Digitalize our Democracy – Now!

6 April 2011

The man Rush Limbaugh affectionally called “Mr. Newt” must be smiling now. His brilliant idea of shutting down the U.S. government in a stand off with the Democrats over the budget has risen, zombie-like, to walk the Land of the Free once again. Both the Dems and the Republicans are convinced that the American people will blame the other side for failing to budge from their entrenched positions. They can’t both be right — well, unless its a 50-50 split on the opinion poll. We shall see.

Meanwhile, I have a way out of this impasse. Downsize Congress, or right size it, or eliminate it all together. Why not? We’ve digitalized everything else in our society, why not our democracy? Just put every decision and every piece of legislation to a yes or no plebiscite. Disagreggate the budget into its components and make all the departments, including Defense, fundraise their budgets directly from the people. Want a new weapons system? Forget bribing your congressman with campaign contributions, convince me, Rupert Q Public.

Imagine going into the Capitol dome and, instead of seeing tassel toed lobbyists buying off our government, see a gallery stacked with servers, whirring away, tabulating our votes on everything from Medicare to Foreign Aid. You want it, pay for it.

How could it work worse than what we’ve got now?

Rupert Scofield


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