wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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Open-source government. Sure - just not in Washington.

Cobb talks about politics here, specifically the uselessness of one man's vote in the political arena as opposed to, say, one very rich man's money or one very influential writer's blog. He thinks the solution is in a restructuring of government so that it works on a more open-source model.

Ahhh...no. While I think it would be great if we fired all the Congressional staffers and put all the bills & amendments out there for people to comment on before the Congresscritters actually vote (pubilcly) on this nonsense, neither solution really deals with the fundamental problem of politics in America today: everybody's gotten used to making a Federal case out of every little pissing contest from Aroostook to Diamond Head, and that stupidity needs to stop. Despite the appalling state of many public schools, the average American has finally gotten his head around the fact that Washington can't fix everything, may in fact be making things worse, and in any case is serving as a patronage trough for the powerful and their friends. Which is why you have millions of people out in the streets doing Tea Party protests and getting ready to evict a bunch of Congresscritters from their comfy DC offices come November.

The Constitution was fairly explicit about the sort of things the Federal government was supposed to do, and aside from that very restricted list of duties, everything else was supposed to be handled by the states or local government. Not coincidentally, those are a lot easier to keep an eye on than the Congress in Washington. Unfortunately, as we all know, Progressives of both parties started pushing more and more business up the hill to Washington, and eventually we got to where we are today, with faceless bureaucrats dictating what local school boards must do if they want federal money - which comes out of the same pockets that school board is extracting property taxes from to begin with. Or not; it's long been known that some states rake in more Federal dollars than others, while the others get drained of more taxes than they get back. It needs to stop. All those programs need to stop, the strings need to be cut, and Washington needs to go back to its basic duties of national defense, foreign affairs, and making sure Maryland and Virginia (for example) aren't shooting at each other over navigational rights on the Potomac. Maybe once everything is devolved back to the states we can look at open-sourcing local and state governments, but first things first. The road to America's future needs to run back through its past if we're going to continue being the republic we're supposed to be.
Tags: culture & politics
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