John Cardillo, President and CEO of PsyID, an organization that analyzes public sentiment using social media as a bellwether, was interviewed by Glenn Beck on TheBlaze TV last week. Cardillo said his company’s analysis is not poll driven but instead is similar to eavesdropping on conversations at a party or being a fly on the wall listening to what people are actually saying from the heart.

Thus, what users on Twitter and Facebook are saying in their posts and tweets is a more accurate – and fascinating – barometer of how they really feel about today’s issues.

From Beck’s show page about the interview: “Looking at the behavior and remarks of 1,000,000 non-party affiliated Americans, John (Cardillo) has gathered remarkably telling data about what this segment of the population thinks about everything from the GOP to Senator Ted Cruz, the debt ceiling to the mainstream media.”

PsyID research reveals public sentiment on a range of topics. For example, in the course of the interview segment, Cardillo shared how “non-party affiliated Americans” really feel about the current state of politics.

Is the tea party dead? How well is it being executed? How successful is it at beating back the media narrative?

Cardillo noted that defunding the GOP is a popular meme, not surprising given widespread dissatisfaction with the Republican Party’s seeming inability to gain ground, and since Beck has been urging his audience for several weeks to use #DefundTheGOP on their tweets.

Non-party affiliated voters view the GOP as being in trouble. Are they favorable toward a third party concept? Do their comments indicate they think the country moving right or left? Is the progressive movement growing or shrinking?

Of the Top 50 right-leaning influencers in social media, Cardillo said the results took him by surprise.

“You were number 29 out of 12,000!” he told Beck. “To have a cable personality with clear political leanings to be that high on the list did surprise me. And then Freedom Works was maybe two or three under you.”

When asked by Beck where the GOP fared by comparison, Cardillo replied, “The GOP was about 20 or 30 under you guys,” adding their research shows establishment candidates are not generating any excitement. “No one wants to give them money, no one wants to get out there for them.”

Feedback gleaned from monitoring social media also measures what people are saying about social issues and their level of importance in political decision making. And what kind of impact ObamaCare is having on people’s awareness. “It’s waking them up,” Cardillo noted.

How do people perceive Texas Sen. Ted Cruz? Is it better for him to leave the Republican Party or stay?

What are people saying about the GOP leadership? Specifically Rep. John Boehner (do they trust him?); Sen. Mitch McConnell (does he differ from Senate Majority leader Harry Reid?); Sen. John McCain, and Sen. Lindsey Graham? Are they big government statists?

What are people’s sentiments about the 2nd Amendment and the debt ceiling increase? The NSA surveillance? The mainstream media? How is Fox News perceived?

Cardillo said his analysis shows, “We are on the winning side — these aren’t polls, we’re just listening to what people are talking about.”

Watch the edited interview to hear the answers and more. To view the entire segment, subscribe to The Blaze.

Foibles and funnies

“The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” – Sun Tzu

With his approval rating sinking into the 30s, the ridicule of President Barack Obama is ramping up, as pundits and photoshoppers step up their game to reverse-play the Alinsky tactics modus operandi employed by Obama and his supporters. Specifically:

Rule #5 – “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

Rule #12 – “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Getting a lot of traction this week, this photoshopped TIME magazine cover of Obama, The Tea’s alternative to TIME magazine’s cover of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie that featured his bulky profile accompanied with the headline text: “The Elephant in the Room.”

Glenn Beck’s “Wizard of OZ” monologue on his BlazeTV program last Wednesday also got plenty of play on social media. Not long after the skit aired, this popped up on Beck’s Twitter page and was quickly retweeted and marked as a “favorite” by thousands of Twitterers:

The wayback machine

Writing about magazine covers reminded me of a site that hosts online copies of all LIFE magazines.

The advertisements alone are a source of fascination and a window on the life and time of days gone by. Compare this to today’s ads for smart phones!

On a whim, I clicked on the Jan. 30, 1950, issue. In it – a report on the Whittaker Chambers/Alger Hiss trial: “The Verdict: Hiss Did Lie,” in which “Alger Hiss was found guilty on two counts of perjury – he lied when he denied giving secret State Department papers to then-Communist spy Chambers in 1938, and he lied when he said that he had not seen Chambers after Jan. 1, 1937.”

It’s a look back at our history, unblemished by those who seek to deny it today. It’s also fun to read the magazine that was published the week you were born and read about what was happening in the world you just entered.

Happy anniversary!

This edition of Surfin’ Safari marks the fifth anniversary of writing this column. We began on Nov. 13th, 2008, and the topic? TV on demand – the merging of television and computer.

Thanks to publisher Joseph Farah for the opportunity to showcase what’s happening on social media in the world of politics, entertainment and current events. And to my editor Drew Zahn, who does a great job spiffing up my work. And last but not least … thank YOU, loyal readers!

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