The effective use of communication has the potential to distinguish and set aside politicians as trustworthy and notable people.
Take the Federalist Papers as an example. Part of what gave the Federalists a lead over the Anti-Federalists was their ability and willingness to use modern communications, for them this meant pamphlets, to effectively communicate with the American mass public. As another example, take President Trump, who is known for his — though excessive — use of Twitter to communicate with the American people. This direct and seemingly transparent communication is historically seen to bode well with the American people.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, made history on the 20th of November with her appearance on the popular streaming service Twitch. She streamed with fellow politician Ilhan Omar, political leftist Twitch streamer Hasan Abi, comedic content creator Charles White (known as moistcr1tikal) and numerous other varied personalities, from musicians to YouTubers.
The Twitch stream lasted for over three hours, during which the odd group played non-stop the popular game Among Us. The video of the entire stream has now amounted over five million views, and while live, the stream peaked at over 430,000 viewers. According to AOC, the goal of the stream was to get more people registered to vote.
Most of the stream was surprisingly unpolitical, with much of it spent simply playing the game and having a good time. Though few policies or political theories were discussed, opinions were certainly swayed. Twitter had an explosion of activity, with users excitedly speaking about the unexpected Twitch stream and how revolutionary it was. And let me say, it was revolutionary.
Politicians have never spoken so directly and transparently to the American people. Sure, presidents have been live before, with a script and lighting and directors and a plan, and sure, Trump posts tweets which he has time to think about and write, but never has a politician become so exposed, relatable, and personal as AOC did with her Twitch stream.
Though the stream was met with an overwhelmingly positive response, some have targeted Hasan Abi for his ill-advised joke over a year ago about 9/11 which landed him a temporary ban from Twitch. Besides Abi’s old drama being again brought up, there is close to nothing negative to be said about AOC’s innovative stream. This very well might be the beginning of a new age of political communication.