Despite how it may appear sometimes, the average citizen has a growing influence over governmental decisions. Our opinions are coming at the political class more often and in higher volume than ever before. The vehicle is what I call, the Electronic Agora: internet blogs and forums like this one. Agora refers to the Athenian agora which remains a foundational part of our democratic way of life. Where the opinion of man regardless of his station weighs equally with others in the common discourse. For a long time we have been influenced (for good and bad) and, it is fair to say, sometimes manipulated, by people, organizations and institutions we accept as knowing more than we do, or at least having more authority to decide things than we do. Party affiliation has not been a differentiator. When things are rolling along, this kind of thing can be treated as noise or something to make fun of. Things are not rolling along. A lot of these people, including current inhabitants of the Washington establishment have made a hash out of the basics of our economic structure. Partly in response and partly to achieve a sweeping social agenda in out-years, major changes in our society are being contemplated and heavily marketed, often with a bit less honesty than we would expect under the circumstances. My point is that it is now in our enlightened self-interest to start paying attention and thinking about what Washington (in general) is proposing. What is being discussed right now will directly effect us and future generations. I am suggesting that we step away from the easy ideological slots we use to assign what we hear. Including those you may slot this post into. I am aware that this is not an easy thing to do. Nonetheless... Start listening with your senses. This is not conspiracy speak. Listen, judge, make your opinion known.