Thursday, October 23, 2008

Guest Post - Baldy in a Battleground - Episode 11

Consensus Trance

Here in this battleground state, our get-out-the-vote efforts begin officially on the 29th. We'll be contacting everyone who has self-identified as an Obama supporter and all the SuperDems that we didn't bother contacting during the campaign because they are, well, super. Every election they fly up to the polls, their blue capes just a-waving in the cool November wind. They cast their ballot for the Democratic Candidate, super-ly, and then fly off to their jobs at not-for-profits and American Apparel.

Thirty percent from these two groups of people will have already voted by Election Day, so we won't be contacting those people. Instead we'll be doing what the Republicans have historically done in this state so very well - we'll harass people into voting.

Up until this point, we've been contacting known regular/base and sporadic democrats as well as "persuadable" voters. Known/base dems are people who always vote democratic, but only in the "big" elections. Sporadics are people who vote, you betchya, sporadically. A persuadable voter is a person who has 1) recently registered, 2) voted both D and R recently, 3) not voted recently. 4) always voted R, but recently purchased How Would a Patriot Act? on

Now, maybe it's just me, but I find it pretty fucking disturbing that the campaigns of the two presidential nominees have access to what books I've been purchasing on I know it's just marketing as usual, but does this bother anybody else?

Everyone I've encountered on the campaign trail gets all Tom-Cruise-talking-about-Katie-Holmes about it, calling it wonderful, amazing, sensational. Sure, we're the good guy, and sure, we're using this information to get people to vote for the right candidate, but does this mean that the $20 I gave Obama went to purchasing my consumer history?

Hell, I would have told him for free.

The other day I read a bit about Consensus Trance. Charley Tart is a professor who writes on the subject. He says, "Together, human groups agree on which of their perceptions should be admitted to awareness (hence, consensus), then they train each other to see the world in that way and only in that way (hence, trance)."

Sounds like politicking at it's finest to me.

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