It’s not the way I think it should be done but in essence politics is a popularity contest. A politician wins by being popular. They become popular in a number of ways. They can “buy” votes via advertising, and/or having friends in the media. They can belong to a rich and/or famous family like the Kennedy’s. Or they can align their political plans (as near as I can tell no politician has a significant chance of election with a consistent political philosophy) that resonates with a significantly large segment of the voters. This last method frequently consists of buying votes with taxpayer money but that is a different story.
I find it very interesting that in this Internet age a single individual can measure the popularity of public figures and ideas without paying for a survey. It may not be as accurate as an actual survey but it can give some clues.
The anti-gun blogs are either so out of touch or so low on the totem pole they don’t even show up on the tools I use for measuring relevance but there are other measures of the opposition.
My most recent measure of the popularity of our opposition is to look at the views of the Brady Campaign videos on YouTube.
There are four videos of the Brady Campaign President on YouTube since the Tucson shooting. The titles, dates, and number of views as of the evening of February 13, 2011 are:
- Brady President Paul Helmke’s thoughts on the Tucson Shooting, January 10, 2011: 124 views
- Paul Helmke Video Blog on HB308, to Ban High Capacity Magazines, January 20, 2011: 114 views
- Paul Helmke at the Intro of H.B. 308 to Ban High Capacity Mags, January 20, 2011: 685 views
- Paul Helmke on the Resurgence of Support for Gun Regulation, January 28, 2011: 310 views
That is a total of 1233 views.
In the same timeframe and on essentially the same topic I have posted two YouTube videos:
- Reload Time, January 11, 2011: 1979 views
- The Fallacy Of Magazine Capacity Limitations, February 11, 2011: 989 views
That is a total of 2968 views. And the second of those videos has only been up for less than 70 hours and is still getting a fairly high rate of hits.
I expect that by the middle of this week I should have about three times (it is currently 2.4 X) the number of views for my message as Paul Helmke has for his. And my videos were crudely done with video glasses and edited on my laptop while I was in bed instead of professionally scripted, produced, and edited.
If Helmke were to get paid by his popularity he should be getting about 1/3 of what I am receiving for my videos. This makes Helmke worth about one third of zero. I know the anti-gun people have a problem with arithmetic but it still should be pretty obvious Brady Campaign donors are not getting their money’s worth.