Drupal, Grassroots Political Activism and the Ron Paul Campaign
There is a battle going on for the control of information. The powers that be (traditional news outlets) are increasingly being challenged by widespread independent media sources including bloggers and journalism-enabling sites like NowPublic. It is the difference between "Good evening. This is what the news is." and "What is going on in the world? I'll find out." The change from one to the other is inevitable.
In politics, this is an important change. Instead of politicians claiming that this or that is "the will of the American people", that will can actually be tested by listening to the people because the people now have a voice. The first real example of this was the Howard Dean campaign in 2004. Dean used DeanSpace, a community CMS based on Drupal, to raise massive internet support.
In the current U.S. presidential election, the candidate who is using the internet most effectively is Ron Paul. Like Howard Dean, Ron Paul's support on the internet is massive. While his main website does not run Drupal, the Daily Paul is a popular site about the campaign. It's managed by Michael Nystrom and it runs on Drupal.
What I find interesting about Ron Paul's campaign is that while Howard Dean had support from the mainstream media (representing the traditional "we will tell you what is important" position), Ron Paul seems to be virtually ignored by the mainstream media; only the Washington Post has covered him. Thus, he represents the first test of how well grassroots internet campaigns can fare when they are pitted against, and not supplemented by, traditional media.