Two weeks ago…it seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago. For me, this is the weirdest part about the place at which we’ve all arrived in the spring of 2020. Days seem to crawl by but they also blend together amid a swirl of daily tectonic shifts in the external world. It feels like I’m watching a movie about a riding a roller coaster in slow motion….you know the drop is going to be fast and scary, but there is a lot of time to think about it.
Two weeks ago I had an idea. It was an idea to try to bridge the gap between the 2020 I thought I lived in when the year began and the 2020 in which I now reside, part of the post COVID-19 world. I don’t think it was a bad idea but as I began to try to execute my vision of a “virtual tour” of the 435 congressional districts and started to produce pages I bumped up against a disorienting version of writer’s block in which I was having trouble keeping straight whether I was writing about the reality of yesterday, a fantasy of today or some fuzzy but hopeful version of the future. It felt like a weird flex capacitor time-travel moment.
Since then I’ve been wrestling with the answer to two key questions I learned by going through Seth Godin’s excellent altMBA program a couple of years ago. Who is it for and what does it do? For the first time, I think, since I restarted the Project to Find America last summer, I don’t feel like I have an answer to either of those questions.
My reason for investing time into this project, since the beginning, has been to try to impact the 2020 elections in a positive way – to get voters to think critically about what it is going to take to get Congress to function more effectively and vote accordingly in this summer’s primaries and again in the general election next fall. But while I still think this is a worthy goal, it isn’t at all clear to me when those primaries will take place or what the landscape of next fall’s elections will look like. Worse, I don’t think I could connect the dots between writing about the sites of interests in those districts and the elections due to take place in them even if I were more certain about the political calendar.
And thus, I think it’s time to pause this blog, I simply do not know how to help right now. That doesn’t mean this effort is over, I hope I’ll be back this summer or fall with something that I think I can do to help – but this is my last post about Congress, politics or government for awhile.