I’ve waited a long time for a period of time in which most people are as obsessed with all things political as I am.  And not just self-serving politics, but, of course, a politics that serves everyone.

Matt Stoller, a blogger at Open Left, is attending the Personal Democracy Forum.  In a post today, he explained that he was hanging out with a man named Tom Steinberg, a civic engagement guru from England.  Steinberg’s enthusiasm led Stoller to reflect on the ramifications of a society leaning toward a wide-scale embrace of politics.  I got goosebumps reading it, as it sure resembles what I would like to see in the near future.

I’m going to guess that a good amount of 21st century campaigning will look like the 19th century, with a politicized business community, much stronger local political machines, and engagement levels at 80% or 90%.  Local debating societies, nonprofits that do service work and voter turnout, and a blurred line between government and politics are probably in the cards.  As social media and public spaces increase in importance in our culture, they will dominate our politics.  Right now, internet campaigns take people who like public spaces, harvest their time and money, and use it to target those who want consumer politics.  What happens when politics takes place entirely in social public spaces?

That last question is a great one to ponder; I can’t articulate a vision quite yet.  Soon, though.  What do you think?

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