Reality Congress

While sifting through the heap that is prime-time television, I was struck with an epiphany, the solution to governmental misrepresentation; making our politicians the subjects of some REAL reality tv?

We all could tune into their lives either through television or the internet and really find out how the policies that affect our lives are formulated. And I'm not talking about the official wranglings shown on C-SPAN.

Schmoozing with oil company executives? We see it. Holding (previously) closed-door discussions with fellow politicians? We're there. Letting your latest fling put you in the precarious position of supporting war efforts that you really don't believe in? We're all over it. Hell, we could even vote online or by phone for our favorite representative of the week. "Who's going to be the next, great American Congressman?!"

You, dear reader, might think this is cruel. But are our public servants that much better than the people we subject to this treatment now daily? Not really. Are their lives less interesting? No way! We'll call it educational television. What better way to be entertained and learn about our own government.

Sure the politicians themselves might balk, but who cares? Are they not our employees? We can make this lack of privacy a term of service, part of the job description. Don't run for office if you want to conduct business, or live for that matter, in private.

There are dangers to this idea, of course. The same folks who manipulate imagery now can be hired to spin what is broadcast later. We'll just have to be vigilant in picking our producers. A greater concern is mob rule, the silencing of minority voices. In the winner-takes-all game that is America, those who support fringe causes might simply not be heard, shown, "featured."

But until we take steps toward true democracy - rather than distilling our wishes through a few hundred wealthy, clueless men - we're never going to get there. If nothing else, this would renew my belief in compelling television.