How to Make Politics 'Cool'

From the Tuesday’s edition of the Argus Leader:

The once-in-a-decade process of redrawing legislative districts can be an eye-glazer, and officials are trying to figure out how to make it cool – or at least interesting to everyday residents.

and…

As with legislative issues, (Sen Deb) Peters still is looking for a creative way to get voters interested in redistricting.
“I’ve been doing politics for seven years. I have not yet found one answer to get the public involved,” she said.

Read it all here.

After reading the story I went to my group of non-political junkies types and got their opinion.  Their reaction was, “Politics is boring.”  They would rather talk about the weather, watching grass grow maybe even time how long it takes for paint to dry.  Which is far more exciting than anything any politician has to say.  Some of them have been saying the same thing over and over for a very long time.  To liven up the discussion we bring in sports.

Maybe some sports will liven up politics, football anyone?

This is summer, maybe some Baseball?

What a catch!

There is nothing like that final full court shot at the buzzer

Be honest, while watching those clips where any of you thinking at all about politics?

Back in November, and again in March, I suggested on this very blog, that lawmakers at every level, should make an effort to reach out to the people they serve. Here are a couple of ideas for summer time.

  • Have a Saturday morning pancake feed at the local park
  • Throw a couple of racks of ribs on the grill and invite a half a dozen residents or so non-politico types over, for a potluck cook out.  Pop the top on a couple of cold ones and listen what they have to say.
  • Invite a couple of families to The Hartford Steak co. (or other local establishment) and do the same.
  • Go door to door Friday / Saturday evenings.  You did it during the campaign, and you listened, you can do it again.(not to mention it wouldn’t hurt come re-election time)

The people have things to say to our legislators and they want to be heard, maybe more than than our legislators want to hear them.   They want to be involved in their community, they just need to be asked, in person.

Don’t expect them to get as excited as they do at a High School football game.

10 Replies to “How to Make Politics 'Cool'”

  1. William

    The “cool” redistricting tool it mentions in this article is downloadable from a website run by Kathryn Gardow and Dave Bradlee, who has ties to the Congressional Progressive Caucus and their political action committee. He’s even got links to the DailyKOS and “Progressive Congress.org” on his web page. You can check it out here and see for yourself: http://gardow.com/davebradlee/redistricting/launchapp.html

  2. caheidelberger

    Cool? There’s no easy marketing trick. It’s just outreach, the hard work of goign door to door, hosting public events, and taking advantage of technology to make more info available to interested citizens. Does Deb Peters have a legislative blog? Does any member of the Legislature?

    Bernie Hunhoff does a good job of taking the pulse of a section of his constituents on Facebook. Are any other legislators using technology so avidly to stay in touch and promote conversation?

  3. Troy Jones

    Of all the issues to invite public involvement, redistricting has to be the worst. I consider myself a political junkie and this is more thought in redistricting than I thought I’d give. The only people who care are those who want to get elected.

  4. Duh

    The only politics that are interesting to people is politics that directly effect that person.

    Case in point: our lovely “don’t spend a dime on anything” SF resident Terese Stahley who torched a much needed indoor pool on 10th and Cliff for a goofy animal, lazy river outdoor pool which gets used less than 2 months a year and really has no place to actually “swim”.

    When another indoor pool project was brought up at Spellerberg Park, Stahley said that she wasn’t against it since it wasn’t in her neighborhood. I guess she only wants fat, bored, miscreant and lethargic kids around her area… That still torks me off, how shortsighted.

    1. duggersd

      Ms Stahley may have led the effort, but as I recall the election, there were a lot more people who did not want that indoor pool/rec area than did. The vote was overwhelming. So to just blame her is not really fair. While I agree that the pool they did put in there makes very little sense in terms of being a swimming pool, it also is the kind of pool that people seem to want to go to. I wonder if there are any figures comparing Drake Springs to Frank Olson pool. I would not call an indoor pool “much needed”. It might have been “much wanted” by a few residents, but not needed. Cannot agree with you on this one bud.

  5. Charlie B. Hoffman

    Jones and Heidelberger this is the first time I have read and agreed with both of your posts thinking the same thoughts. My thoughts as a taxpayer and citizen of SD are almost always those of wanting to be left alone in my own little world of work and play as long as I am not interfering with anyone else’s little world. Let us all hope the smart ones don’t start injecting their own cerebral futuristic thinking upon us.

    First on the docket is getting rid of the socialist president we have now and installing anyone who considers my way of thinking on every bill they vote for!!

    1. MC Post author

      The system will moderate on it own, to help cut down on spam. Next time it happens just E-mail the author and they can approve the comment.

  6. Charlie B. Hoffman

    MC I was being a bit facitious. I actually love this new format and find it much easier to not only see my typing as I type but to find other posts quicker.