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Vital Signs of Democracy
We never thought in our life times we would be asking the question… “Will democracy in America be threatened?” but here we are. At the Story Studio we look at the stories we tell about the now and future that include challenges like climate change, racial justice, and income equity. We do this in an effort to shape a more generative narrative about our future, rather than the dystopian one we show ourselves in our films, TV series and video games.
Following the 2020 election the news and our data told us that democracy in America was under attack. Claims the President Biden did not win the 2020 election, bogas voter fraud and racial hatred required us to focus first on our current story of “democracy.” If we did not have democracy in America, mitigating climate change, racial justice and income disparity did not stand a chance.
Some claim that the national polls clearly show that a majority of Americans (65-70%) agree on wanting democratic norms to flourish in this country. This majority is made of moderate conservatives, independents and liberals. It does not include the fringe folks on either side of the political spectrum.
The issue is however... the MAGA Republicans seem to have no interest in attracting the majority of Americans to their cause and the Democrats are seemingly lost in their progressive haze not knowing how to attract moderate conservatives to their narrative. As a result, we feel the majority of Americans is not awake enough yet to the dangers we face. Our intentions for the Vital Signs of Democracy project are to give this majority a voice.
We primarily look at the news from all sources when we shape our stories about the now and future. When we looked at how the challenge to democracy was being reported on, we saw very fractured coverage that left most of us wondering what the overall state of America democracy was. This confusion also resulted in a kind of paralysis that left us feeling hopeless and fearful. Some suggested that our confused state was being intentionally created so we would not take action.
We begin our Vital Signs storycatching with a series of interviews with leaders in politics, economics, technology, media, social culture and spirit. We are titling this series “What America Do We Want?” (see below for more detail) These interviews generate the themes we analyze and rate for Vital Signs.
The Vital Signs meter reflects what we find as we analyze individual new stories on elections, our system of checks and balances, the role of corporations, and rulings of the courts. We then give each a rating given the level of threat it suggests and then aggregate the individual article scores into a weekly master rating of how we are doing. This master rating is displayed on Vital Signs meter. (see below for more detail)
We postulate that if American’s have a clear idea of how particular events being reported in the news are influencing whether we chose democracy or not in the next years, they will have a better idea of what they could do about it IF they don't like what is emerging.
The results of our AI NLP analysis and the ratings we give articles are also used as conversation starters in the Vital Signs global MeetUP group that permits citizens to decide for themselves if democracy in America is threatened based on what we are seeing in the news from all sources and our AI NLP analysis.
What America Do We Want - Deck
This is a short deck that spells out the intentions of the “What America Do We Want” interviews series with leaders in politics, economics, technology, media, culture and spirit.