By Charles Mueller
Today is one of the most cherished traditions of the United States. It is Election Day, a day where the people get a chance to voice their opinion about who should represent them in US, State, and Local governments. Every year though this beloved day is riddled with controversy as we debate how we vote, when we vote, where we vote, who should vote, who we vote for, and why the entire process just seems destined to always fail us in some way.
I’m tired of having these same old debates. None of these conversations recognize the real problem: year after year we refuse to accept that our entire system of governance and electing officials to represent us is not just archaic, but centuries outdated. We live in a world of advancing technology, a world where my refrigerator can restock itself, people can transmit thoughts to each other using neurotechnology, and we can not only educate ourselves about virtually all of human history with the click of a button, but we can also communicate our thoughts and opinions just as fast. Our society is fundamentally different in practically every way than the one that existed during the time of our founding fathers and it’s time we stop trying to make their system work for our way of life.
It is time we rethink the idea of only casting our vote once a year for those who represent us. Why can’t Election Day be, in a sense, every day? Why don’t we create a system where we can continually voice our confidence in our leaders, helping put the appropriate amount of pressure to keep them honest, transparent and effective as policymakers? It’s not like we don’t have the technology to do it…
It is also time we rethink the very structure of our government and the way it utilizes things like S&T to carry out its mission to serve and protect the people. Why can’t we create a government that is efficient and instead of being decades behind utilizing technology, is a pioneer of how to incorporate technology to carry out the job of governance? Why do we continue to waste our time and energy complaining about the shortcomings of our governance system instead of using that time and energy to fix it?
None of this will be easy, but all of it is necessary. The future is one where S&T will continue to change the fabric of society seemingly overnight and we need a new process for defining what government is, how it works, and how the people are involved in this next phase of our existence. So as we all stand in the long lines today that are too part of the Election Day tradition, let’s use that time to talk with our friends and neighbors about the future of democracy and the United States, instead of continuing to complain about how awful everything is.
Let’s work together to make the future better and hopefully some day down the road, Election Day will be a time we elect some individuals bold enough to lead us into this brave new world.