Monday, July 30, 2007

Federalism and the New Media

I was just now reading an essay on Federalism by Fred Thompson when something he wrote triggered a thought. He wrote:

It is as true today as it ever was: the closer a government is to its people, the more responsive it is to the felt needs of its constituencies. Too often, however, state and local leaders have to answer to federal bureaucrats first and their constituents second. When the federal government mandates a program that states and localities are forced to implement, or when a federal grant program is created to fund a specific state or community need, it blurs the lines of accountability.

Who answers to the people if a program fails? The federal government will point to state authorities carrying out the program; the states will point to the federal government, which came up with the program in the first place. And in the end no one is more confused than the people the program is supposed to be serving, who can’t even say for sure who is responsible for what. This does not argue against all federal programs but it does require the recognition that there, indeed, are trade-offs.

The defeat of the McCain-Kennedy-Bush amnesty bill was democracy in action, but the reason why it scared the bejesus out of the elites in DC was that they have never before had to answer to the voter so directly. This had made me realize that the internet is making politics as it used to be practiced obsolete. Politicians can no longer ignore the wishes of the electorate with impunity knowing that the public's memory is short and that it will all be forgotten in time for the next election. The internet remembers. The internet also gives voice to the heretofore voiceless, and magnifies it 1000 fold. The paradigm is shifting, are you ready to use this tool to your advantage?


Blogger Thunder said...

There will be a lot more answering for what they did to us in 2006 and what they have failed at in 2007....

July 30, 2007 12:41 PM  

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