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Retail politics decline a good thing?

Sandhya Somashekhar has an article in today’s Washington Post about the general decline of hand-shaking retail politics. That story’s lead says, “Congressional hopefuls from California to Delaware are shunning the traditional trappings of campaigns, avoiding public events, debates and other venues where they can't control the action.” Today’s politicians rely on targeted direct-mail advertising and electronic media. It occurs to me that only skilled public relations people like actors may have a shot at being elected in the future. We’ve already seen entertainment figures with little problem-solving experience, like Jesse Ventura and Arnold Schwarzeneggar, move easily into elected office. This trend probably reflects our move away from face-to-face communication and toward electronically-mediated communication. Is this good or bad? Why?


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