Here’s A Novel Idea, How About D.C. Move Back To Main Street?

Cherry Blossoms Washington DCI was reading the book Street Smarts by Jim Rogers and he touched on an idea that I thought had fabulous upside and almost no downside.  I wanted to explore your thoughts on this revolutionary idea.  He simply said that there is no need for our Federal and State Representatives, whom I commonly refer to our friends in Washington, to have to live in the District of Columbia.  Technology today can make the need to show up in person, nearly extinct.  Our representation can easily video conference and cast votes from the comfort of their own districts.  The whole point of having representatives, is for them to essentially speak on behalf of their constituents.  They are there to serve us, we are essentially, their customers.  So why cant they accomplish their message delivery from their own district, rather than having to deal with the cronyism that is, Washington D.C.

What would be the benefits of them working from home.

What you ask, is the upside to our Federal Representatives and Senators working from home?  For starters, this is likely the best way to avoid obtrusive lobbyists, the very reason why legislation is often misguided.  It is far too simple for lobbyists to court multiple legislators all at once in D.C.  The lavish parties, private get-a-ways, expensive dinners, even prostitutes bring out the pack mentality in our representatives.  They see that ‘this is the way business gets done’.  A lobbyist has a particular ‘project’ that needs funding, so they throw a black tie event at the Hotel Monaco with all the fixings to woo the legislators.  These legislators inevitably feel a sense of obligation to “help’ them out.  Next thing you know, funding for their “project” is buried in the next bill to which they cast their ‘yes’ vote for.  Logistics make lobbying so much simpler.  If these representatives were not all organized together,  less lobbying and therefore ‘pork’ would appear in every bill that makes it to the Presidents desk.  How much would this be able to curb Government spending by…Its immeasurable, think of it!

Make them Vote with US!

Lets imagine that all the legislators were forced to go to one of their local schools, a community center, or library to cast a vote.  What if their children went to school with their constituents children?  Would they have more of a connection to their local community and feel the obligation to serve on its behalf.  This is the way our Founding Fathers set it up to work like.  They enacted the Residents Act of 1790 which established Washington D.C.   The act also stated that the size of the District of Columbia, which it was eventually named, shall not exceed 10 square miles.  This decision signed into law by George Washington, in my opinion was a calculated mistake, but in 1790 it was a matter of convenience, maybe even necessity.  The new Capitol had to be on the Potomac River between the mouths of the Eastern Branch and Connogochegue.

Return to Accepting Personal Responsibility.

Personal responsibility is what is lost when our representation goes to Washington.  They may claim that they are working for their constituents, when in reality, they are working for the lobbyist who last influenced their life.  We as citizens need to lobby for a permanent return to the districts for our representation, and create a direct link to those legislators who affect our existence.

How do you feel about this idea?

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. lkrant says:

    I like the idea of the politician actually representing me, but they need to actually be there. They need to meet and talk to the other politicians because that is how it is how they are supposed to get things done. I would like to actually see some problem solving going in in DC.

    • Jim says:

      I understand Krant, I just think they would do a better job of representing me if I could see them at the grocery store or my kids soccer game. Think it would keep them engaged with their constituents a bit better. They go to D.C and forget why they are there.

  2. Debt RoundUp says:

    I like it, but I know that they won’t do anything, not that they do too much now. I am sure lobbyist will still get to them, so you can still expect corruption. I think they would be more on the side of their constituents if they were on main street, but I don’t think they would ever allow it to happen.

    • Jim says:

      Grayson, your right, they wont do anything about it cause that would take some of the attraction away to being a career politician! It would certainly do this country some good though. There is a grassroots movement about this very idea called govathome.com maybe this will give it some traction???

  3. I’m not sure it would do any good… Money will still buy legislation/votes and I don’t imagine a change in location will make them any more productive. Career politician might even become more attractive from the couch…

    • Jim says:

      I agree money would buy votes, but that money would have to find a way to them individually rather than collectively. May create a stumbling block for the lobbyists at least.

  4. I work for a company that is all about work from home policies. I don’t think that we’re nearly as efficient or innovative as if we would be if we all actually had to show up at work each day. For good or ill, government is built on relationships. Not just relationships with lobbyists, but also relationships with other representatives and the executive branch. Relationships of any kind are almost impossible to build if everyone is telecommuting.

    • Jim says:

      I agree there is some benefit to being at the office everyday. I work for a company that has the opposite effect. Our workplace situation promotes too much water cooler talk and I almost think people would be more productive at home. I see your point about relationships, but maybe that is part of what has promoted so much pork in these bills. It used to be that a piece of legislation was one or two pages long, now they are 2700, in the case of the Affordable Care Act. Seems like an awfully good way to hide stuff!

  5. It seems that it’s more about what the party wants and less about what voters want. I’m dead center so party lines tend to upset me. Some issues I side with the left others I’m on the right. It would be nice if they listened to us.
    When they are home it seems to be for grandstanding and trying to win an election.

    • Jim says:

      Agreed about the grandstanding, I just wish they could resist redefining the Constitution. That was meant to keep them all in check, and now it seems they make it up as they go along, but the people seem to want them to have limits.

  6. I’m sure there might be some negative consequences, but I can’t think of any. Not a bad idea! =) But, I’m sure they would never get on board with that kind of plan.

    • Jim says:

      There is a grassroots movement to get this accomplished, but you are right, the powers that make this decision will be adamantly against it! I think I would work out well though.

  7. Great points, Jim. I hate that so many other groups influence our reps when it should be “we the people” that they are most concerned about. But I wonder if that’s a character issue instead of a location issue. :-(

    • Jim says:

      I think its both, it seems like good people go to D.C. then get corrupted while there. This would at least be a means of keeping them in “check” a bit more than they are in D.C. Wishful thinking, although there is a grassroots movement called govathome.com that is trying to change this! We’ll see.

  8. Troy says:

    Well at least that was the initial intention for a democracy. Instead of one man, one vote it’s now more like one dollar, one vote.

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