American major parties develop their own distinctive auras that are no less real for being intangible and unmeasurable. Whig and Democratic leaders were strikingly similar in such significant characteristics as wealth, occupational prestige, a fundamentally conservative social ideology, materialism, and opportunism. These similarities help explain why both major parties were attractive to moneyed men. But it is unwise to discount the significance of the unique blending of moral values and social philosophies that some imaginative historians have recently discerned in Whig leaders, a blending that helps account for the Whigs’ special appeal to one rather than another kind of individual.
Digital media played a much longer term role in creating favorable conditions for uprisings, helped to publicize key igniting events, and then facilitated those uprisings and their diffusion; but digital media did not do this alone or as suddenly as some observers have claimed. The story of the Arab Spring, according to Howard and Hussain , began over a decade ago as Internet access and mobile phones began to diffuse rapidly through North Africa and the Middle East. The citizens that could afford internet access, the wealthy and powerful mostly, played a huge role in the Egypt , Tunisia , and Bahrain uprisings . Over time, online criticisms of regimes became more public and common, setting the stage for the Arab Spring . Digital media also allowed women and other minorities to enter these political discussions, and, ultimately, the ensuing protests and revolutions as well.