It's Time For A Virtual Congress

Let’s face it, our federal government has just not kept up with the times, and the State and Local ones are probably farther behind. Today’s technology allows many in the corporate world to work remotely. Why shouldn’t our congress do the same thing? That is what this post is all about.

The recent incident where one uncaring Republican Congressman from Kentucky made it necessary for hundreds of other representatives to have to leave their homes and face the Covid-19 just to say “yea”, should surely show all of us just how antiquated our congressional voting system and many other parts of our government are.

Given the current pandemic many doctors appointments are occurring with the FaceTime app instead of having to travel to the doctor’s office. I hope that trend become common place even after this war is over. It would take some of the burden off our medical professionals and would likely reduce our healthcare costs.

Everyday trillions of dollars pass hands across the Internet. Our entire economic structure allows for electronic transactions. If that weren’t done with the utmost safety it would not exist. Why can’t something similar be activated for congressional voting.

Finally, done with the background stuff let’s get to the main topic of this post.

Since the founding of our country we have grown from 2.5 million to over 325 million now, but our congressional delegation has only grown from 91 members to 435 today. Each person in congress now represents over 777,000 citizens rather than the mandated 30,000 that our founding fathers established. The earliest congress was only in session for a few months a year so most of the members held other jobs. One of the reasons why is the size of the capital building. It was built and first occupied in 1800.

If we stuck with the original proportional representation we would now have over 4,000 delegates! It would not be possible to find a place withing the current building where they could even meet. If we demonstrate that a virtual Congress can do its job as well or better using 21st-century technologies, rather than 18th-century ones, perhaps we could return the house to the 30,000:1 ratio George Washington prescribed.

Having virtual congress who lived with the people they represent would likely be vast improvement over our current situation for a number of reasons. It would make our representative more accountable to those who elected them. They would reside full time among those they represented, so they would be more attuned to their constituent’s needs. As it is now the vast majority of congressmen reside almost full time in DC and often only get to their home states a few weekends a year. Because of that they become consumed with political processes instead of the needs of those they represent.

It seems that many of us are anxious to breakup large corporations as they are almost totally focused on making money for their stockholders. But, isn’t that also true for our congress? Their political affiliations are just too strong and need to be broken up. If we could actually do that I am convinced that much of the current “us vs them” mentality there would soon evaporate.

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