We've long made the case that when you're Wedged, you've been manipulated into losing sight of your own political priorities, for two reasons:
- You are fooled into thinking emotionally resonant "wedge issues" are a very high priority for you; when forced to prioritize, these fall below other issues
- You are fooled into believing that your priorities for the nation are in fact very different from those of other political stripes--when in reality you actually have a lot in common
Having sight of one's political priorities is important for many reasons. The most obvious reason is that it helps you pick a candidate that actually aligns with the issues in a way you do, rather than the one that's gotten you most emotionally excited. (Consider, for example, no matter who you voted for in 2016, how many people did or might tell you, "they're not really looking out for you." See also: guns and religion, etc.)
In the past, we've encouraged you to take on a mental exercise of prioritizing the issues you care about via force-ranking (a numbered list) or, more aggressively, by determining how much more important is #1 than #2, etc.
However such an exercise is a bit abstract and lonesome. Doing it alone doesn't do too much good for the world (however useful it is for your own sanity and clarity).
What's that, you say?
Someone built a guided, nationwide prioritization survey?
One designed specifically to help you bust through the wedge and get down to what's really important?
What's Your American Dream?
One of our sister organizations, The Chisel, is conducting the American Dream Survey. (They do other great work, too, in facilitating citizens to work together to build broad-spectrum solutions to our biggest problems and ship them off to Congress.)
The survey guides you towards articulating your vision and priorities in every aspect of American governance we can imagine. It was designed with professors from leading Political Science departments to make sure the methodology was sound and the wording helps your brain think, rather than react emotionally.
We strongly encourage everyone to take it. It will help you better understand your own priorities, but just as importantly, it will help flesh out a strong picture of what American priorities and values really are. In an age of hyperpartisanship and hysteria, this is more important than ever.
It's rare we come across anything political that we think is a good use of your time. This is a great use of your time. If you've read this far, go take a few minutes to take the survey. It's satisfying, it's important, it's enlightening, and it's a much better use of your time than commenting on your high school buddy's politically tone-deaf Facebook post.
Let us know what you think and what you learned in the comments. Share the survey with your friends and colleagues. We may actually be able to build the de-Wedged picture of what Americans really care about--and we at ReConsider are very excited that such a thing is finally possible.