A More “Democratic” Democratic Republic

Connecting to the Principles, Part 5

In the months of discussions leading up to starting Fulfilling the American Promise in the Connected Age, we debated a lot about what to say and how to say it. As much as possible, we wanted to avoid specific political positions. We wanted to expose and discuss in detail the problems we faced as a nation when we allowed ourselves to be governed from the extreme edges, whether right or left. Also, we didn’t want to rely on one party’s interpretation of the “correct way” to govern and develop policy.

It would have been easy to criticize attempts to close the government over fringe-led positions against health-care, just as it would have been easy to criticize the very methods used to create the current health-care law. The various factions of media (red, blue, “neutral”) have all presented their versions of critiques of Congress and the Administration. Rather than piling on more criticism, we wondered about the effect these critiques had. We wanted to know how they resulted in productive change in our system of governance.

Admittedly, we haven’t introduced a lot of insights on issues like that, other than try to expose both sides of the extreme edges for what they often appear to be: power-loving men and women seeking to serve themselves before the nation. We have recalled a few instances where our nation’s leaders could actually get along and sufficiently agree to create and maintain America (e.g., the Continental Congress). We also highlighted what is possible when Americans emphasize unity, shared sacrifice and progress rather than division (e.g., the United States in World War II and NASA from the 1960’s through today’s time).

Regardless of a given party’s dogmatism and over-confidence about “being right” that pervades the fringes of at least two political parties, no one person can know everything. We can think and do the best we can, leveraging a proper dose of humility, and try to move our nation forward. And it appears we do that best when we connect with each other and keep the communication lines open. That’s why the Connected Age part of this website is integral to the blog.

With this post, we are going to start focusing on the Connected Age side of FAPITCA for a bit. In keeping with the title of this piece, we want to look at ways to create a more inclusive “democratic” way to do politics and policy development in America. We want to explore techniques and tools that bring us closer together as a nation rather than pull us further apart…ways that expand access to opportunity.

A recent article in the NY Times, Web Fiction, Serialized and Social, got us thinking about web-based governance. This is hardly new, as E-Government and Web-Based Government Services have been discussed and implemented to varying degrees in recent years. Anyone who has visited My Social Security knows how much access to information Americans can have concerning their own individual role in the economy, for example. This type of access relates to personal information and is typically subscriber-based at an individual level.

We all subscribe in different ways to the success of America, however, and most of us don’t have a lot of individual and collective input to the process…yet. Next time, we’ll tell you how we think we might enhance the opportunity we have of Fulfilling the American Promise using the Connected Age tools available to us today. We think this approach might actually minimize the extreme edges, incentivize better politics and policy development and make us all better citizens at the same time.

If you’re into homework, take a look at the kind of technology that a tool like Wattpad offers (from the NY Times article) and see what you think. Hint: look at the title of this post again! Until next time…

Originally posted by Carl and Chuck Hunt, 3/25/2014.

Editor’s Note: Also starting with this post, we intend to take Harold Morowitz’s advice from a couple of weeks ago and start writing shorter pieces. If the Message is the Medium as Marshal McLuhan noted, we want to help our readers get the message through a more accessible medium!

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