On the Daily Show today was author Richard Beeman. He was discussing the US forefathers and how the Constitution came about. One of the more interesting things he said was how their were extreme and borderline (if not actually) violent disagreements. Yet they met in secret for months to get it right.
This allowed them to debate, get as heated as they want, go out to get some dinner and a drink, go to sleep and come back at it the next day.
Think about that for a second, they didn’t send out a newsletter, or a town crier, and they certainly didn’t tweet or blog about it. No reporter or constituent was badgering them about the previous days debate, they could just get back to work.
Now there were some flaws in the constitution (slaves being 3/5 a person being the most obvious) but overall i’d say there were pretty darn successful.
So the question is… is LESS transparency a good thing?
Do we need CSPAN covering every word congress utters?
As a fairly liberal person it strikes me as odd to say less transparency in the debate might actually be a good thing, but it might be. If it could foster open and honest debate that’d be great.
HOWEVER, the problem is I think it really requires a complete lack of transparency that in today’s world of 24/7 media would never work. We’d get bits and pieces of the debate which would be even worse.
So are all the lessons of the Consitutional Congress lost?
I don’t think so. I think the idea that we can get as heated as we want in a debate than go home and come back at it anew the next day is invaluable. I think we’ll learn that when we have an problem maybe we don’t have to tweet it or blog about it immediately. Maybe we let it play out a little bit and see if we can’t come to a better solution.
I think the main point is there’s always better ways you can debate, better ways to solve problems… got any suggestions?