Mar 052012

Grange Hall in Calhoun County

I’m reading “The Granger Movement : A study of agricultural organization and its political, economic and social manifestations 1870-1880” by Solon Justus Buck (1913).  On page 103 Buck mentions one of the ways the Granges used to exert some political influence:

Another favorite method of attempting to influence legislation was that of interrogating candidates for office regarding their position on certain proposed legislative measures.

We could use more of that.   Written Q&A forums are not unheard of these days, but if we had more of them we might get around the tendency of the MSM to ask only the stupidest, most irrelevant questions.    A Tea Party group, for example, could establish an identity by insisting that the candidates for all offices a set of good questions.   The format could include followup questions, to get around the tendency of candidates to provide bland, meaningless answers or to change the subject.

Newspapers would be faced with a quandary.   On the one hand, they desperately need readers.   Q&A like this lend themselves to print more than broadcast, so this would give them a way to compete.  On the other hand, they would interfere with their mission of obscuring information.   But with the internet there is no reason that newspapers have to be the medium.

Here are some questions I’d like to see asked:

  • Is federal funding of NPR and CPB compatible with the first Amendment?
  • Do you support de-funding of Solyndra-type programs in order to end the appearance of corruption?
  • How important is it to replace a myriad of state regulations on insurance, health care, food safety, or any other topic, with uniform federal regulations?
  • Is there a connection between uniform federal regulations and companies becoming too big and monopolistic — too big to fail, even?