Scary story: Lindsey Graham and Elizabeth Warren want to run the Internet
Published 1:15 pm Friday, August 11, 2023
BY THOMAS KNAPP
US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is a school-marmish New England pseudo-liberal technocrat. US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a Deep South pseudo-conservative militarist. They’ve staked out their respective stomping grounds in opposing wings of the American uni-party. So when they agree on something – anything at all – Katie bar the door. Trouble’s on the way, because while they might seem like political opposites, they share one overriding value in common: Both of them want to run your life.
The theoretical purpose of their “bipartisan” (another warning signal not to be ignored) Digital Consumer Protection Commission Act is to “protect consumers, promote competition, secure Americans’ privacy, guard national security, and prevent harm online.”
Its actual purpose is to put a pack of bureaucrats in charge of the Internet so you don’t get to see anything Warren and Graham think you shouldn’t see. Which, between the two of them, is probably pretty much everything (except perhaps press releases from the offices of Warren, Graham, and their fellow political cultists).
Aside from the risible “Consumer Protection” claim, naturally, they justify their prospective power grab on a “for the children” basis: It’s not that they’re megalomaniacs, see, it’s that they’re against all the things everyone is against – “child sexual abuse material and sexual exploitation, human trafficking, drug trafficking, cyberbullying … eating disorders, addictive behaviors, and teen suicide.”
Presumably most of us agree that the Graham/Warren laundry list is chock full of Very Bad Things.
But it’s a giant leap of faith to expect a new government bureaucracy, armed with powers that clearly violate the First Amendment and other basic principles of anything resembling a free society, to accomplish much in the way of fighting Very Bad Things, real or imagined. The next time that happens will be the first time it happens. And there’s not going to be a first time.
By the time the federal government gave up on alcohol prohibition, more Americans were consuming more booze than when it started. While the war on drugs may not yet be formally ended, it’s increasingly clear that the drugs have won. And if you’d like to see a mass shooting, just park your car in any area marked “gun-free zone” and wait a little while.
Graham and Warren are just the latest pair in a long, eternal line of busybodies who think they’re entitled to police what you read, view, listen to, smoke, drink, or otherwise ingest, and who demand that you trust them to do so.
I don’t know that these two are any less trustworthy than their predecessors, but that’s not the issue. The issue is that no one’s entitled to, or should be trusted to, make such decisions on your supposed behalf.
(Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.)