Heard on All Things Considered this afternoon, a story about a new non-profit signing up "Christians" who are not registered to vote - to vote for conservative candidates who will uphold God's law. How does "United in Purpose" know who is a Christian, that such a person is unregistered, and what kind of Christian they are (so that confused people who think Jesus was a socialist and meant what he said about the poor, the hungry, the sick don't end up registered by UIP)?
Welcome to the wonders of data mining, in the form of a database financed by "Silicon Valley conservatives", containing (so far!) 180 million people in the US. UIP
buys lists to build a profile of each citizen, and then assigns points for certain characteristics. You get points if you're on a pro-life list or a traditional marriage list. You get a point if you regularly attend church or home-school your kids. You get points if you like NASCAR or fishing.So if you don't fish, loathe NASCAR, send your kids to public (or even private) schools, believe that marriage is for everyone and are pro-choice, you are not "serious about your faith".
"If [your score] totaled over 600 points, then we realized you were very serious about your faith," Dallas says. "Then we run that person against the voter registration database ... If they were not registered, that became one of the key people we were going to target to go after."
Read the entire thing on the NPR site (or listen when the audio goes up). I don't know what's the worst aspect of this story: the featured "champion" (as they call their volunteers who call up or knock on the doors of people they consider good prospects) Tea Partier who is hoping for a "Red Sea experience" where god will "wash those people out that don't belong in office. And that's what keeps me going." Or the whole concept. The only thing that is encouraging is the epic fail that was reported by NPR (everyone listed as unregistered in Florida - everyone! WAS registered; in Ohio, no one would sign up with the Red Sea lady).
Is this something to be scared of for the 2012 election (UIP wants to register millions....)? am I the only one to be upset at being profiled like this? ...of course I would love to be called by a "champion" so I could tell them off!