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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Reubin Askew, July 8, 1974. Interview A-0045. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Television has revolutionized politics

Askew believes that television has revolutionized politics, breaking up old constituencies and forming new ones. He hopes that the medium can reestablish the Democrats' grassroots appeal.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Reubin Askew, July 8, 1974. Interview A-0045. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Yes, but I also think that people are somewhat suspect of being packaged. I think a few years ago you could package a candidate, you know, like a bar of soap. I don't think that you can do that anymore, as much as you once could. There's always a certain element of it, but I think they are more interested in seeing a candidate in free discussion as opposed to just a commerical recitation. But television has obviously revolutionized politics in the country, because it's brought it into the home and you no longer have your delivery of large ethnic groups and large city groups, you know, in the traditional coalition that for many years held the Democratic party together. I think that it has had the effect of going into the home, and I think that these telethons have had a good effect, a positive effect, on the Democratic party. Because it is re-establishing the traditional grass roots appeal of the Democratic party to people and I think that's what the Democratic party has got to do. It's got to move more toward the center. I think that it has got to try to recapture the grass roots support that it has traditionally enjoyed and it must do so, I believe, based upon issues and hopefully avoid any proliferation of its party.