Rarely does someone offer you a billion-dollar gift—especially one that can revitalize American democracy. For at least one of you, today is your lucky day. I am feeling especially generous and know that someone reading this post is about to become the beneficiary of this simple yet powerful idea. Here it is:
All you have to do is create a social-media site devoted to the electoral process. Call it something like “VoteFree.com.” This site will be the primary forum through which candidates for office at any level can communicate with potential voters. The idea is to create an even playing field where any candidate can participate, regardless of party affiliation or campaign funding. Candidates can post videos, articles, position papers, and anything else that can help inform voters.
Meanwhile, voters can interact with candidates, posting comments and questions and also endorsing or sharing information as they would on other social-media sites. Your site will impose certain restrictions on candidates to minimize the influence of high-priced campaign strategists and media consultants. And you can generate revenue, if you wish, through non-political advertising, although you could also offer this site purely as a public service.
At a time when unprecedented amounts of money are being spent to sway voters, your site will allow political candidates to run their campaigns without having to become indebted to Big Money. The success of the site, which is inevitable, will most likely end the two-party system as we know it. Currently, both parties are beholden to Big Money. The Republican leadership distracts its rank-and-file members from this fact by drawing attention to other issues, like national security and family values; the Democratic leadership creates the illusion that its party is resisting Big Money and standing up for the interests of ordinary people, although neither is actually the case. As long as money wins elections, candidates cannot afford to antagonize their biggest financial supporters.
Your site will liberate the democratic process permanently from the influence of Big Money. This will be your lasting contribution and legacy for future generations. And you will receive all the credit, as you should, for revolutionizing the way that political campaigns are run. I wish you all the success you deserve for taking on this most important issue. Here and now, baby!