If anyone with money can set up their own government in New York, people without money should be able to do it as well. I mean, anything goes now, right? I used to be fascinated by the Boys’ State concept of learning about government, where you elect a mock legislative body. Call me crazy but I don’t think it would be a bad project for serious New York adults of all political persuasions and party affiliations. Call it Grownups’ State. Starting with the imperfect laws and rules we have now — or even the new ones just instituted by the Republicans — the idea would be to convene a new Senate, pass bills, make decisions on allocating funds, and then (to avoid diverging too much from “reality”) wipe the slate clean and start over again the next year. Eventually you will have a pool of people who have knowledge of how the legislature functions, and if the project gained credibility you could ask business and community leaders to interact with the decision-making process. (To keep Grownups’ State honest, you’d need media of course, and that’s where laid-off TV and newspaper reporters come in.)
Yes, it’s a shadow government concept. Why not? If a handful of “public” servants can devise a secret Senate takeover plan in an Albany bar, and then proclaim it legitimate, I suppose ordinary citizens can do the same. Enough with government watchdog groups: be the government. Then when every last crook in Albany — and their new friends — have lost all credibility, you’ll (theoretically) have a credible government of citizens ready to be installed. Just like heroin addicts need to have their blood completely changed, it would be a total government replacement. (Maybe Grownups’ State will even have stolen some of their funders, too. “Hey, you never know.”)
If the problem is the people we have in government — many of whom have been there far too long and are far too corrupted by the company they keep — the experiment should produce different results. If the problem is New York’s form of government itself, this would also become apparent in the experiment.
I’ve already selected myself alternative state senator for the 50th District, so DeFrancisco should know that in the reality alternate to the status quo — which not even a lifer like him can escape — I’m in charge. (No one else is here yet at Grownups’ State, so I’m also declaring myself Alternative Senate Majority Leader.)