A hundred years ago the structure of government in America was a vertical structure. Actually, from the founding and the Constitution, the structure of American government was vertical, i.e "of the people, for the people, by the people." Picture in your mind a pyramid, wide at the bottom representing the people and narrowing to the top where leadership exists. Each section from the bottom to the top of the pyramid is a representation of the voter's decisions to elect representatives. Each section rests on the massive will of the people at the bottom. The voter's were key to this pyramid, the base structure holding all of the rest of the sections securely. Without the base structure at the bottom, the top has nothing to keep it in place. Eliminate the base and there is no higher structure.
As we know from Egypt, pyramids are strong structures. They last a long time and the bases of them are meant to hold the higher levels. That is the essence of the vertical American representative government structure. The people hold the power to support representative leadership.
But let's say you like the power of leadership, but you don't like the people holding that vertical structure up. Let's say you and your friends want power, but you don't want to go through the efforts to convince the people to hold you up. You want the people's money, but you don't want their input into the decision making process. What do you do?
You figure out some way to do what you want without the base support of the people. If the people don't want what you are selling, they will tell you to go fly a kite. So the base of the pyramid is not your friend at this point. Then, you create a sideways avenue to get your way. You set up a horizontal path outside of the vertical arrangement. You use executive powers to mandate the creation of the horizontal path. You set up regulatory agencies filled with appointees who have no connection to the pyramid, but are in your ideological back pocket.
The poster child for this is sitting in the White House right now. Executive orders which turn power over to regulating agencies who are not elected by the people and are not accountable to the people, that is the hallmark of the current President. Not alone in this, many have done this before him.
Here is how it works: First you create, by executive order, unelected agencies to regulate activities of the people. You order these unelected agencies to implement your desires, whatever they may be. Then you turn to the one institution left in the hands of the people, congress (actually the House of Representatives), and you demand money for your desired agencies operating expenses. If they refuse, you call them names, smear them in the media, say the are stubborn obstacles to 'progress,' and generally throw a hissy fit. You create a propaganda machine to villify your opposition, be it the people or their representatives. You command the unelected agencies to continue on their march to obey your orders, in spite of the people's objections. You try to establish that your executive orders trump all else in the land.
Welcome to horizontal government. Sideways instead of vertical. So simple a caveman could understand it. So unconstitutional any American can understand the insults of it. Yet agencies of horizontal government have been set up at least since FDR. (Maybe before that, but I haven't researched it.) Each time a horizontal agency has been set up, the people have suffered the consequences. I could start naming them, but here are a few: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Fannie and Freddie, FDA, USDA, HUD, DOT, EPA, PCSD, NEA (both of them, education and arts) Obamacare, and now the WHRC (White House Rural Council by BHObama), and so many more. The creation of these agencies was not approved by the voting public. In fact, the creation was never on a referendum ballot for the public to approve or not. Granted, the people's representatives acquiesced to the executive branch in these matters. That in itself is a travesty of abuse of powers. But once created, no one seems to listen to the people's requests to eliminate the horizontal existence of these agencies. Beyond that, these agencies have so grossly usurped States rights, that the power of the people over their tax monies is now just a relic of the nostalgic past.
The executive branch was never to hold this kind of power. And the representative legislative branch was supposed to be the check and balance against that kind of power. Failing that, the judicial branch was supposed to hold back any assaults on the Constitution. But the executive branch figured out how to bribe the legislative branch. And the executive branch has the keys to Supreme Court appointees...with the approval of the legislative branch who is now being bribed by the executive branch. When it comes down to it, vertical government has been subverted by corruption at all levels at this juncture in time.
So, no wonder voters are skeptical, discouraged, and percentages of them tune out and don't show up. NO WONDER. What is the point if the game is rigged? We were not supposed to be in this position. We, the voters, were supposed to be the deciding base of that vertical pyramid. Now we, the voters, are stuck trying to figure out how to get rid of the horizontal governance that is replacing our vertical government, dropped like a spider's web all over us. The candidates we are seeking are the ones who will take that web of horizontal government off of us. Me, included.
1. On top of this, add voters who do not even understand the difference between democracy and a republic, the difference between vertical and horizontal governance, and the difference between the Constitution vs. Socialism. This allows the horizontal web to continue as voters who don't know these concepts are just voting for favortism from the agencies in the horizontal revenue stream. And then if they don't get that favortism, as the Black Caucus is yelling about this past week, they start screaming, "Foul." Those who follow this line of thinking are clueless and have no business voting in the first place.
2. If someone asks you to join an unelected bureaucratic board of governance, please tell them to stuff it somewhere unmentionable and that you do not believe in horizontal boards going around the will of the people. Please.
Into the weeds:
Example of a Regional Governing Board - RPO - High Country Council of Governments
Here is another one in the Southeastern portion of North Carolina
UK site on Federalism and variations
Wikipedia on Euro Mulit-level Governance
Here is a report on integrating horizontal policies to implement Sustainable Development