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The Tea Party’s Assault on the 1st Amendment

You really have to love these guys. Well, maybe that’s pushing it a bit. But you have to admit, if they weren’t so inept and dangerous to our nation’s wellbeing, members of the Tea Party would be fun to watch – sort of like a kid with a feather and honey. They’re drawing a lot of attention to themselves with some pretty nonsensical and destructive behavior. The problem is they’re dragging more rational, clear thinking people into the maelstrom they’re creating. Blinded by their anger and deafened by their din, they rail against one cause after another.

The latest bit of pure insanity involves the issue of “net neutrality”. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t fully comprehend the significance of the issue and many don’t care because they believe the issue doesn’t impact them directly. Believe me, it does. It is one of the biggest issues facing our nation today. It threatens to undermine our entire concept of freedom.

In a nutshell, the FCC has issued a ruling that prohibits private, for-profit, internet service providers from restricting internet users who use their internet service. In other words, in prohibits private corporations from restricting free speech. It’s as if those in control of the airwaves could stop people with different political views from being on the radio or television. No one argues that Fox has the right to control its own programming and fortunately, no one other than perhaps Rupert Murdoch himself, would argue Fox should be allowed to control what is said on other networks.

That’s the essence of net neutrality; it mandates that Cox or Cable One or AT&T or any other internet provider can’t restrict its users on the basis of what they want to read or say. Freedom of speech is an essential pillar of our nation’s democracy. Net neutrality is intended to make certain that pillar is not given to private interests.

Leave it to the Tea Party. The “government” has taken steps to prevent the dismantling of our freedom and just because it’s from the “government”, they’re going to oppose it. Once again, they’re proving they’re unthinking sheep ready to follow the orders of their corporate manipulators. Why not call them the “Zombie Party”?

Here’s what I received via email from one of my Tea Party “leaders” recently. It’s absolutely amazing.

“On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider H.J. Res. 37. If it passes, the bill will be the first step in blocking the so-called “Net Neutrality” regulations handed down by the Federal Communications Commission.”

There you go – the Tea Party to my rescue. But now it goes beyond interesting and enters the realm of the insane.

“Net Neutrality gives the federal government the power to regulate content on the internet by forcing every internet provider to carry every kind of content at the same price, regardless of the strain it puts on the company’s network.”

Read it and read it again. This insidious and diabolical plot by the “federal government” actually “regulates” the content of the internet by telling corporations they “CAN’T regulate” the content of the internet. Oh my, it’s the end of civilization. I’ve taken a quiet vow to try and use kinder words when describing fools and their follies, but for anyone that buys this logic, I honestly can’t come up with a tactful and polite word. To say a regulation to prevent regulation is an oppressive government infringement on our rights is just plain crazy. That’s like saying the Constitution’s prohibitions against restricting rights amount to a restriction of rights. Is a prohibition against murder an infringement on the rights of the murderer? I sure hope so, but I hope they don’t repeal laws prohibiting murder.

With regard to the tag of “regardless of the strain it puts on the company’s network”, no herring is redder. Internet service providers have charged for bandwidth, speed, etc. and will continue to do so. Net neutrality doesn’t mean that can’t charge for usage. It means they can’t charge a Democrat a higher price for usage than they charge a Republican. They can’t charge a Jew more than they charge an evangelical Christian. They can’t charge one ideological group more than another. In other words, they can’t restrict internet use on the basis of political, religious or ideological positions.

It means the internet, a medium that permeates our existence today, is just like the airwaves, telephone service, the print world and the town plaza. It is subject to that fundamental right of a free society, free speech.

What prescient human being could oppose free speech? How can we trumpet the gains of democratic movements around the world while cavalierly throwing ours into the dumpster of history?

Kill internet neutrality and you may not be allowed to read this. At what point do the members of the Tea Party finally begin to embarrass themselves?

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