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Elections and Democracy

  Democracy has now failed. The problem with democracy in this country is that we have been too stubborn to adapt to technology. Allow me to explain. To me, Democracy (and in our case, democratic republic) means that the will of the people should influence the direction and policy of the nation. In the past, when the country was founded, the best way to gague public opinion was the vote, since for someone in Florida to have their opinion heard in Washington took 2 weeks on horseback. We got comfortable with this system, and through districting we learned how to manipulate it. Since not everyone could make laws, the republic system made the most sense, your area chooses someone to represent you and trust they’ll act in accordance with your will. Now though, the world has changed and so has Democracy. Communication technology allows the will of the people within or outside the limits of districts to be known. Representatives are not chosen based on what they plan to do or how they will represent their people, but on how good of an image they can put on. They say what they need to say to get elected, then they do what they want and stop listening to their constituents. The election process itself has become a game, we refer to it as win or lose instead of selection. The ideal election should not be choosing who is “better” but instead which of the equal options is right at the time. The “loser” of an election simply was not selected, just like the chicken nuggets when you order a Big Mac.
  The party system shows how messed up the system is. The only way to get elected is to have the support of a party, and the party only supports one candidate. What happens if right now the two best candidates for the office are Hillary and Obama? What if more Republicans like Obama but more Democrats like Hillary, so it goes to Hillary and a Republican and the Republican wins? It’s a stupid system. The Primaries are basically an election to the head of a mass marketing firm. And it pitts people against each other; I think Mike Gravel is awesome since he’s so out of the box, but then he has to go out and bash his co-runners (like Obama, “Who would you bomb Barack?”) rather than work together to come up with better policies. Man, I’d love to see Obama/Gravel ’08.
  I’d like to see someone who is willing to implement a system to gague public opinion outside of the election. I’d like to see a president (or at least candidate) who is willing to say “I personally think more money should go to defense, but I have listened to the people as best I can and it seems people want money in health care and education, so I will work to make it so.” Who knows how that is done, using the polls that exist through the private media companies, by making new polls as best as they can, by working to actually personally read and respond to mail (ok, I know that’s not realistic), who knows. Clearly, ABC’s polls and their treatment of Ron Paul and Mike Gravel prove private media polls are worthless. Nevertheless, it is clear to me that choosing a president is abotu the same as choosing an American Idol, once they’re chosen we don’t really pay attention to what they do since you know they have a bunch of projects planned, but no matter what they have to sing pop songs to get to that #1 spot.

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