Moved by Obama’s acceptance speech in Denver? Yeah, me too. I wanted to find out how I could help highlight the differences in Obama’s vs McCain’s stances. Chris Bowers had some great points about finding factual McCain quotes and the easiest way to get these facts in front of voters is to raise their prominence in search engine results; this is my attempt to help. If you have a site and want to participate, read Chris’ comments here. So, lets get on with it:
If you are anything like me, you are sick and tired of the national image of John McCain as some sort of independent, principled, Republican moderate. Examples of McCain’s departure from the Bush administration’s agenda are truly few and far between. Despite reports to the contrary, he has consistently supported and facilitated the most egregiously radical aspects of that agenda. Further, in an attempt to improve his prospects for the Republican nomination in 2008, he has spent much of the last three years sucking up to the theocon wing of the Republican Party that he once decried. Most famously, this included retracting comments he made about Jerry Falwell and then speaking at Falwell’s Liberty University. Pandering to extremists you once denounced in order to improve your electoral prospects hardly sounds “principled” to me.
What especially irks me about McCain’s pure as the driven snow national image is how the Washington pundit elites have continued to help manufacture it. McCain is the most frequent guest on Sunday morning talk shows, whose hosts clearly have done a terrible job of exposing the truth about him. We simply can’t trust the gatekeepers of our conventional wisdom to treat John McCain with any skepticism whatsoever. I am sure we will see much of the same lapdog treatment from the pundit elite when it comes to the McCain doctrine, otherwise known as escalation in Iraq. Already, pundits are bending over backward to label this idea serious, and the people who support it as principled.
Well, I say enough is enough. The line on McCain’s national image will be drawn here, and drawn now. Today, I am proposing a long-term, anti-McCain googlebomb project similar to the Googlebomb the Elections campaign I founded in 2006. The goal on this project is the search engine optimization of articles from established news sources that tell the truth on John McCain. I want to make certain that when people search for information about John McCain online, that they are presented with the truth on John McCain. I hope you will join me in this campaign. Here is what it entails:
- Finding a recent new article from an established news sources that focuses on McCain’s support of George Bush. I have determined that the first such article will be the beautifully titled McCain Defend Bush’s Iraq Strategy from the Associated Press. It is hard to get any better than that. In fact, it was seeing that headline today that gave me the idea to conduct this campaign.
- For an extended period of time, several weeks if necessary, having as many people on the internet as possible embed a hyperlink to the chosen article whenever they use the word McCain, John McCain, Senator John McCain, McCain 2008, or any other popular search term on McCain.H
- Having as many bloggers as possible place that same embedded hyperlink into the templates of their blog. Instructions on how to do this, and why it is important, can be found here. This will multiply the impact of any Googlebomb on McCain several hundred times. This process is also helped if people on community websites place the appropriate embeded McCain hyperlink in the signature line of their user interface.
- Monitoring the progress on the current McCain Googlebomb until it moves into the top five results on McCain in Google. Once this is accomplished, and it should only take a few weeks, we then start the process over again at step one with a different news article that tells the truth on McCain.
It is my goal is that this campaign will allow us to dominate articles on McCain in the top twenty Google searches on McCain. Hopefully, we can have tweleve such articles by Labor Day, 2007. By flooding internet searches on McCain with the truth about McCain, we can go a long way toward defining McCain’s image to the national electorate. And the best part is, we will do it with the truth.
At this time, I do not intend to conduct any other search engine optimization campaigns on potential 2008 Republican hopefuls. Frankly, I do not find any other hopefuls to pose a particularly serious threat to a potential progressive nominee (Giuliani ain’t gonna win the Republican nomination). While I am interested in conducting search engine optimization campaigns against Republicans in key House and Senate races, at this time we don’t know which races those will be. As appealing as starting early on 2008 congressional races may be, let’s give that at least a couple of weeks, in order to build up a useful record, before moving forward on that. I would also prefer if this project was handled by local bloggers who will cover local campaigns.
Let me say a quick word to Republican netroots activists about this campaign: please, join us. I know that the conservative and libertarian netroots does not like John McCain very much, as evidenced by the recent GOP bloggers poll that gave McCain a heavily negative rating on their “acceptability” scale (McCain finished behind only Hagel and Pataki). While I know a lot of you did not like my Googlebomb campaign back in the fall, in this case we can join together in common cause to redefine McCain to the nation. Feel free to use articles that better express why you are upset with McCain.
Let me say a quick word to the established media about this campaign: watch and learn. The coverage of the Googlebomb campaign during the 2006 elections was extremely negative, so much so that I had to pull the plug on media interviews about it during the final two weeks of the campaign. However, while viewed negatively, this campaign is based entirely on directing people to factual reporting from established media outlets. Further, you have had the chance to define McCain in your mediums—now netroots activists will work to define McCain in our medium. If you have a problem with us spreading facts in our realm when you refuse to do the same in yours, then tough.
Let me say a word to Democratic candidates: don’t let this happen to you. I know quite a few of the high level internet consultants for Democratic presidential contenders, and I am confident that those people I know are already aware of the importance of this strategy to any online campaign. However, those campaigns, both Presidential and otherwise, who are not aware of this strategy, make certain that you protect your candidate’s image within search engines. This sort of campaign is not difficult to execute, and you can end up on the wrong side of a Googlebomb campaign if you do not protect your search engine flank.
Anyway, if you are reading this, I hope you are with me. Add “the truth about McCain “to your signature. Add John McCain to the template of your blog. Whenever you write about John McCain in a post, diary or comment, make sure to use the appropriate embedded hyperlink. Let’s draw the line on John McCain’s image, and let’s draw it now. Let the “internets” ring loud and clear with the truth.