I whole heartedly agree with the editors of “Beyond the Founders” interpretation of the importance of the newspaper in early 19th century politics. Particularly, I support the belief that the newspapers “represented and embodied” the ideals of each political party (41). In an era where communication across a state could take days to accomplish, there was a great schism in terms of shared ideas amongst party members. Even more so, those who supported these parties but, were not actively involved in them struggled further to acquire knowledge about all the various policies and ideas of the group. Due to this phenomenon, the newspaper provided both party members and followers access to the crucial details of their party’s ideals, policies, etc. Without the papers, the various drunken banquet toasts that were so important in terms of the stance of different parties would have been lost in the night’s events, rather than becoming a rallying point for members.
Today, it is social media that is replacing the newspaper as the entity that embodies and represents all the public needs to know about a political group. For me, twitter is my go to for any political information that I need, as I follow various groups and people that represent the ideologies I believe in. I am not alone in this usage either, as in a link I posted with this blog, it outlines how a number of political parties use twitter, Facebook, and many other forms of social media to spread their messages and garnish support for any upcoming elections of people or policy. The newspaper may be outdated in terms of its effectiveness in present day but, its usage lives on within the vast networks of connections we have through social media.
Though I initially disagreed with Noah Webster’s points on an aristocracy and the problems of giving people power, after reading Eli’s position on the argument I have swayed my position a bit. Eli’s statement regarding Webster being a product of his time was the catalyst that sparked my transition. Webster made his comments not long after the American Revolution, which thereby meant not long after the Americans ceased to be British. It would be unreasonable to believe that American ideology was suddenly so different from the British perspective regarding the ruling of a country. Many probably still believed that the rule of their land should be placed in the hands of an elite group, but a group that represented their interests. In today’s world, I know I do not want any man walking down the street having control of our country’s directive. It takes a specific type of person with a unique mind to have the ability to rule such a diverse land, something few people within this country possess. With this in mind, I concur with Eli’s position on Webster not being so radical even in today’s political arena.