Nix the Fix on Vox Populi
At one time I thought that Common Cause was an organization that could really solve our problems. It understood the crux of the problem of governance. Politicians are not the problem. Many of them are decent, intelligent, even outstanding leaders. The problem is that influence flows deeper and broader on the banks of commerce than through the tight channels of electoral representation.
So Common Cause spent a lot of effort trying to build levees against the flood by controlling the money. It was nominally successful. Unfortunately, its efforts have been subverted by everyone but John McCain, who has had unique training in the art of sales resistance. It seemed like such a good idea to have a group of knowledgeable insiders representing the People's interest in Washington, our very own PAC to keep an eye on Congress for us. I still don't know how it went so wrong, but the effort has backfired. Many people today actually see campaign finance reform as an anti-democratic attack on the First Amendment. Tom Delay undid most of the good work and the rest of the congresscritters are less cooperative and collegial than they ever were.
Common Cause, however, has once again put its finger unerringly on the true pulse of Liberty. Today, that pulse flows through the Internet and the biggest threats are once again, say it with me, Special Interests. I deplore the rapidity with which people have sought ways to undo the Internet revolution. Copyright and patent enforcement, supposedly designed to increase creative contributions to our culture, have been the leading wedge of today's Pinkertons, but there are many more to follow. Boing Boing has posted a description of Common Cause's efforts at preserving open access to the People's Voice.
8/12/2006 3:29 PM