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Ned Ryun on the Technology Divide

In case you missed it, an op-ed by Ned Ryun was featured in The American Spectator recently that tackles the fundamental question about how the GOP approaches voter contact.

“…the biggest gap we have with regard to databases and technology is not on the technical side. The real issue is whether the right will accept the idea that data and technology should be so integrated into our decision making, get-out-the-vote operations, and messaging efforts, that it becomes a part of our DNA.”

“Despite these disadvantages, the GOP can make up the data and technology gap in a relatively short time. There are naysayers, but I believe that with the right investment, the hole could be closed in less than a year. There is real talent on the right that can build the necessary tools. The fundamental question is whether conservative leaders will truly commit not only to gathering the data and building the tools, but to actually implementing them on a wide enough scale to make an impact. The best technology in the world means nothing until it can be placed in the hands of tens of thousands of grassroots activists.

“Technology is important. But being there is far more important. And by “there,” I mean in local communities every day, for years.

“Those on the left were in communities, developing personal relationships, giving a face and a human touch to everything they were working on, and quite frankly, showing that they care (the cynic would say their caring has ulterior motives, but at least they’re doing something). This last lesson is critical to understand: While we do live in the 21st century, with all its amazing technology, we are still social creatures who crave personal relationships, desire special attention, and want to know that we are unique. All the tools in the world won’t ever change this fundamental part of the human equation—though data, information, and technology can certainly reinforce it when applied properly.

Read the full column here.

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