Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Semiotics of Egalitarianism

The Washington Post earlier this week had an article about the way Obama's office runs, similar to the articles Rolling Stone and Time ran earlier this year, though with a little more of the traditional journalism's "good points and bad points" model (aka "fairness" and "objectivity").  

There does not seem to be much disagreement that running an office in an egalitarian manner, with a good control of information, is a good thing. But let's think about why. It signals to us that the candidate or the candidate's political leaders have control and flexibility. Such control is obviously necessary to running an even larger organization--the United States. Listening to many voices also can strike us as being democratic and American, and it also shows the confidence Obama has in himself and his team.

It raises more meta questions as well. When supporters of Obama read this pieces on process in the campaign, it's likely heartening; they want a president who listens and has control. Because they feel this way, they may be curious about whether the campaign wants them to feel this way. In other words is the process both a strategy to win a camapaign and a meta campaign in itself?

If it is, it shows a campaign working on multiple levels toward the most difficult of goals. 


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