25 September 2012

Proposing a Reality Show: Political Proselytizing Made Personal

Billions are being spent to convert the undecided this election season. Sadly, it seems as though we missed the opportunity to watch this process made personal.

Imagine a reality show that tracked, say, 12 undecided voters from different regions of the country. You might have the urban agnostic libertarian who hates the right's religion and the left's government programs about equally. Or the guy who loves Jesus but not Joseph Smith and doesn't know whether it's worse to vote for a Mormon or a closet Muslim. The black religious conservative who is appalled at legal abortion or gay marriage.

There are a lot of reasons for voters to be undecided but how fun would it be to watch various folks - from local volunteers to "celebrity guests" like famous talk show hosts and politicians - come in and make their case for a vote for their team. Each week could close with poll numbers, showing how the success or failure of different groups is trending.

And if that worked, there could be a reality show starting with actual proselytizing. Folks who are looking for a church might go through a similar - but potentially much more confusing and varied - selection of menu items as members and spokespeople for various faiths came in to literally proselytize new members. And after that we could have shows trying to convert folks to become fans of particular teams, bands, fashion movements, lifestyles, or even reality shows, the medium turned in on itself in a sure-fire sign that it had gone full cycle and was ready to expire. Meanwhile, it could be kind of fun.

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