When men first went into orbit, we witnessed the birth of a new technology soon to become more a staple of life than an eccentricity. We developed miniaturized computers. The original astronauts carried computers into space having the “mechanical/mental agility” of what’s now a ninety-nine cent calculator placed at the check-out to get another buck. Today there’s more computational power in a wrist watch than Charles Babbage (“Father of the Computer”) could ever conceive.
This is the bane of government in absentia such as we possess or are dispossessed by. Technology’s power expands exponentially in its usefulness as its size decreases. We can enter the halls of government and see what’s really going on in our name. We may not be able to see the gangrene in a politician’s character and soul but we do have the ability to see his participation in the legislative process.
Conversely, with proper stresses placed on the person in power (representative/senator alike) we could remove government from behind the self-serving veil of secrecy in place. It’s there because we couldn’t travel the great distances and expend the funds necessary to express opinions in person. We could require the government to be directed by men and women, while still at home in their districts, to meet electronically, cast ballots and conduct business from the locale the people exist and live in. The representatives would be at the beck and call of the citizen; literally. There’d be no more separation of power from the people.
Representatives would be accessible. They’d be approachable. They could be held accountable because they’re no longer removed from the people put them in power. Washington DC would become a figurative seat of power remanded to the custody of the Smithsonian.
Addictive tradition really holds people back from controlling government. We’ve always known one system. We’ve developed nostalgia we feel comfortable with. But, there’s also the chance our comfort zone is more like an addiction. We accept it because it’s comfortable. We’ve done it repetitively, allowing the extended feeling because there’s no conflict presented to us. Changes can be disturbing.
There’s an old saying; “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got”. There’s always the chance change will produce discomfort. That’s why alcoholics drink and junkies do drugs. Whenever an addict tries to quit, the sense of discomfort overpowers the will to succeed and the addict goes back to bad habits. He’s uncomfortable with his “drug-free” condition and returns to what was comfortable. The lack of what’s killing him discomfits him while what makes him comfortable is killing him. It’s not because the addict enjoys the substance killing him, he dislikes the discomfort of being without it.
The same goes for big government and the people. People want things done for them. It’s easier to enjoy the alleged largesse of others than it is to work to exhaustion. Hard work isn’t always comfortable. But, people want those they select to represent them to do what they (the people) want; not what the representatives desire. In order to have a responsive government you have to interact with it regularly and in person; not just when election time rolls around and the incumbent needs your vote to feed the “power monkey on his back”. We need to see everything these folks do in our names.
People forget “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. The public’s complacency led to its displacement from directing its own destiny. It’s the public suffers. Unelected regulators/czars decide governmental interference in people’s lives and business. Unelected l bureaucrats combine their personal powers to garner more collectively. Money develops power; power finds more money. The illegitimacy of government’s birth becomes evident as you look at it with a jaundiced eye. This happened because we let it happen.
With electronic dissemination of information by and concerning government we could dissolve centralized government and move it back toward the people. If you can see, speak to and personally lobby a representative (while holding him personally accountable and aware of the personal consequences) because he can’t hide in Washington; you have a good thing.
Think about it.
Thanks for listening.