Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Test Post

Steve asked me to drop by over Thanksgiving and I thought I'd give the system a test drive having learned from this incredible article the importance of running a crash test before a big event.  Like a lot of you I spent the run up to this election canvassing (in my case for Elizabeth Warren) and then poll watching on the day.  Now that the election is over I only wish I had done more--gone out for one of those OFA internships, fought my way into joining the sociological data analysis they were doing, worked harder on the social media end of things.  Everyone wants to be part of a winning team but the professionalism and the thoughtful way this campaign was run seems to me to tell a larger and more important story about the importance of joining something larger than ourselves and of voting as the supreme act of civic engagement--not casting a vote, once every four years, but choosing to be a  political actor every day.

Over at dailyKos one of the most inspirational and thought provoking diaries I've ever read describes the linkage between ground game, community health, and voting as a social act. In "Vaccinating Old People For Democracy" the writer describes a multi stage process of bringing non voting, rural, Hispanic and Native American citizens out of their social isolation and into the political arena by using vaccination programs, community fairs, exercise programs, canning lessons and dozens of other innovative strategies.  But it all boils down to this: building community builds voters.  Becoming a voter is a byproduct of becoming engaged as a citizen with the issues of the day and of your own community.

It remains to be seen what happens to OFA and its incredible resources after this election cycle. But the diary I've linked to above indicates another way of organizing, from the ground up, that will, in the long run, be more important than any "day of" poll watching and GOTV.  We've seen a lot of handwringing about the gerrymandering of Republican districts and how difficult that will make retaking the house but I don't believe that has to be a foregone conclusion.  On the contrary I think there is an obvious Trojan horse hiding inside many gerrymandered districts--if the Republican party drew those district lines with the same set of beliefs that they ran the Romney campaign the Trojan horse is the existence of micro communities of potential democratic voters who were thought to be "unlikely" voters by the Republican party: elderly Hispanic, Native American, young women, other minorities, college students, etc..etc...etc...

Locating these voters, reaching people now, in advance of the 2014 election, and engaging them as citizen actors in everything from local debates about garbage collection to local parks issues is going to be what flips solidly red counties to blue and could lead to the 2014 elections being a banner year for the Democratic Party with respect to the house.  If we believe our domestic policies are better for the country and the voter--and I do--then this is the direction we need to go.


Victor said...


Love of my intertube life!

Glad you'll be filling in, while lazy-bones Steve, take another hiatus.
;-) Steve.

And how un-Republican of you to check to see if something actually worked before trying to use it.

I haven't said this in awhile to you, aimai, but, 'you're exactly right about what you just wrote!'

I'll be contacting my new Democratic Congressman, who defeated the odious Nan Hayworth(less), after he's sworn in, to see what the parties plans are in Dutchess Country, NY.
This district was the one which didn't support FDR in any of his 4 elections, and had the "R" Fish's, father and son, as our Congressmen, for what seemed like a century. Lately, it's been a "swing" district - Democratic in '06 and '08, until falling for that Teabagging twit, Hayworth(less). But we swung back, and I helped a little.

I'd like to turn this district into one that's permanently in the "D" column.

I'm glad you'll be filling in.

Not to blow smoke up your non-vaginal orifice below your waist - but I always love what you write.

And how you piss-off some of the other commenters at BJ!

Kathy said...

Aimai, well said!

Unknown said...

Excellent. I am ready to start working on turning the House in 2014 -- definitely an uphill battle in light of redistricting and the usual off year losses for the President's party. But if the economy improves substantially and the good effects of Obamacare kick in, and there's a successor to OFA that reaches people in the way that diarist describes, there's a chance.

After all, it was Bill Kristol who said that if the Dems pass universal health care that works, it's curtains for the GOP. Well they did, and with some effort, it will.

Batocchio said...

Good points, all.

Also – it's about time you started posting again. Did you really think you could fight the Man just with clever comments over at Alicublog and Balloon Juice? Liberal slacker. ;-)

Ten Bears said...

Avoid the "vaccinations" and you may be on to something. I sure as hell won't drive into to town to be poked full of chemicals. And wold care to make book on how long it'd take for the retards to turn it into "death panels"?

Nice to see you 'round here again.

aimai said...

You guys are nice. Its true I've been slacking. But look how effective I am? I stop blogging and Obama gets a second term--coincidence? I think not.