On Tuesday, Clarity Campaign Labs has unveiled a tool that uses seven simple questions to help average Americans find the community where they would feel most at home. Users can simply click this link right here, choose the state you want to live in, answer a few quick questions on topics from climate change to gun control and viola, you'll know where you should hang your hat.
Because the team at Clarity Campaign Labs pulls data from the National Voter File Coop and TargetSmart Communications, you don't have to worry that these results have been calculated using 2,000 people who were home during the day. They're taken from "tens of thousands" of people, nationwide.
According to Dan Castelman, co-founder and Director of Analytics for Clarity Campaign Labs, the purpose of the tool is to bring people together. "We believe it’s valuable for people to understand how properly utilizing even small pieces of data the right way can deliver powerful results. This tool provides a fun way for people to see that there are folks who share their views across the country." If only it could show people that political disagreements do not a mortal enemy make.
At the moment, though, it's the Democrats and other progressive organizations who are taking the CCL up on their services. That's probably because CCL is unabashedly left-leaning. When we asked them why each of the prompts in their survey seemed to reflect a liberal ideal as opposed to a conservative one, (for example, the statement is phrased "There should be more restrictions on purchasing and carrying guns." as opposed to "Gun rights should be a higher priority than they currently are."), representatives from the company said, "Clarity Campaign Labs believes in moving the country forward. We provide advanced modeling and analytic services to Democratic campaigns, labor unions, charitable groups, and other progressive organizations and corporations."
In other words, even the people who collect your data are not impartial. The data itself is impartial, of course, since, at least to my knowledge, numbers still can't lie. And the tool itself is pretty neat no matter which side of the aisle you're sitting on.
The tool goes live at a very interesting moment in American culture as the United States is increasingly a country of polar opposites. More and more, Democrats and Republicans seem less interested in getting things done than they are in besting their ideological counterparts. Tax cuts for businesses, same sex marriage, illegal immigration, marijuana legislation: these divisive issues are all on your elected official's scorecard, and they're determined to win each and every one of them. Regardless of whether they're conservative or liberal, politicians don't seem to care about creating solutions that everyone can be comfortable with; they care about winning.
And you know what, America? It's entirely our fault. Every stupid squabble, every refusal to negotiate, it's a reflection of the divided nature of our society. Politicians are scuzzy jerks, that's not up for debate, but they're scuzzy jerks who understand that their job is dependent on making their constituents happy. Republicans act like guns are all you need and Democrats pretend to care about the disenfranchised not because they actually care, but because that's what they think the voters want from them.
How can he be so sure, you ask? Here's how: when they received a clear mandate from the American people, Congress managed to drop their petty differences and get on the same side of the aisle, delivering a unanimous vote to improve care for American veterans. To this writer, that means that the days, months and weeks the public spends watching politicians bicker about inane things that don't have an impact on most people's day-to-day lives could be better spent watching reality TV. Because when the fecal matter hits the rotating blade, politicians will buckle to the will of the American people without hesitation, each and every time.