There have been a few news reports throwing the “behind-the-curtain” organizations trying to pull the strings of our government into the limelight. Today’s article in The Post and Courier titled “American Legislative Exchange Council has a hand in S.C. politics” by Stephen Largen and Robert Behre low the curtain back on the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC. ALEC is a private organization that has ties to writing or assisting in the authoring of legislative bills all over the country. One such bill in particular is the now infamous “Stand Your Ground” in Florida which has shoved ALEC into the light on the stage of infamy. Other articles to read exposing ALEC – “Martin Death Spurs Group to Readjust Policy Focus” by Eric Lichtblau, NY Times; “ALEC: The Behind the Scenes Player in the States’ Fight Against the Middle Class” by Miles Mogulescu, Huffington Post.
As Behre and Largen point out in the article, state representatives are starting to think twice now before pushing forward these bills from ALEC or similar corporate-backed organizations. This could be the most prudent action for many counts. First, do we really want an organization funded and run by business hacks and former government officials doing the bill writing for our elected officials? It’s bad enough that the lobbyist industry try to turn the tides in their favor throughout representative government. But now, they’re just plain old writing the laws as they see fit. Sure, the bills still need to be voted on. Yet, don’t we pay lawmakers to well, make the laws?
With the surge of outsourcing American jobs still occurring throughout industries, American government officials should take care allowing private organizations to do their work for them. The American populous could realize one day that the elected officials we expect to work for us in local, state, and federal governments are completely obsolete.
When our founding fathers created our representative government two and half centuries ago, it was to represent the citizens in a central location due to working Americans not being timely aware of impending legislation nor able to make the journey to have their voices heard. The fathers never imagined a world completely interconnected as it is now with the Internet and continuously connected consciousness with the home computer or smart phone.
Why do we need elected officials? Couldn’t we just allow these organizations such as ALEC to write the bills and have competing bills introduced into an electronic version of a House of Representatives and have the millions of voting-eligible Americans vote for them online? Less and less Americans are physically attending voting stations for whatever lazy excuse is imagined. But, they will “Like” an update from a friend they haven’t actually spoken to in decades in less time it takes to say “Well, I like that”. We could vote for laws just as easily. Imagine how much more streamlined government could be. Gone are the thousands upon thousands of elected do-nothings replaced with the true voice of the people – the people themselves.
Of course it could be a hard sell. However, just as our government was forged by a revolution. A new digital government could be forged by a technical revolution. This one would be waged with computers and broadband rather than muskets and broadsides.