Digital Democracy

A blog for the course New Media and a Democratic Society

Political Activism: Moving On Trusting Republicans?

Posted by clocke22 on October 17, 2010

I compared MoveOn.org to The National Republican Trust website. Like MoveOn, the National Political Trust is a political action committee (PAC), though it is essentially the opposite politically and ideologically of MoveOn. Rohlinger and Brown’s study of MoveOn found that the Internet provided an alternative space to engage in political activism in the post-9/11 environment. Members noted that participation online (anonymously and/or at a national level) allowed them to engage while limiting the risks associated with being politically active against the administration in power but while living in a relatively small community and having work ties to the prevailing administration. Moveon.org featured first a call to action regarding the upcoming midterm elections (“Save the Senate”). It also included links to donate, join on social media (i.e., Facebook), watch multimedia content, information about current campaigns, and an invitation to join local councils. The GOP Trust website was similar in that it had links to donate, join on social media and watch multimedia content. However, the GOP Trust homepage was much longer than the Moveon.org site. IT was also different in that instead of using pictures showing its members in a positive light, it instead featured several unflattering photos of Democratic leaders such as President Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi was featured several times, one notable photo featuring her with a headscarf on. The GOP Trust site did feature an invite to sign a petition but mostly consisted of headlines and commentary. The major difference between the two sites was that MoveOn was more issue-focused instead of provocative and invited visitors immediately to connect with local activists. While both offer opportunities to engage politically online and anonymously, GOP Trust seemed to be more of a news consumption and donation-oriented site whereas MoveOn was more oriented toward online and local activism. Also, MoveOn features prominently at the top of the site a “Sign Up” link, whereas GOP Trust does not have an analogous link (instead, it has “Staff,” “TV Videos” and “Contact Us”). Overall, GOP Trust seems to be less grounded in the “real world” and local activism, which is actually compatible with the concerns expressed by some of the Rohlinger and Brown interviewees.

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2 Responses to “Political Activism: Moving On Trusting Republicans?”

  1. Shine Lyui said

    I think based on their core ideas this political group has a strong disposition towards the Republican Party even though it does not say so. And I wonder if they have a formal membership system. I couldn’t find anywhere that allows you to become a member of the group, but they do have a link to making donations online and a pop-up when you open the website that asks you to sign up for news updates and political ads. Also, there is no forum on the website that I could find, so it must be very different from the MoveOn.org as you have pointed them out.

  2. clocke22 said

    http://wendyuf.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/online-activism-is-it-really-action/#comment-62

    http://makeyourself270.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/activism-for-animal-rights/#comment-79

    http://joneelauriel.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/activating-your-voice-through-activism/#comment-71

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