Democrats are mounting a big canvassing effort at the end of this month and part of that outreach is targeted at religious voters.
As part of the Democratic Reunion campaign, resources have been made available to assist those canvassing their neighborhoods on behalf of the Democratic Party. A canvassing tip sheet at the website instructs volunteers to discuss the issues important to their neighbors and then lists things to look for in order to get an idea of what those issues are. The first two items listed are:
- Bumper stickers or window decals: What issues are brought up? Do they indicate issue preferences? Do they indicate particular values?
- Religious items: Do they have any religious items in view? What can you tell by the nature of their religious display?”
The tip sheet continues, “Take a quick look around. What do you see and what might it tell you about the person whose home you are visiting? What might each of the cues listed below tell you about the voters who live there?” Cues then listed include “religious symbols,” “U.S. flag,” “well tended flower garden” and “expensive car.”
Listed also on the tip sheet are various bumper stickers that might give the canvassers insight into the voters they will be addressing, including religious bumper stickers and even specifically the “Hate Is Not A Family Value” sticker.
After reading the canvassing tips, Pat Hynes, author of In Defense Of The Religious Right, said: “It is a testament as to how remarkably out of touch the Democrats are that they need to count the number of Jesus fish on the bumpers of cars to measure the values of their communities. Instead of spying on their neighbors to build their political databases, Democrats would be wise to darken the doorways of a church now and again and absorb some of the traditional moral values that play an increasing role in public life.”
Update: I tried to make the distinction in the piece between Democrats and Democrat leaders or politicians, but probably didn’t make it as clearly as I should have. I was referring to the party leaders and a strategy in the piece, so where I just referred to “Democrats” I was referring to the leadership of the party, not the little old lady down the street who has been a registered Democrat for fifty years and goes to church every week. I know that there are many church-going Democrats. Many of the ones I know vote for Republicans as often as Democrats, though, especially in national races, and I think that is what has the party worried.
Update II: HA! Go look at the picture John Hawkins found to depict a canvasser.