Super Swing Districts

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Wednesday October 26, 2022

In my corner of the social graph, when we talk about politics today, we tend to use a lot of moralizing language. A lot of emotive language. And that makes sense; overt fascist are repeating the strategy of using the right of trans people to, like, be alive, as a wedge issue to escalate to full-blown eugenics and antisemitism. There’s a lot of moral stuff and a lot of emotional stuff happening there.

But when we get down to it, politics is a highly technical discipline that requires a lot of work. You don’t need to just have the right opinion, you have to actually do a lot of math to figure out efficient ways to deploy resources, effective strategies to convince the undecided and to command the attention of the disengaged. It’s also adversarial: the bad guys are trying to do the same thing, so if you do find some efficient way to campaign, they will soon find out and try to dismantle it.

So while we might talk abstractly about “doing the work”, a lot of the work is tedious and difficult analysis of a lot of very confusing numbers. Not to mention the fact that it requires maintaining the tenacious mindset of a happy Sisyphus due to its adversarial nature. To be frank, I’m not great at either of those things.

Luckily, my uncle is. He is a professor of political science who — beyond the obvious familial bias I might have — I tend to think is a really smart guy with a lot of good ideas. More importantly, however, is that he does do “the work” I’m talking about here.

So here is some of that work: This is a slate of democratic downballot candidates for office across the USA who need your support right now. Specifically it is a carefully curated slate to maximize spend efficiency via the reverse-coattails effect, multiplied by finding the areas where there are the most overlapping high-leverage elections. You can read more about the specifics on the website, and the specifics of the vetting of the candidates bona-fides, but you can also just take my word for it and Donate Now via ActBlue. Just like... gobs of money.

Political fundraising is not really my wheelhouse, and I am not that comfortable doing it. I hope that we can stop this “democracy” machine from constantly falling apart all the time so I can work on fixing the other broken systems in my life like Python-langauge native application packaging for various platforms. But this one is really, really important. Many of these candidates are in pivotal positions that will help prevent authoritarians from seizing the actual physical mechanisms of elections themselves, and attempting a more successful coup in 2024.

So: donate now.