Yes, I know that we have a Republic, not a Democracy. But the American system is still premised on informed voters.
While informed voters have known about it since at least 2000, it has recently burst into the public consciousness of most Americans that our government has secret spying programs based on secret courts and secret interpretations of laws. As a result, we have a man fleeing to Russian to gain protection from a Nobel Peace Prize Winner who uses drones to assassinate American citizens—and who has refused to discuss it, even while making sure it is common knowledge, because the program is secret.
How can any voter be informed in such a maze of secrecy? How can we know who to elect? We don’t even know what government programs they will be allegedly overseeing. The entire idea is self-refuting.
But if secrecy is anti-democratic, that means something about Big Government. Obama famously said that what matters now is not whether government is big or small but whether or not it works. Of course, how can you tell whether or not it works unless you can get and assess the results? You can’t. Government secrecy means that no one knows what is being tried, let alone what is working. And furthermore, if government gets too big and complicated to track, then no one can really know whether or not it is working. Think of the labyrinth of Obamacare and how all the problems are denied by its zealous advocates. By passing an incredibly large and complicated bill, Obama and his allies have built up a source of confusion that no one can be sure is working at all.
Big government means de facto secrecy.
What do your Senators do? What is your representative working on? Go online to their websites and see how long it takes you just to find out what committees they are working on and what else is on their agenda. I have never been able to figure it out. It seems like they are doing a ton of work that is hard to even understand. You would have to take notes in order to remember all of it by the time you were done with a Senators or a Congressman’s website. By usurping into many areas of society, government has expanded until it is practically untrackable and unknowalble. It is inherently secretive.
Awhile back, Senator Charles Grassly (R-Iowa) discovered at a hearing that the FBI has been using drones to surveil the United States. He had never heard this before. The FBI had not bothered to tell anyone. Grassly has asked Eric Holder if the information was withheld deliberately. With so many departments and agencies, Holder will have easy plausible deniability. Not even legislatures can keep track of everything that they are all doing.
We need to shrink government not only because a healthy society can carry out those functions (education, energy, etc) without state help (and do it better), but because no government that large can really be accountable to the people.
It is really just another form of secret government. It does not allow for informed voters.