Hey guys. Been along time. Yes, you're right, I do suck. No seriously, I missed you too.
It's not you, it's me. I'll try to do better. Yep, I promise.
Now that that's out of the way... we are just 6 short day away from the midterm elections. The President is jet-setting across the country trying to help reluctant democrat candidates make their case. New York Magazine has blasphemed by suggesting the viability of Palin running for president in 2010. John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are alive with the sound of ridicule. And Rachel Maddow is once again turning me on. (Okay, so she never really stopped).
While most people were busy gearing up for the fall/winter sports season, the nerdiest of of us were engaging in the equally competitive show of strategy, manipulation, and narcissism known as election politics (even LeBron could learn a thing or two from these guys). And while I have been getting my rocks off watching/reading/listening to political coverage 24/7 over the past few weeks, I'm still, sadly, more engaged with the national ramifications of this election season (yes, the outcome of these midterm elections will in fact set the tone for the 2012 Presidential election), than with educating myself on the my local races. Tsk, tsk, tsk. I should be ashamed...
And I would be. If it weren't for the grace of a great little political cheat-sheet site made possible by the folks over at VoteSmart.org. Vote Smart has spent the last 20 years translating political rhetoric and overcomplicated legislation to the average Joe hoping to reengage the public with politics. And they do a damn good job. I should know, I'm a user - and a recent user at that. A few short hours ago, as I attempted to get in a little guilty pleasure time with Chris Matthews, it dawned on me that I didn't know who all my local candidates were this year. I promptly muted Chris (I can only take him in 15 minute doses anyway) and surfed on over to VoteSmart.org/voteeasy/#. There I encountered one of the greatest voter tools I've ever seen. It's a new interactive guide that helps you find the candidate who is most aligned with your ideologies on the issues. I swoon.
It's really remarkably simple. First, choose your state. Then choose your district (don't worry - they'll help you find it). Then vote the issues - abortion, Afghanistan, crime, economy, education, guns, healthcare, immigration, social issues (read: gay marriage), social security, taxes - and voila through the magic of data collection and coding, your perfect candidate emerges from the long list of potentials. It really doesn't get much easier than that. Ten minutes to find your candidate soulmate. If only love were so simple...
If you know anyone who is at the border of becoming politically engaged but just needs a resource to get her up to speed...send them this post! There's also a great 9 minute video on the Vote Smart organization on youtube. Unfortunately, they won't let me embed. Frowners.
Peace and blessings people.