If you’ve known me for a great deal of time, you know my political views are in the middle of the road. That pisses conservatives and liberals off, and they usually have this snappy comeback for me: “The middle of the road? That’s where people get run over, you fool!” Actually, if you’re in the middle of the road, you should be safe. That’s where the dotted line is. It’s when you wander to one side or the other that you get hit.
They also tell me that I can’t complain about anything because I’m not a registered voter. The problem is, my vote ultimately doesn’t count, and it’s all due to the Electoral College. In case you slept through your U.S. History and Government classes, when you think you’re voting for president, you are actually voting for someone who will then vote for president. This is why elections are so fucked up, since they don’t represent the popular vote, but the special vote. This system was designed to make sure that only people of importance would be able to elect a president. (And by importance, they mean that these people have penises, don’t have dark skin, and are at least moderately wealthy.) As a result of this system, we have red states and blue states. I live in Illinois, and this state has not voted for a Republican since 1988. Therefore, if I vote Democrat, I’m wasting my time, since that’s the direction Illinois will go in anyway. If I vote Republican, I’m wasting my time because Illinois would never go for my guy.
Sorry, if I’m going to vote for president, I want to actually vote for president. I’m kind of weird like that. If they ever abolish the Electoral College and go by a popular vote basis—person to person, not state to state—then I will register as a voter and start voting right away. That’s never going to happen, though, because when politicians have power, they NEVER give it up. (Which is an indication of extremely poor leadership, by the way.) It’s funny, because in this day and age, we have absolutely NO NEED for the Electoral College. The argument could be made (if we’re feeling generous) that the EC was created because it would be hard to count all of those votes across 13 states. Why not just send a few delegates to decide the vote instead? However, we live in the Future, where many more things are possible. Communication is incredibly easy these days. We have the internet. We don’t need the EC.
I’ve always believed this. However, this article is not about the EC. It’s about obsolescence. We have to face a couple of facts. First of all, we can all agree that our government isn’t working properly, yes? And it’s all happened before. A lot of what’s going on now happened to Rome a couple of thousand years ago. Our country is ready to fall, maybe not in our lifetimes, but probably in the lifetimes of our grandchildren. This leads me to why I think the government is not working: it’s based on a document that was written more than 200 years ago, and it has not changed with the times. That is a completely inefficient way of running a country. Imagine if AT&T decided to stick to rotary phones when cell phones came out. Say they chose to ignore the internet when it came out. Where would they be now, in 2013? That’s right, out of business.
We need to update our government. We need to change. We need to adapt. Or we will fall like Ancient Rome.
Let’s take a look at the three branches of government. The Executive is fine. Any company needs a CEO, and America, Inc. would be incomplete without a boss. Let’s leave that one alone. How about the Judicial Branch? That’s fine, too. Justice always needs to be served, and they usually do a decent job at it. (I am uncomfortable with the fact that Justices are appointed by one man, and that they serve for life, but I don’t have a solution for that one. I’ll leave it alone for now, and maybe come back to it in a future Everyone’s Got One.)
But the Legislative Branch . . . THAT’S where the real problem is. It suffers from the same problem that the EC does: obsolescence. What are we taught when we are school children? That America is a democracy. Eh . . . that’s not quite true. It’s a republic. For democracy to actually take place, everyone needs a voice, not just a proxy voice.
It is easy to see why the Legislature exists. We needed to make laws, but there is just no way of getting everyone’s vote on things, not back in 1787, when the Constitution was adopted. As a result, we had to elect people who would speak for us, so we could send them to Washington, DC, to let our voices be heard.
We no longer live that way. We can get from New York to LA in 5 hours by airplane. We can talk to someone on the other side of the world by phone or computer in mere seconds. Communication has improved a thousand-fold since 1787. We no longer need to send people to speak on our behalf. We can speak for ourselves.
It’s time to abolish Congress. They have served their purpose, and they are no longer necessary. Instead, we can use the internet for something besides looking up cat pictures and weird porn. If you don’t have a voting machine in your pocket—ie. your phone—you at least have one in your home—ie. a computer. Let’s make this a real democracy. Let’s see what happens when everyone has power, not just a select few. Let’s vote on our own laws for the first time EVER.
Ah, but what about corruption? Well, there will always be corruption. There’s no way out of that one. You can only punish it whenever you uncover it. But the main problem with my proposal is that systems are so easily hacked. Your vote can be hijacked pretty easily, right?
So we’ll need something to take Congress’s place. (Besides, we need a three-pronged system of checks and balances. Executive and Judicial won’t cut it on their own.) Why not create the Technology Branch? Maybe elect two people—by popular vote, not by appointment—from each state to sit in on this project. Their job is to oversee everything online, to make sure no one cheats. Why so many? Because if we kept it to a small group, they can easily be bribed. To bribe a hundred people, on the other hand, takes some deep pockets. And with that many people involved, keeping it secret would be just about impossible.
This country needs to adapt to the times, or we’re all doomed. Granted, everything I outlined here will never happen, because politicians never give up power. Since Congress would have to vote for their own abolition, my proposal is absolutely impossible to achieve. The only way to get it done would be a bloody revolution, and that’s not going to happen. No, this country will collapse like so many other nations in the history of the world, and then something new will rise up. Maybe when that happens, someone will discover this post and think, hey, that’s not a bad idea.
What do you think? Do you have any better ideas? Let me know in the comments below.