Every four years we must patriotically march into an in-closed booth and pen the fate of the country within a checked box. The weight of America – and therefore the world is cast between two extremes. Two prearranged meals. On one plate you have a chili and jelly bean salad. On the other you have a fudgesicle hamburger. Neither plate makes any sense, but the issues have already been prearranged. Your choices in this schizophrenic salad bar are few.
But the decision making process doesn’t stop there. The dishes are taken to back, where a chef, known as the Electoral College, makes the final decision for you. So maybe you chose the Chili and jelly bean salad. You like jelly beans, but chili gives you gas. But hey, at least having gas is better than eating a soggy hamburger, right? Well tough luck, the chef decided that chocolate soaked burgers are his taste – so you better eat it or beat it.
What am I getting at with this extended metaphor? I’m asking this. Why, in this day and age, does “democracy” have to be representative? In the days of our forefathers, it made sense to choose a representative government. Could you imagine millions of American citizens being shoved into the white house to vote on every single decision?
If only we had some kind of system where American citizens could just stay at home, and yet simultaneously join together in an intellectual cloud to cast their votes. Oh wait…I think that’s called the internet.
What if we had a governmental system in which every citizen was permitted to vote on every issue? According to the latest data on http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm, this year 78.3 % of Americans are wired to the internet. That represents a 151% increase from the year 2000. If the trend continues, in ten years almost everyone will be on the internet.
Imagine this: once a week a citizen is e-mailed a new issue to vote on. At this juncture of my argument, one might protest that the language of a bill is entirely complex for the average citizen to understand. Have you ever seen a bill? To read one you need ten lawyers and a microscope.
Yet here is my counter argument: Bills shouldn’t be impossible for the average person to read. Current transparency laws allow any citizen to read any bill that they wish. Yet the bill is usually so convoluted that the average citizen has no hope of understanding it.
My proposal is to have the citizens of an Internet Democracy write the bills themselves. The internet democracy will work much like an internet forum. The most popular bills will be voted to the top of the list for everyone to read, while the least popular will remain at the bottom. If you frequent the website Reddit.com, you’ll be very familiar with this system.
In an internet democracy, all users will be anonymous to promote honesty and prevent corruption. In this day of mass media conglomerates, too many voters are influenced by appearances alone. Don’t you feel uncomfortable when a politician is considered a viable candidate for vice president because of their status as an Alaskan beauty queen?
Also, to further prevent corruption, social security numbers as well as birth certificates will be registered with each username to insure that an actual person is voting – and not a spambot.
Doesn’t this give away too much personal information? Isn’t this incipient to the creation of a “big brother” state? Well, consider this. The government already has all of your personal information. Also, you’re about ten years behind if you’re not aware of the Patriot Act.
The last argument I anticipate about my proposal is that it could be easily corrupted. Because of course we don’t live in an age where politicians are the paid puppets of corporations, and they certainly don’t register dead people to cast votes; Also, Florida has never hid a massive amount of votes under the rug so a certain member of the Bush family and friend of Haliburton could enter office.
For the first time in history, we’re in an age where an actual democracy is possible, and less than a few clicks away. Total anonymity will cloak biases against race and gender. The merit of the issues will speak and not the drama of politics. Forever gone will be the two party system of jelly bean chili and sog burgers. Or as Trey Parker and Matt Stone said, “a douche and a turd sandwich.”
There may be trolls, spambots, and 4chan lurking in the shadows of a future democracy – but I say that corporate funded politicians are already the biggest trolls of all. Let us ban them forever from the server of justice, and create a clean system where the most popular meme will be democracy, and the greatest internet trend will be justice.
Sic Semper Tyrannis.