Friday, October 13, 2006
Boy, That's One Fascinating Bellybutton
Blue Girl's got an absorbing set of posts up, replying to Tom Watson's exhortation to her and Mannion that we bloggers of Left Blogsylvania should, in this the runup to the election, be using the Inexorable Power of Our Prose to demonstrate the Righteousness of Our Cause.
Blue Girl makes the rather unassailable point that anybody likely to be a Blue Girl reader is also highly likely to be congenial to her politics, and that no argument she can make is likely to sway anyone away from their deepest prejudices. I would apply the same reasoning to the Friendly Confines in which you find yourself now; my careful eschewal of words like "wingnut" and "Rethuglican" have kept this humble blog far from the prying eyes and Technorati searches of those who merit these terms of endearment. (Oops!)
I'm not a researcher, or a teacher, or a student of political science. Besides the occasional satirical squib or horrified observation, I have very little to say in the political sphere that would enlighten, instruct or convince anyone who hasn't already decided about who he or she is voting for in November. And there are many, many, many others who "do" Politics far better than I possibly could.
"But there is turnout. Check that. There is only turnout," sez Tom, and he's absolutely right. But I would put it to him that demographic reality argues against my whooping and hollering about turning out the vote in these pages. A very rough analysis of my Statcounter numbers shows that about half of my "serious" visitors (i.e., not horndogs searching for pictures of Kate Hudson in toothsome repose) come to this blog from overseas. The other half come from every state of the Union -- including many in which the outcome of the midterm election is in no doubt whatever.
It's also worth noting in no uncertain terms that the Blogosphere is a mighty deceptive place. You jump in here, start yakking, and people start yakking back at you, and suddenly you're convinced that everybody in the whole world is in here with you. The truth of the matter is that there are millions. And millions. And millions of voters who don't even use computers, let alone haunt Left, Right or Center Bloggostan looking for a reason to vote.
There, Tom, is your Turnout.
Blogs are Global. Turnout is Local.
With something like this thought in mind, a couple weekends ago I marched up to the Jim Webb tent at the Lovettsville Octoberfest, buttonholed a woman with a clipboard, handed her $100 and allowed as to how I'd like to volunteer. I put my daytime, evening and cell phone numbers down on a signup sheet, told her I'd be happy to do phones, stuff envelopes, man tables -- everything except do door-to-door canvassing. (Bad hip and near-pathological aversion to Real Live People. 'Nuff Sed.)
I never heard back from her.
A friend of mine who's heavily into the local Democratic Party machine told me Webb's campaign is pretty disorganized. So be it.
So I'm trying again.
Wish me luck.