Immediate citizen feedback
After the use of chemical weapons in Syria, President Obama quickly determined that the Syrian dictator was responsible and that some sort of U-S military action to punish Assad would be appropriate.
The response was immediate and powerful. Americans got on their email and Facebook and began howling. Not everyone opposes some kind of strike, but polls indicate majorities against … and the nation obviously divided.
The people’s elected representatives found themselves in the middle of a strong debate … unable to run for the cover of party politics or the distance and deliberate consideration that time provides.
Technology has sped up democracy to a dizzying pace! As we’ve seen in other parts of the world and now in the United States, social media allows people to make their feelings known … immediately and by the millions. Citizens don’t have to wait for the next congressional session or election to vent their wrath. They don’t even have to wait for the next news cycle!
We’re seeing a basic change in the pace of public expression. What does that mean for our republic and how it functions?
Our thought for today is from R. D. Laing:
“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.”