Disintermediation Strikes Again

So, Terry Lowry has come up on our radar again. This time, he's trying to claim being a precinct chair means you have to pass Terry's litmus test before you can be considered to be a real Republican or some shit. Doesn't this get shot down every time it comes up at the state convention? Shouldn't that be a clue? I have to admit, having watched and participated in way too many "No True Scotsman" debates with my fellow libertarians, watching the Republican party engage in the same pointless wrangling is pretty funny.

What's even funnier is watching Mr. Lowry desperately try to cling to his power and influence. He's very obviously still working off of the old media model. He had a platform, both through his radio show and his newsletter, that was not available to most people. Through the use of his platform, he could influence things. So candidates, attracted by his platform, would come to him and try to get their message out. It's the only reason he has any use at all to politicians. At some point, he apparently began using his platform as a bargaining chip to get money to continue his newsletters. Right there, his credibility went out the window.

What he's failed to realize is that his role as a gatekeeper is dwindling every election cycle. Why does J. Random Candidate need to deal with Terry Lowry? Mr. Candidate has the internet. Anybody with any snap who is involved in local politics has web access. So J. Random can bypass Terry completely and put his message to the electorate directly. What value is Terry Lowry adding to the process? If you answered "none", you'd be correct. There are ways he could add value, as he does appear to have some level of access most people don't have, but he doesn't grasp how to use the access positively.

Like most old media types, he hasn't figured out in the brave new networked world your credibility is the only thing you have to offer your readers. If you've already sold your credibility, you've got nothing. Yeah, the information presented may be true and useful, but if your readers don't trust you, they won't come back. You've got to be a lot more upfront about your conflicts of interest and your support for candidates than Mr. Lowry has ever been.

There's been just absolute bucketfuls of information on this around the web and in print, and Terry Lowry has ignored all of it. So, he deserves to go the way of the dodo. I hope he's enjoyed his run at being influential, because it's coming to close.

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