This short diary is a simple “report” on the results of the product of this discussion held earlier:
Given where we are today, how to sell people on civics? Is it possible to sell enough of them at this time to make the difference?
I don’t know, but today I’m asking that question and am very curious to hear the responses.
The idea in that diary essentially was, “how to motivate people?” given the generally poor alignment between expectations set during the campaign, and the product of the government post campaign. Sales type tactics were discussed as an analogy for advocacy techniques.
I went ahead and applied those over the last week or so.
After doing some of that advocacy, using the products of that discussion, aimed at convincing people that:
they need to do more civics
voting a party ticket is the best case scenario right now, largely due to GOP stated intent to further their cause of general regression, and track record of success getting that done
not voting Dem, or not voting at all, or voting GOP / third party, harms Progressives
are currently the only movement of size advocating for a “people first” economic policy, not the entrenched “third way”, “free market”, “Reaganomics”, cheap labor policy we have now.
I saw general success among progressive minded people. They didn’t always self-identify as such, but did see favorable economic policy alignment. The older the target of the advocacy, the more successful that set of things was.
Two exceptions were raised that appear to be more potent than our current messaging is capable of addressing:
I don’t have time for this crap
There is too much corruption.
Those people have tuned out. They do not appear to respond well to honest assessments of the state of things and what can happen. They are jaded, tired, stressed, experiencing high cost and risk lives, and generally need to prioritize what quality of life experiences they can have over civics.
Many of those people I spoke to were engaged to elect Obama, and did not see what they needed to see to continue to be engaged.
The hows and whys of that are for another diary. It’s absolutely not a blame game today. Not that at all. What this diary is about is making the case for continued support for a straight party vote being the best case, and about a greater commitment to civics in general, given the pressure we now face from Citizens United.
Let’s be absolutely clear on that. Commentary assigning blame is discouraged on this diary, and will be ignored. We can only move forward.
My devils advocate position is, “what if we need to experience more pain, for the reality of the civics to hit home?”
It’s a fair question, and one that has troubled me deeply as of late. It is plausible that the anti-people economic forces in play have mastered the level of manipulation needed to move their agenda forward, secure in the knowledge that the social regressives will vote against their economic interests because they have priorities wrong. Not letting the gays get married, for example, is worth letting the world burn kind of wrong
the rest of the people, who generally harbor economic desires and needs well aligned with progressive ideas, are easily convinced that the civic effort is futile, and they are best served by simply adapting to the new reality.
So there is that. What is to be done with these people?
And there it is again, the possibility that we simply need to experience a greater level of pain before these people, who generally decide elections, feel compelled to get involved in a material way. In very simple terms, they don’t believe it’s going to hurt enough to warrant the activity.
Many of you do. I do, but they don’t. What is to be done?