modern campaigns. [60] [61]

In the 1790-1820s, the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party battled it out in the so-called "First Party System". American election campaigns in the 19th century created the first mass-base political parties and invented many of the techniques of mass campaigning. [ citation needed ]

History of election campaigns in America Edit

Political campaigns are forever changing and evolving with the growth of technology. In the nineteenth-century candidates were not traveling the county in search of votes. That is until the American presidential race of 1896 when William McKinley recruited the help of Marcus A. Hanna. Hanna devised a plan to have voters come to McKinley. McKinley won the race with 51% of the votes. [62]

The development of new technologies has completely changed the way political campaigns are run. In the late twentieth-century campaigns shifted into television and radio broadcasts. The early 00s brought interactive websites. By 2008 the world of campaigns was available to millions of people through the internet and social media programs. 2008 marks a new era of digital elections because of the fast-paced movement of information. [63]


Contents

Dates Region Main article Summary Refs
BCE 470–391 China Mohism The Mohist philosophical school disapproved of war. However, since they lived in a time of warring polities, they cultivated the science of fortification.
around CE 26–36 Judea Pontius Pilate Jews demonstrated in Caesarea to try to convince Pontius Pilate not to set up Roman standards, with images of the Roman emperor and the eagle of Jupiter, in Jerusalem (both images were considered idolatrous by religious Jews). Pilate surrounded the Jewish protesters with soldiers and threatened them with death, to which they replied that they were willing to die rather than see the laws of the Torah violated.
Before 1500–1835 Chatham Islands, New Zealand Moriori The Moriori were a branch of the New Zealand Māori that colonized the Chatham Islands and eventually became hunter-gatherers. Their lack of resources and small population made conventional war unsustainable, so it became customary to resolve disputes nonviolently or ritually. Due to this tradition of nonviolence, the entire population of 2000 people was enslaved, killed or cannibalized when 900 Māori invaded the island in 1835. [7] [8] [9]
1819 England Peterloo massacre Famine and chronic unemployment, coupled with the lack of suffrage in northern England, led to a peaceful demonstration of 60,000–80,000 persons, including women and children. The demonstration was organized and rehearsed, with a "prohibition of all weapons of offence or defence" and exhortations to come "armed with no other weapon but that of a self-approving conscience". Cavalry charged into the crowd, with sabres drawn, and in the ensuing confusion, 15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured. Newspapers expressed horror, and Percy Shelley glorified nonviolent resistance in the poem The Masque of Anarchy. However, the British government cracked down on reform, with the passing of what became known as the Six Acts.
1823–1829 Ireland Catholic Association One of the first mass-membership political movements of Europe, the Catholic Association, was founded by Daniel O'Connell to use non-violent means to push the British government to pass Catholic emancipation, which culminated in the passing of the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 by the government of the Duke of Wellington
1834–1838 Trinidad End of Slavery in Trinidad The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, then the colonial power in Trinidad, first announced in 1833 the impending total liberation of slaves by 1840. In 1834 at an address by the Governor at Government House about the new laws, an unarmed group of mainly elderly people of African descent began chanting: "Pas de six ans. Point de six ans" ("No six years. Not at all six years"), drowning out the voice of the Governor. Peaceful protests continued until the passing of a resolution to abolish apprenticeship and the achievement of de facto freedom. [10] [11]
1838 US Cherokee removal The majority of Cherokee refused to recognize the minority-promulgated Treaty of New Echota and therefore did not sell their livestock or goods, and did not pack anything to travel to the west before the soldiers came and forcibly removed them. That ended tragically in the Cherokee trail of tears.
1848–1920 US Women's suffrage in the United States A political movement that spanned over a century, where women protested in order to receive the right to suffrage in the United States.
1849–1867 Austrian Empire Passive Resistance (Hungary) In the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarians tried to regain independence and were defeated by the Austrian Empire only with the aid of the Russian Empire. After 1848, the empire instituted several constitutional reforms, trying to resolve the problem, but without success. The resistance was instrumental in keeping up hope and spirit in a Hungary fully incorporated into Austria and characterized by reprisals against political dissidents, thousands of treason trials, military governance, centralization, absolutism, censorship and direct control of Vienna over every aspect of public life. Their followers carefully avoided any political agitation or criticism of the establishment, and strictly concentrated on national issues of non-political nature, such as the use of the Hungarian language, development of the Hungarian economy, and protection of the legal standing of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
1867–1918 Austria-Hungary Old Czech Party Passive resistance of the Old Czech Party reacted on autonomy gained to the Kingdom of Hungary, but not to the Lands of the Bohemian Crown within the Austrian Empire. After 1874, wing of the party disagreeing with passive resistance stance, formed new Young Czech Party. Old Czechs remained with their politics, but they lost decisive influence in the politics of the Kingdom of Bohemia.
1860–1894, 1915–1918 New Zealand Tainui-Waikato Māori King Tāwhiao forbade Waikato Māori using violence in the face of British colonisation, saying in 1881, "The killing of men must stop the destruction of land must stop. I shall bury my patu in the earth and it shall not rise again . Waikato, lie down. Do not allow blood to flow from this time on." This was inspirational to Waikato Māori who refused to fight in World War I. In response, the government brought in conscription for the Tainui-Waikato people (other Māori iwi were exempt) but they continued to resist, the majority of conscripts choosing to suffer harsh military punishments rather than join the army. For the duration of the war, no Tainui soldiers were sent overseas. [12]
1879–1881 New Zealand Parihaka The Māori village of Parihaka became the center of passive resistance campaigns against Europeans occupying confiscated land in the area. More than 400 followers of the prophet Te Whiti o Rongomai were arrested and jailed, most without trial. Sentences as long as 16 months were handed out for the acts of ploughing land and erecting fences on their property. More than 2000 inhabitants remained seated when 1600 armed soldiers raided and destroyed the village. [13] [14]
1879 Ireland Boycott Irish nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell, in a speech in Ennis proposed that when dealing with tenants who took farms where another tenant was evicted, rather than resorting to violence, everyone in the locality should shun them. Following this Captain Charles Boycott, the land agent of an absentee landlord in County Mayo, Ireland, was subject to social ostracism organized by the Irish Land League in 1880. Boycott attempted to evict eleven tenants from his land. While Parnell's speech did not refer to land agents or landlords, the tactic was applied to Boycott when the alarm was raised about the evictions. Despite the short-term economic hardship to those undertaking this action, Boycott soon found himself isolated – his workers stopped work in the fields and stables, as well as in his house. Local businessmen stopped trading with him, and the local postman refused to deliver mail. The success of this led to the movement spreading throughout Ireland and gave rise to the term to Boycott, and eventually led to legal reform and increased support for Irish independence. [15]
1903–1906 United Kingdom Protest against the Education Act of 1902 This civil disobedience movement was launched against the Education Act of 1902 to defend the rights and influence of Nonconformist denominations in British school boards. Nonconformists believed this law to be calculated to support denominational (mainly Anglican and Catholic) religious teaching in the schools. John Clifford, a baptist minister, led the movement, which consisted in refusing to pay the taxes established by the 1902 Education Act. By 1906, over 170 men had been imprisoned for this refusal, and yet no change to the law was made. [16] The movement had a large share in the defeat of the Unionist government in January 1906 but failed to achieve its ultimate aim of getting a nondenominational act passed. [17]
1905 Russia Bloody Sunday (1905) Unarmed demonstrators led by Father Georgy Gapon marched to the Winter Palace to present a petition to the Czar. They were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard. [18]
1908–1962 Samoa Mau movement Nonviolent movement for Samoan independence from colonial rule in the early 20th century. [19] [20]
1919. 2.8, 3.1 Korea March 1st Movement This movement became the inspiration of the later Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's Satyagraha—resistance and many other non-violent movement in Asia. [21]
1919–22 Egypt Egyptian Revolution of 1919 A countrywide revolution against the British occupation of Egypt. It was carried out by Egyptians from different walks of life in the wake of the British-ordered exile of revolutionary leader Saad Zaghlul and other members of the Wafd Party in 1919. The event led to Egyptian independence in 1922 and the implementation of a new constitution in 1923.
1919–1921 Ireland Irish Non-cooperation movement During the Irish War for Independence, Irish nationalists used many non-violent means to resist British rule. Amongst these was abstention from the British parliament, tax boycotts, and the creation of alternative local government, Dáil Courts, and police. [22]
1919–present Israel/Palestine Palestinian non-violent resistance Peace camps and strategic nonviolent resistance to Israeli construction of Jewish settlements and of the West Bank Barrier have been adopted as tactics by Palestinians as part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. For example, citizens of the Palestinian village of Beit Sahour engaged in a tax strike during the First Intifada.

In 2010, A "White Intifada" took hold in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Activities included weekly peaceful protests by Palestinian activists accompanied by Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem and Israeli academics and students against settlers and security forces. The EU, through its foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has criticised Israel for convicting an organiser of the peaceful movement and said that she was deeply concerned about the arrest of Abdullah Abu Rahmeh. There have been two fatalities among protesters and an American peace activist suffered brain damage after being hit by a tear gas canister.

On 14 March, Saudi-led GCC forces were requested by the government and entered the country, which the opposition called an "occupation". The following day, a state of emergency was declared and protests paused after a brutal crackdown was launched against protesters, including doctors and bloggers. Nearly 3,000 people have been arrested, and at least five people died due to torture while in police custody.

Protests resumed after lifting emergency law on 1 June, and several large rallies were staged by the opposition parties, including a march on 9 March 2012 attended by over 100,000. Smaller-scale protests and clashes outside of the capital have continued to occur almost daily. More than 80 people had died since the start of the uprising.


How the ‘Party of Lincoln’ Won Over the Once Democratic South

The night that Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, his special assistant Bill Moyers was surprised to find the president looking melancholy in his bedroom. Moyers later wrote that when he asked what was wrong, Johnson replied, “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come.”

It may seem a crude remark to make after such a momentous occasion, but it was also an accurate prediction.

To understand some of the reasons the South went from a largely Democratic region to a primarily Republican area today, just follow the decades of debate over racial issues in the United States.

On April 11, 1968 President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights bill while seated at a table surrounded by members of Congress, Washington DC. (Credit: Warren Leffler/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

The Republican party was originally founded in the mid-1800s to oppose immigration and the spread of slavery, says David Goldfield, whose new book on American politics, The Gifted Generation: When Government Was Good, comes out in November.

“The Republican party was strictly a sectional party, meaning that it just did not exist in the South,” he says. “The South couldn’t care less about immigration.” But it did care about preserving slavery.

After the Civil War, the Democratic party’s opposition to Republican Reconstruction legislation solidified its hold on the South.

“The Democratic party came to be more than a political party in the South—it came to be a defender of a way of life,” Goldfield says. 𠇊nd that way of life was the restoration as much as possible of white supremacy … The Confederate statues you see all around were primarily erected by Democrats.”

The Dixie Democrats seceding from the Democratic Party. The rump convention, called after the Democrats had attached President Truman’s civil rights program to the party platform, placed Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Governor Fielding L. Wright of Mississippi in nomination. (Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Up until the post-World War II period, the party’s hold on the region was so entrenched that Southern politicians usually couldn’t get elected unless they were Democrats. But when President Harry S. Truman, a Democratic Southerner, introduced a pro-civil rights platform at the party’s 1948 convention, a faction walked out.

These defectors, known as the 𠇍ixiecrats,” held a separate convention in Birmingham, Alabama. There, they nominated South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond, a staunch opposer of civil rights, to run for president on their “States’ Rights” ticket. Although Thurmond lost the election to Truman, he still won over a million popular votes.

It “was the first time since before the Civil War that the South was not solidly Democratic,” Goldfield says. 𠇊nd that began the erosion of the southern influence in the Democratic party.”

After that, the majority of the South still continued to vote Democratic because it thought of the Republican party as the party of Abraham Lincoln and Reconstruction. The big break didn’t come until President Johnson, another Southern Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

Govenor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, was nominated as States’ Right candidate at the rump convention held in Birmingham on by southern recalcitrants. The Southerners took this drastic action after the Democratic convention added President Truman’s civil rights program of its party platform. (Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)

Though some Democrats had switched to the Republican party prior to this, “the defections became a flood” after Johnson signed these acts, Goldfield says. 𠇊nd so the political parties began to reconstitute themselves.”

The change wasn’t total or immediate. During the late 1960s and early �s, white Southerners were still transitioning away from the Democratic party (newly enfranchised black Southerners voted and continue to vote Democratic). And even as Republican Richard Nixon employed a “Southern strategy” that appealed to the racism of Southern white voters, former Alabama Governor George Wallace (who𠆝 wanted “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever”) ran as a Democrat in the 1972 presidential primaries.

By the time Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, the Republican party’s hold on white Southerners was firm. Today, the Republican party remains the party of the South. It’s an ironic outcome considering that a century ago, white Southerners would’ve never considered voting for the party of Lincoln.


Abolitionism

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Abolitionism, also called abolition movement, (c. 1783–1888), in western Europe and the Americas, the movement chiefly responsible for creating the emotional climate necessary for ending the transatlantic slave trade and chattel slavery. With the decline of Roman slavery in the 5th century, the institution waned in western Europe and by the 11th century had virtually disappeared. Portuguese exploration of the west coast of Africa beginning in 1420, however, created an interest in slavery in the recently formed colonies of North America, South America, and the West Indies, where the need for plantation labour generated an immense market for slaves. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, an estimated total of 12 million Africans were forcibly transported to the Americas.

Despite its brutality and inhumanity, the slave system aroused little protest until the 18th century, when rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment began to criticize it for its violation of the rights of man, and Quaker and other evangelical religious groups condemned it for its un- Christian qualities. By the late 18th century, moral disapproval of slavery was widespread, and antislavery reformers won a number of deceptively easy victories during this period. In Britain, Granville Sharp secured a legal decision in 1772 that West Indian planters could not hold slaves in Britain, since slavery was contrary to English law. In the United States, all of the states north of Maryland abolished slavery between 1777 and 1804. But antislavery sentiments had little effect on the centres of slavery themselves: the great plantations of the Deep South, the West Indies, and South America. Turning their attention to these areas, British and American abolitionists began working in the late 18th century to prohibit the importation of African slaves into the British colonies and the United States. Under the leadership of William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson, these forces succeeded in getting the slave trade to the British colonies abolished in 1807. The United States prohibited the importation of slaves that same year, though widespread smuggling continued until about 1862.

Antislavery forces then concentrated on winning the emancipation of those populations already in slavery. They were triumphant when slavery was abolished in the British West Indies by 1838 and in French possessions 10 years later.

The situation in the United States was more complex because slavery was a domestic rather than a colonial phenomenon, being the social and economic base of the plantations of 11 Southern states. Moreover, slavery had gained new vitality when an extremely profitable cotton-based agriculture developed in the South in the early 19th century. Reacting to abolitionist attacks that branded its “peculiar institution” as brutal and immoral, the South had intensified its system of slave control, particularly after the Nat Turner revolt of 1831. By that time, American abolitionists realized the failure of gradualism and persuasion, and they subsequently turned to a more militant policy, demanding immediate abolition by law.

Probably the best-known abolitionist was the aggressive agitator William Lloyd Garrison, founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society (1833–70). Others, drawn from the ranks of the clergy, included Theodore Dwight Weld and Theodore Parker from the world of letters, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, and Lydia Maria Child and, from the free-black community, such articulate former slaves as Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown.

American abolitionism laboured under the handicap that it threatened the harmony of North and South in the Union, and it also ran counter to the U.S. Constitution, which left the question of slavery to the individual states. Consequently, the Northern public remained unwilling to adopt abolitionist policy and was distrustful of abolitionist extremism. But a number of factors combined to give the movement increased momentum. Chief among these was the question of permitting or outlawing slavery in new Western territories, with Northerners and Southerners taking increasingly adamant stands on opposite sides of that issue throughout the 1840s and ’50s. There was also revulsion at the ruthlessness of slave hunters under the Fugitive Slave Law (1850), and the far-reaching emotional response to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s antislavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) further strengthened the abolitionist cause.

Jolted by the raid (1859) of the abolitionist extremist John Brown on Harpers Ferry, the South became convinced that its entire way of life, based on the cheap labour provided by slaves, was irretrievably threatened by the election to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln (November 1860), who was opposed to the spread of slavery into the Western territories. The ensuing secession of the Southern states led to the American Civil War (1861–65). The war, which began as a sectional power struggle to preserve the Union, in turn led Lincoln (who had never been an abolitionist) to emancipate the slaves in areas of the rebellion by the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) and led further to the freeing of all other slaves in the United States by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865.

Under the pressure of worldwide public opinion, slavery was completely abolished in its last remaining Latin American strongholds, Cuba and Brazil, in 1880–86 and 1883–88, respectively, and thus the system of African slavery as a Western phenomenon ceased to exist. See also slavery.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Jeff Wallenfeldt, Manager, Geography and History.


Socialism in the 20th Century

In the 20th century—particularly after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the formation of the Soviet Union—social democracy and communism emerged as the two most dominant socialist movements throughout the world.

By the end of the 1920s, Lenin’s revolution-focused view of socialism had given way to the foundation of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and its consolidation of absolute power under Joseph Stalin. Soviet and other communists joined forces with other socialist movements in resisting fascism. After World War II, this alliance dissolved as the Soviet Union established communist regimes across Eastern Europe.

With the collapse of these regimes in the late 1980s, and the ultimate fall of the Soviet Union itself in 1991, communism as a global political force was greatly diminished. Only China, Cuba, North Korea, Laos and Vietnam remain communist states.

Meanwhile, over the course of the 20th century, social democratic parties won support in many European countries by pursuing a more centrist ideology. Their ideas called for a gradual pursuit of social reforms (like public education and universal healthcare) through the processes of democratic government within a largely capitalist system.


Protest Movements as Political Strategy

Syrians stage a protest against Assad Regime after Friday prayer at the Etarib district of Aleppo, Syria on December 30, 2016.

(Beha El Halebi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Recent protests throughout Sudan are the latest in an ongoing trend of protest movements around the world, from Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt to oil workers in Norway and opposition parties in Thailand. Protests have proved an effective strategy against autocratic regimes, political repression and austerity measures. As with insurgency strategy, protests rely on underlying support from the population rather than on superior weapons. Both insurgency and protests are forms of asymmetric opposition in which the insurgents or protesters cannot succeed by using force to overwhelm the state but must find (or create) and exploit specific weaknesses of the state.

However, protest movements are not as aggressive as insurgencies. Violence is integral to insurgent strategy, but protest movements may be simply a negotiation tactic to extract concessions from a state or a corporation. Strikes are one of the most common forms of protest used to leverage labor resources for higher wages or more benefits. Thousands of protests, such as strikes, occur around the world every week. Most are small and insignificant outside the protesters' community. In order to address the geopolitical importance of protest movements, this analysis will focus on protests intended to create political change.

Sometimes protests can spur insurgencies. In the case of Syria, civilians congregated in the streets and public places to call for political change. As the state's responses became increasingly violent, elements of the movement formed a militia that began a parallel insurgency. As violence escalated in Syria, insurgent tactics eventually replaced protest tactics.

Not all protests evolve into insurgencies, though. Some are repressed by the regime, while others are able to achieve their objectives through other means. The ultimate challenge of analyzing protest movements is to distinguish between movements that could successfully change the order of a country and movements that fizzle after grabbing a few headlines. Stratfor distinguishes the two by looking at the tactics a given group of protesters uses and the strategic imperatives of the state against which the protesters are demonstrating.

Protest Tactics

Protest movements usually start with far fewer resources and far less organization than the established entity against which they are protesting. They are fighting an asymmetric battle against a state that has far more resources to use against protesters. For example, the April 6 movement that was behind Egypt's 2011 protests got its name from April 6, 2008, the day Egyptian authorities clamped down on a fledgling political youth movement with a series of arrests. The Egyptian state was able to end the 2008 protest movement relatively quietly this is how most protest movements end.

Those groups that do survive must have a fluid yet responsive organizational capability, and they must control the perception of what they &mdash and their opponents &mdash stand for.

The centralization of a protest movement is key because it means better coordination and swifter decision-making in response to obstacles.

Organization

Organizing protests becomes increasingly dangerous as the movement becomes more successful. Most authorities will tolerate a certain amount of activism because it is seen as a way to let off steam. They appease the protesters by letting them think that they are making a difference &mdash as long as the protesters do not pose a threat. But as protest movements grow, authorities will act more aggressively to neutralize the organizers. Sincere protest movements may prove successful if they can survive a round of arrests, a baton charge from the police or a counterprotest from government supporters.

Another element to look for in protest organization is the unity of message. Using the same slogans and carrying mass-produced signs, especially if the protesters are in multiple cities, shows a level of unity that indicates a single organizer, whether that be an individual or a committee. The centralization of a protest movement is key because it means better coordination and swifter decision-making in response to obstacles. And later on, if the protest movement is successful, there is an individual or small group of individuals who can exploit the power generated by the protest movement for political gains.

The level of discipline shown by the members is another important indicator of a movement's organization. It is absolutely critical that a protest movement maintain the moral high ground otherwise it is too easy for their opponents to smear the protesters as thieves, thugs or hooligans. Once protest movements number in the tens or hundreds of thousands it is impossible for organizers to enforce discipline themselves. However, organizers can recognize the importance of discipline and instill a zero-violence rule across the movement, while relying on grassroots security efforts to enforce it.

Protest movements become successful when large groups of people gather, yet abstain from the obvious power they have to loot, steal or commit other crimes in the chaos of street protests. That abstention shows discipline, and discipline indicates control over what is effectively a civilian army.

Perceptions

In the beginning, protest organizers must overcome the authorities' attempts to disperse the movement as well as the movement's initial lack of legitimacy. Protest movements typically start small and represent a fringe opinion. In order to increase the movement's numbers, organizers have to convince others that their interests are best pursued through protest. One way to do this is to make the smaller demonstrations appear larger in order to convince people that the protests represent the interest of more of a majority.

Protest movements often frame their demonstrations to make them appear larger. If a protest only has a few hundred people, it will look small and insignificant huddled in the middle of a massive central square. It will look much more formidable walking down a narrow, winding street that conceals the length of their procession and amplifies their noise. This doesn't mean that protest movements demonstrating on narrow, winding streets are necessarily small, but if they are, it is likely someone skillfully picked an appropriate venue for their demonstration. Knowing when and where to demonstrate indicates the sophistication of a protest movement.

Perception becomes reality when fear of the regime evaporates. When demonstrators lose their fear of the regime and begin to realize that they have power to make changes, protests often can make some quick progress.

Many times, the availability of imagery of a protest indicates how media savvy a protest movement is. A sophisticated movement will alert the media ahead of a demonstration to ensure it is broadcast &mdash more sophisticated movements will make sure to provide symbolic images for the media to disperse. A good example of this is when Iranian students breached the perimeter of the British Embassy in Tehran in November 2011. Dozens of journalists and cameramen (many with pre-positioned tripods) were on hand to record the symbolic moment. In that case, the actual breach did not cause much damage, but the degree to which Iranian authorities flaunted their disregard for embassy security eventually led to the British abandoning the mission. Imagery of protest scenes is crucial to analysis of a protest if the scenes are set up well, it's likely someone organized it that way to ensure the message got out.

Perception becomes reality when fear of the regime evaporates. Despotic regimes rule through fear, and when demonstrators lose their fear of the regime and begin to realize that they have power to make changes, the protests often can make some quick progress &mdash as seen with the rapid fall of former Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989. However, this loss of fear does not always guarantee success the government sometimes can drastically increase violence to counter protesters' lack of fear &mdash as seen in Tiananmen Square in 1989. In the Syrian uprising in 1982, fear of the regime never evaporated, and the movement was quickly and firmly put down in a few weeks. In the Syrian opposition's current iteration, the fear of the regime has been broken, and the movement has persisted for more than a year.

Pillars of the State

Once the tactics of a protest movement have been assessed as organized and sophisticated, it's time to assess strategic weaknesses of the state that the movement can attack. Governments rule by controlling key pillars of society, through which they exercise authority over the population. These pillars include security forces (police and military), the judicial system, civil services and unions. If the protest movement is trying to overthrow the government and not just extract concessions, the movement will work to undermine the pillars of the state. Removing the support of one or more of these pillars will erode a government's power until it can no longer effectively govern, at which point protest movements can begin assuming institutional control.

It's important then to assess the key pillars of the government that a protest movement is targeting. Stratfor has done this in Syria by identifying the al-Assad clan, Alawite unity, supremacy of the Baath party and control over the military-intelligence apparatus as the key pillars of the Syrian state. The Syrian opposition may employ the most sophisticated tactics possible, but unless those tactics erode one or more of those pillars, the government can continue to exercise power over the state.

Context

Finally, when considering the overall impact of a protest movement, context is crucial. Some states have a higher tolerance for protests than others. Typically, open democratic states tolerate protests more than closed repressive states because security is not as crucial a pillar in open states as it is in closed states. For example, Thailand regularly sees protests with participants numbering in the tens of thousands. Protests have effectively shut down Bangkok and even disrupted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations conference in 2009, but the basic pillars of the state have remained intact.

Meanwhile, the protests that began June 16 in Sudan have numbered only in the hundreds but are grabbing media attention. Due to Sudan's reputation as being repressive, even such small protests could trigger dramatic responses from the state. Thailand has a number of state institutions &mdash particularly the monarchy &mdash with which it wields authority, whereas the Sudanese regime relies much more on security and energy revenues to assert its authority. Sudan has less tolerance for even mild threats to either pillar. Stratfor is watching Sudan carefully to see if the protest movement there can survive the ongoing security crackdown.

By understanding how a protest movement works and how well it targets and exploits the weaknesses of the state it is demonstrating against, we can assess how successful movements are likely to be.


2017: Trump’s Inauguration, J20, and the Women’s March

The election of Trump galvanized the nation, as protests broke out for a number of issues that were directly related to the new president. On the day of Trump’s inauguration, one such protest that got a lot of attention was an “anti-fascist” action in D.C., more commonly referred to as “Disrupt J20” (referring to January 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration).

The protest resulted in the arrest of 234 people, all of whom were charged with felony rioting,and some faced possible 60-year prison sentences over claims of $100,000 worth of damage and injury to six police officers. According to Rolling Stone, 20 of the people arrested pleaded guilty to lesser charges, 20 had their charges dismissed, a jury found six not guilty, and after over a year of trials, charges were dropped against all remaining defendants.

“It felt like we were treated like cattle when we were arrested after being in the kettle for eight-plus hours,” Caroline Unger, a J20 defendant, told Teen Vogue in August 2018. “I think one of the worst parts is that we were never told what was happening. No one would look us in the eye or talk to us directly about how long we would be in the cell blocks, and time itself became a torturous thing because it was held over us without any concern.”

J20 was followed by what may have been the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. On January 21, the Women’s March on Washington became simply the Women’s March as over a million protesters in cities worldwide hit the streets. Following the massive turnout, the Women’s March has continued every year, helping to keep momentum alive for resistance to Trump.


New political forces

2015 December - Popular Party government loses majority in general election that sees populist anti-austerity movement Podemos and new liberal Cuidadanos movement perform well.

2016 October - Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy forms minority government and ends 10 months of political deadlock after repeat elections in June.

2017 August - Two Islamic State terror attacks kill 16 people in Barcelona and the nearby resort of Cambrils.

2017 October - Madrid imposes direct rule in Catalonia after voters in a referendum back separation from Spain.

2018 May - Basque separatist former armed group Eta announces it is ceasing all political activities.

2018 June - Mariano Rajoy loses a vote of confidence. Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez takes over as prime minister.

2019 April - Snap election boosts Socialists, but they remain short of a majority. Vox becomes first far-right party to win seats since the death of Francisco Franco in 1975.

2019 October - Thousands of protesters take to the street after Supreme Court sentences nine Catalan leaders to long jail terms for sedition over the failed 2017 independence bid.

2019 November - Fourth general election in as many years leaves Socialists still short of a majority, while Vox more than doubles its seats to become the third-largest party.

2020 January - Pedro Sánchez forms minority coalition government with left-wing Podemos party after winning a narrow parliamentary vote of confidence.


The rise of the globalization agenda

The roots of today’s global economic order were established just as World War II was coming to end. In 1944 delegates from the Allied countries met in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to establish a new system around open markets and free trade.

New institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and a precursor to the World Trade Organization were established to tie national economies into an international system. There was a belief that greater global integration was more conducive to peace and prosperity than economic nationalism.

The foundations of global economic integration, such as the creation of the International Monetary Fund in 1945, were laid after World War II as an alternative to economic nationalism and as a means to promote peace and prosperity. Photo by Flickr user SA

Initially, it was more a promise than reality. Communism still controlled large swaths of territory. And there were fiscal tensions as the new trade system relied on fixed exchange rates, with currencies pegged to the U.S. dollar, which was tied to gold at the time. It was only with the collapse of fixed exchange rates and the unmooring of the dollar from the gold standard in the late 1960s that capital could be moved easily around the world.

And it worked: Dollars generated in Europe by U.S. multinationals could be invested through London in suburban housing projects in Asia, mines in Australia and factories in the Philippines. With China’s entry onto the world trading system in 1978 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the world of global capital mobility widened further.


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Social media and political communication in the United States
The emergence of social media has changed the way in which political communication takes place in the United States. Political institutions such as politicians, political parties, foundations, institutions, and political think tanks are all using social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to communicate with and engage voters. Regular individuals, politicians, “pundits” and thought leaders alike are able to voice their opinions, engage with a wide network, and connect with other likeminded individuals. The active participation of social media users has been an increasingly important element in political communication, especially during political elections in the 2000s. From 2010 to 2014, there was a 15% increase in the number of Americans who use their cellphones to follow political campaigns and/or campaign coverage and that number continues to grow today.
Social media is changing the nature of political communication because they are tools that can be used to inform and mobilize users in new ways. Users are able to connect directly to politicians and campaign managers and engage in political activities in new ways. Each social media platform is programmed in code by developers, creating a unique digital architecture that influences how politicians and citizens can use the platform for political ends. For example, by simply pressing the “like button” on Facebook or by following someone on Twitter, users have the ability to connect with others and express their views in new ways. The option for users to share, like, or retweet political messages instantly has opened up a new avenue for politicians to reach out to voters. At the same time, social media campaigns can carry risks that are not present on traditional platforms, such as TV or newspaper ads. Whereas the political party controls all of the messaging on a TV or newspaper ad, in a social media campaign, critics and opposing party supporters can post negative comments immediately below campaign messages.
Politicians have a platform to communicate with that is different from the mainstream media. Politicians have the ability to raise large amounts of money in relatively short periods of time through social media campaigns. One in five adult Twitter users in the United States follow President Trump’s Twitter account. President Obama has 26% of adult Twitter accounts following him. In 2012 President Obama raised over a billion dollars for his campaign, which broke the fundraising record. Around $690 million was raised through online donations including social media, email, and website donations and more money was raised from small donors than ever before.
Influence on elections
Early history
Democrat Howard Dean is credited with being the first politician to use the Internet for political purposes. Dean served as the Governor of Vermont from 1991 to 2003 and decided to run for president for the 2004 election. Dean is credited with organizing the first campaign website, acting as a virtual headquarters for fundraising and volunteer recruitment. Dean’s website had a number of online metrics of success including the hits on his homepage, weblogs, campaign sign-ups, house parties and meet ups. Dean’s supporters hosted house parties and invited individuals to learn about Dean’s campaign. Dean also encouraged use of the website Meetup for his upstart presidential campaign in 2002, making it easy for people “with a common interest to find each other and arrange to meet, face to face”. Individuals would attend face-to-face meetings to learn more about his campaign. The number of people coming out to Dean’s Meetups in 600 location across the country ultimately reached about 143,000. About 75,000 individuals attended these meet-ups and more than 96% of respondents reported that they wished to become actively involved in Dean’s campaign. The engagement in face-to-face local groups “dramatically affected how involved volunteers got with the campaign. The more Meetups people attended, the higher their average donation to the campaign”.
Dean won a “digital” primary election that was held on MoveOn.org with 44% of the votes. His success in the primary generated positive coverage by the news media. This early victory was important to the momentum of the campaign. Dean’s campaign was able to raise large amounts of money in small increments. In January 2004, his campaign had raised $41 million from supporters mostly online. A total of 318,884 individuals contributed to his campaign, with over 61% of the contributions under $200. Less than 1% of individuals gave $2,000, which was the federal limit. Dean’s fundraising behavior was opposite of his rivals. George Bush raised $130.8 million in 2003 and 68% of his donations were the maximum donation limit.
Political Origins of Facebook
Facebook is a place where people can freely interact with each other. “This means, for example, on Facebook, an individual creates multimedia content like a video on the cognitive level”, which allows for mass interaction between hundreds of people.[13] This free interaction between people on Facebook allowed the use of social media by political figures to help promote their own ideals. The creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, served as a field organizer for Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. Zuckerberg was responsible for Get out the vote and mobilization efforts. Facebook was launched the same year. The Facebook Platform relies on group formation and constant communication, both of which are goals for any political campaign. Chris Hughes, a founding member and developer at Facebook, left the company to work as an adviser for President Barack Obama. While working at Facebook, Hughes designed a Facebook profile for the then presidential candidate. Following his departure, Hughes worked on Obama’s Facebook page and utilized his knowledge of content management and new developments to outpace other candidates in relation to their online presence. Hughes created the website MyBarak0bama.com which had a similar layout and concept as Facebook. In the 2008 elections Facebook was used by candidates. The main user during this election was former president Obama. The other user Mitt Romney used Facebook as well for his campaign, but not as much as Obama had. It is reported that well over 1,000 groups on Facebook were created supporting one of the two sides. In recent years, political figures have been using Twitter more often, but Facebook still remains to be a much used social media platform.
2008 Presidential Election
The 2008 presidential election was the first election in which candidates utilized the Internet and social media as a tool for their campaigns. Nearly three quarters of internet users went online to learn about the candidates in the election this equates to 55% of the entire adult population. Then President-elect Barack Obama was the first to use the Internet to organize supporters, advertise, and communicate with individuals in a way that had been impossible in previous elections. Obama utilized sites like YouTube to advertise through videos. The videos posted on YouTube by Obama were viewed for 14.5 million hours. Obama led McCain voters in all categories of online political activism, which is considered by some to be a major factor in his victory.
Young voters are much more active in online politics. 30% of all those who posted political content online were under the age of 25. 66% of that same demographic voted for Obama while 33% voted for McCain, showing that Obama’s prominence in online politics greatly increased his chances of winning.
In the aggregate, the Democratic websites got more views than the Republican websites (at least in the primaries). This was due in part to the younger voters being more inclined to be in favor of the Democratic candidate as well as being more likely to go on the internet and research or show support for a candidate.
2012 Presidential Election
By the 2012 election more candidates were utilizing a wider array of social media platforms. Politicians were now on social networking sites like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other new social media tools and mobile apps. Some of the candidates used social media sites to announce their candidacy. Barack Obama emailed a video to 13 million when he announced his intention to run for re-election and Mitt Romney sent out a tweet. Obama produced a seventeen-minute long video, composed of video clips and interviews that documented Obama’s first term in the office. This video was published on YouTube, allowing the audience to contribute to the campaign by donating without having to leave the website. This efficiency and convenience was the key point to further extend his fundraising target. This target would not have been achieved without the existence of YouTube, as sharing the link would have been more challenging. The campaign also heavily relied on social media sharing the video that included the donation link aiding in the fundraising. Other candidates posted on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to announce their candidacy.
Each candidate ran their campaigns with more of an emphasis on the internet. Obama and Romney each hired third party companies to pull, track, and analyze data from their websites. This data drove them each to spend nearly $100,000 on online advertisements (Obama spent $93,400 and Romney spent $82,200). Though these numbers are close, in the aggregate, Obama spent more than Romney did on digital campaigns by a factor of ten. Romney spent $4.7 million and Obama spent $47 million.
There is a clear difference between the Obama and Romney campaign’s presence on social media throughout the 2012 campaign. In October 2012, President Obama had over 20 million followers on Twitter and Romney had 1.2 million. On Facebook Obama had over 29 million likes on his page and Romney had 7.9 million. On Instagram Obama had 1.4 million followers and Romney had 38,000 followers. President Obama had higher followers on all of his other social media accounts including Spotify, Pinterest, and YouTube, though research suggests merely following Obama or Romney on social media sites such as Facebook may have had little influence on voter behaviors. President Obama also utilized his social media accounts more than any other candidate online. He actively posted more on Twitter, YouTube and on his personal website blog.
President Obama’s campaign thrived on online donations in both 2008 and 2012. In 2008 3.95 million people donated to president Obama’s campaign.[ That number reached 4.4 million people during his 2012 campaign. The total online donation also rose from $500 million in 2008 to $690 million in 2012.
Political figures can use social media to accomplish tasks such as raising donations for their campaign. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tweeted his support for Barack Obama in the 2012 election. He, at the time, boasted an 80% approval rating which led voters who were on the fence to support President Obama.
2016 Presidential campaign
The presidential elections of 2016 saw heavy use of social media across all candidates. The main three candidates were Donald Trump (Republican), Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton (Democrats). Research reports that, ” In January 2016, 44% of U.S. adults reported having learned about the 2016 presidential election.” At this point, social media was being heavily used across all platforms including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Specifically in the 2016 elections, Twitter was the main source which Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the 2 potential presidents, used to convey various things. Several reports and statistics show that several people received information about the election via social media. Roughly, 󈬈% say they have turned to the social media posts” for information regarding the election. All presidential candidates used social media in a different way. While Trump’s posts focused on links to news sources, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders focused on “highlighting official campaign communities.” During the campaigns of these main 3 candidates, Trump had a lot more response from users compared to the two democratic candidates. This is most likely due to the fact that Trump already had more followers at the beginning of the campaign. This election showed that several strategies could be used with social media. This is reflected in Trump’s, Clinton’s, and Sanders’ use of social media. On Twitter, Trump mainly retweeted tweets from the general public, and Clinton and Sanders mainly retweeted tweets about their own campaign. The main two rivals of the campaign, Trump and Clinton, made several tweets directly talking about each other, Clinton used the @ feature of Twitter linking users to Trump’s page. Trump referred to Hillary Clinton several times, but he almost never used the @ feature. You can see that Trump’s main focus in his campaign on Twitter was the media such as Fox news or New York Times. On the other hand, Clinton and Sanders mainly focused on their own campaign. Another part of the strategy used by the Democratic side, Clinton and Sanders, is that some of their posts in Spanish. These two candidates had a focus on reaching out to the minority community which is reflected in these posts in Spanish. Donald Trump did not make any posts in Spanish. The use of videos on Twitter were used in different ways in the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders mostly posted videos sponsoring their own campaign while Donald Trump posted videos related to news media (a very common theme in the candidates’ strategies).
Overall, Donald Trump (Republican) focused his strategy in social media in news media. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton (Democrats) focused their social media strategy on promoting themselves. Social media such as Twitter continues being used by politicians today, and continues to grow more popularity in American politics.
Social media has been used in political campaigns ranging from small local elections to larger-scale presidential elections. According to Wael Ghonim, social media can reinforce pre-existing beliefs rather than promote new ones. While social media can be used to raise donations, several candidates focused on using it to promote their own campaign. Politicians cannot control the conversation in social media. According to a study by Miguel del Fresno García, Alan J. Daly, and Sagrario Segado Sánchez-Cabezudo, regular friends and followers hold high levels of influence on social media, instead of blogs and campaign pages. Users with the most influence over social media fall into three different categories: users who disseminate knowledge, those who engage other people, and those who lead conversations. These three types of users are the ones who others tend to follow and listen to through social media. Therefore, for political campaigns to truly reach as many people as possible, political groups first need to get those three users talking about their campaigns on social media.
People worry that too much use of social media might cause less policy making in government. Instead of doing things such as making new laws, presidents might focys too much attention on social media to try to win over more supporters.
Barack Obama on social media
Barack Obama won the 2008 United States presidential election on November 4, 2008. During campaign, by using social media and mobilizing the general public online, Obama was able to raise awareness and financial support of his campaign. Obama used over 15 social networking sites.
The topic of Barack Obama’s usage of social media in his political campaigns, including podcasting, Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube has been compared to the adoption of radio, television, MTV, and the Internet in slingshotting his presidential campaign to success and as thus has elicited much scholarly inquiry.[2] In the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama had more “friends” on Facebook and Myspace and more “followers” on Twitter than his opponent John McCain.
Obama’s usage of the wider Internet has often since been compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy’s adoption of the radio and television media, respectively, in the history of communication between the White House and the American public.
Twitter
Barack Obama’s Twitter account (@BarackObama) is the official account on social networking site Twitter for former President of the United States Barack Obama, and has been used for his election efforts. Obama also used the White House’s Twitter account (@WhiteHouse) for his presidential activities. As of November 12, 2019, Obama’s account has 110,179,369 followers, making him owner of the most followed Twitter account. Obama also follows 611,054 accounts, and has posted 15,685 tweets. Well into 2011, it was following the most people of any account on the network and was the third to achieve ten million followers. It is one of only two accounts in the world to be in the top ten in both followers and followees (Twitter friends). As of June 12, 2016, the White House account is also among the two-hundred most followed with nearly three million followers. On May 18, 2015, Obama sent his first tweet from the first Twitter account dedicated exclusively to the U.S. President (@POTUS) his first reply to a tweet directed at him was a tongue-in-cheek exchange with former President Bill Clinton (@billclinton).
Obama has used Twitter to promote legislation and support for his policies. He has been the subject of various controversies on Twitter. Obama is also the subject of various debates on Twitter. He had also used his account to respond to the public regarding the economy and employment. Based on its rate of adoption, Twitter will have a complementary role to other communication efforts that is more significant in Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign than in prior elections.
• Statistics on Twitter usage
The account is among the top ten worldwide in both followers and followed. The account held the record for following the most people. On August 13, 2019 at 14:39 PDT Obama’s account overtook Katy Perry and has the most number of followers with over 107 million followers, and followed 612,655 accounts.
During his 2008 campaign the account was intermittently the world’s most followed. In May 2010 Obama’s Twitter account ranked as the fourth most followed account with about 4 million followers.[21] By May 16, 2011, @BarackObama was followed by 7.4 million people, including twenty-eight world leaders. His account became the third account to reach 10 million followers in September 2011.
Account usage history
@BarackObama was launched on March 5, 2007 at 16:08:25. It is his official account, although he also tweeted through @WhiteHouse which is usually used by the presidential administration, while @BarackObama was for his election campaign staff. @WhiteHouse predates the Presidency of Barack Obama, since it was created on April 21, 2007. Following the 2008 United States presidential election, the Democratic National Committee was believed to have taken over the account and in a speech in November 2009, Obama stated “I have never used Twitter”, although he had over 2.6 million followers. The @BarackObama account is “run by #Obama2012 campaign staff. Tweets from the President are signed -bo.” Although his staff does most of his tweeting, Obama became active on the account in June 2011, tweeting under his own initials, beginning with the father’s day message “Being a father is sometimes my hardest but always my most rewarding job…”
Obama has at various times held public forums in which he fielded questions posted on Twitter. On July 6, 2011, he participated in what was billed as “Twitter Presents Townhall @ the White House”.The event was held in the East Room of the White House and was streamed online. Only written questions on the site about the economy and jobs were accepted for oral response by Obama.[31] His average responses were over 2000 characters and when Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner tweeted “Where are the jobs?” to the hashtag #AskObama, it took Obama 3111 characters to respond. The event was moderated by Twitter executive Jack Dorsey, and Obama started the session with a sample tweet to himself through @WhiteHouse that said “in order to reduce the deficit, what costs would you cut and what investments would you keep – bo”. Dorsey said afterwards that Twitter received over 110,000 #AskObama-hashtagged tweets. Boehner was quite active with his questions from the outset. Some in the media proposed May 24, 2012, as the date when Obama became the first President to respond to questions on Twitter.Wikipedia .
On July 29, 2011, during the United States debt-ceiling crisis, the account lost over 40,000 followers when the president asked “Americans Friday to call, email and tweet Congressional leaders to ‘keep the pressure on’ lawmakers in hopes of reaching a bipartisan deal to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit ahead of an August 2 deadline.” During the day, he sent about 100 tweets that included the Twitter accounts of Congressional Republicans. Later in 2011, Obama used Twitter again to try to encourage the people to voice their opinion on legislation when he was attempting to pass the American Jobs Act.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

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