Technology, with increasing speed, has dominated every sphere of our lives in the developed world. Computers’ growing presence in society presents a variety of positive outcomes. However, electronics have stamped out one of the most valuable assets of the past: privacy. The lack of privacy in the 21st century gives close insight into politician’s lives. Politicians suffer from the public’s ability to examine their daily activities. The art of governing requires a certain secrecy that can no longer be found in 2015. Politicians must make tough decisions that cannot be announced to their constituencies. Holding influence and power over other politicians is not a facile task, and requires dynamic maneuvering. Elected officials must satisfy their voters with legislation relevant to their region. To succeed in satisfying their voters, politicians must make deals, trade votes, and compromise to meet their goals. In our age of technology, this politically realistic behaviour is publicised and critisized. The public sees the tools by which politicians achieve their goals as corrupted and immoral. The result is a so called “war on corruption,” in which politicians are stripped of their ability to wield power and therefore effectively govern. In the past, politicians were not heavily monitored and could conduct business without bother. Now politicians are not trusted due to the invasion of their privacy. In the United States, citizens hold a negative connotation with the phrase “backroom deal.” A backroom deal is not an indicator of corruption, but a sign of healthy politics. A backroom deal allows politicians the rarity of secrecy, and should not be associated with corruption. Corruption occurs when a politician uses their power for their own means. Backroom deals often encourage legislation for the interests of voters because they allow politicians to compromise and manipulate power in secret. Backroom deals are essential to the flow of democratic politics. Politicians must be able to hold power in an informal hierarchy amongst their colleagues. Triangular distribution of power, with leaders and followers, stimulates rapid legislation. Casual organization of power is essential in politics because it unites the mass bodies of Congress. Large organizations of politicians are feared and thought to be corrupt in the modern day. Stripping congresspersons of their ability to hold substantial power and therefore form these informal organizations creates an overly democratic government where no representative follows another. What’s left behind is polarization and gridlock in decision making. Backroom deals create a level of security that paves the way for the reconstruction of dominance hierarchy. Out of the view of the general public, politicians can govern in ways that are thought to be unethical to the average citizen. A governor that trades votes, compromises with the opponent and incentivises followers may seem dishonest, but their means are only ways in which they execute the long term goals on which they were elected.
Backroom deals are not corrupt interactions because they push legislation forward. Elected officials must create positive change in the eyes of their voters to obtain re election. In this regard, it is imperative that politicians serve the interests of their voters in the long run. Backroom deals create informal understandings that allow for effective legislation that can serve voters in the long run. If a congressperson becomes truly self-indulgent and corrupt in their career and disregards the wishes of their voters, then they will not be reelected. As long as voters are satisfied with the public actions of their government officials, backroom deals can continue effectively.
Why is it that Americans have such a deep rooted negative connotation with secret activity in politics? American politics have been harshly secret for most of the country's history. The Constitution of the United States was written by a group of white men, in a smokey dark Pennsylvania room, compromising for three months. That document has tended to serve us well. Perhaps there is a fear of ill mannered conspiracy when politicians enter that dark, smoke-filled room and close the door. No matter what happens behind those closed doors, the end results justify whatever conspiracy occurs. Backroom deals are an essential part of American Democracy stemming far into our history. The veil between the art of politics and real results is a necessary one that insures the happiness of the masses and allows politicians to get things done. An excess in democracy is not beneficial to our system, and governing is best left to the intelligent elite that can guide our country towards success. Unrestricted, unpublicized politics are needed to govern this country with grace and success.
Under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the NSA spied on citizens of the United States of America. This secret operation was created in order to protect Americans from terrorist attacks, and was successful in doing so for 12 consecutive years. Edward Snowden had no right to leak information on the government’s intelligence. He violated the privacy that they were using to effectively govern in potentially unsafe times. While it was unconstitutional to invade the privacy of American citizens, what people do not know, does not hurt them. Snowden acts as an example for the constant digression of privacy in the 21st century that limits politician’s ability to govern.