A few short months into 2009, and we’ve already entered a new age of openness and transparency in government.Yes, the social-networking site Facebook has given its legion of users the power to help craft its new governing policies. They can make suggestions on the content of Facebook’s principles and regulations and will vote on any changes that might occur. A government by the people, for the people? Sounds like a smashing proposition to me. It’s unfortunate, but Facebook’s embrace of democratic ideals has revealed how far we’ve strayed from our own.
But all is not lost. After thorough research, I’ve found the solution for reclaiming our collective sovereignty: nationalize Facebook. This technology has given us a clear path back to the nation our founders envisioned, so we must make its rules ours, and vice versa.
Already, thousands of users have made their mark on Facebook’s 10 proposed principles with sage comments and stimulating ASCII-character imagery. Think of the progress we could achieve if this collection of minds focused its energy on the Bill of Rights or Constitution, hosted on Facebook for comments and revisions. The numerous undead that have made Facebook their home would finally be able to demand equal rights.
One of Facebook’s chief merits is its potential to bring so many together to achieve great feats. Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, who could resist joining President Obama’s Facebook group, “If 1,000,000 join I’ll eat the entire McDonald’s menu and also implement universal health care”? It would be an example of bipartisanship at its finest, accomplishing the president’s goal of health-care reform within his first year, and an opportunity to see a sitting American president undergo a stomach pumping.The transparency required of elected politicians on a nationalized Facebook would be absolutely refreshing (status update: “Joe Biden is safe on Air Force Two. Bathroom bigger than I expected.”) If a Facebook government were in place during the Bush Administration, Vice President Dick Cheney could’ve been legally obligated to reveal 25 things we didn’t know about the Valerie Plame affair, after being tagged in a note from a Supreme Court justice.
What’s more, Obama’s recently appointed chief technology officer, Vivek Kundra, already stated that he wants to let people pay parking tickets and renew their driver’s licenses through Facebook. It’s a small step, but it lends hope that a nationalized Facebook could be on the agenda.
And I’m prepared to consume as many fast-food menus as it takes to make this happen (I already sent you a group invitation and will send another if necessary). •