Of course we can. The thing is we have to know where they are. One of the ways to do this is simply gather up the histories of the races in all the districts, look at the ballot tallies, investigate the candidates and make some decisions. Everybody knows the storied lessons of Florida, and Ohio. But the consequences of the 2010 midterms and the lack of any Dem leadership, as well as Republican party chaos that’s been enabled, have already turned a lot of voters off. With people hurting at home and alarmed at budget cuts they’d never seen or heard of before, my hunch is people will be looking for reasons NOT to throw out the bums. The pendulum is there to swing. We have to supply them reasons to throw out the bribers-in-chief and spread them far and wide to those who just might want to know. Retiring the authoritarian place-holders like Boehner or Cantor or Issa and replace them with candidates of conviction that will aggressively advocate things everyone can get behind. Like ending the wars, like prosecuting wall street criminals, like finding sunshine and limits for campaign finance, like reversing climate change and cleaning up the planet. Or always tie these arguments to local jobs that can be created.
Yes, first the basics. We need a national color-coded map online, one for Senate, one for House districts. The idea seems quite simple. An information clearinghouse. Each district, with a click leads to a start page for that district giving histories, candidates, incumbents and their voting histories etc., local issues or dynamics etc. All politics is local so there always is local dynamics that play heavily into traditional inclinations and also can reveal trends for bucking. Local district contributions should always be welcome in showing light on what’s going on in a district. The more inclusive ideally, the more people will want to contribute shedding light on what representation means to them etc.
If I were a university professor of poli sci I’d ask a grad seminar to make one. But it is a national project perfectly suited for the internet. Maybe hire a one-off graphic designer or webtech to help set it up, but it looks to me like quite the community here at FDL who could quite readily fill such a resource up and keep it going. Maybe a real trick would be to keep it free from hooie and trolls and such.
But we have to know at the outset where to target any resources to accomplish greatest effects electorially. And despite the uncertainty with how many districts will end up after the results across the country redrawing districts as a result of the 2010 census, the right will have a similar disadvantage. Even if they have a greater hand in drawing those districts with so many Republican Governors elected in 2010, they don’t know any better than we do how the people will actually vote.
If indeed, we can get the rightward swing voter asking the question in the title of this diary, then the pendulum will already be in motion. So, where should we be talking to people? And what will we tell them?