July 07, 2003
"A" for Effort
Well, I think MSNBC has hit it on the head. You can probably split the American electorate in half.
There are those who are political junkies, on both side of the aisle, who devour every tidbit of news out of the nation's capital and make their voting decisions based on their own interpretation of the President's performance.
And then there are those who've long since conceded that the daily workings of our democracy isn't something they either can or should follow in much depth. They make their voting decisions based on how the President makes them feel. Policy complexities be damned.
Now, arguments can be made that both are equally valid ways to pick a President.
But, of course, one of those arguments would be utterly false.
After all, there are plenty of con men who can make you feel like the Queen of Sheba while their sending you to an unmarked plot in the Potter's Field. Ignorance is only bliss while you still have a roof over your heads.
The problem with representative government is that it only works if the electorate is actually paying attention to what their representatives are doing in their name. Otherwise, how is it different from a monarchy? In the three-branch system of government established in the Constitution, the people themselves are the ultimate check on government power. Isn't it time we used it?
Watching The Watchmen
So, if the government is going to keep a close eye on you to see if you're the next John Walker Lindh, then these jolly fellas at MIT think it's all good and dandy for you to keep an eye on them to see if they're going to become the next Nixon Administration.
Total Information Awareness?
Meet GOVERNMENT Information Awareness.
Here's a website where, not only can you get information about public officials, you can actually POST whatever it is that you know about these government officials as well. So, if you're Trent Lott's secret octaroon love-child, you don't have to wait for the Washington Post to find you.
Of course, the creators of GIA say they have no intention of editing or censoring anything that anyone has to post, so lots of madcap antics will ensue.