Skip to main content

Net Neutrality and the Election

From the "correlation does not equal causation" files, we get L. Gordon Crovitz in the Wall Street Journal:

"As a reminder of unpredictability in politics, consider what happened when the Progressive Change Campaign Committee last month announced that 95 candidates for Congress had signed a pledge to support 'net neutrality.' The candidates promised: 'In Congress, I'll fight to protect Net Neutrality for the entire Internet—wired and wireless—and make sure big corporations aren't allowed to take control of free speech online.'

Last week all 95 candidates lost. Opponents of net neutrality chortled, and the advocacy group retreated to the argument that regulation of the Internet wasn't a big issue in the election.

The broader lesson may be that people fear government regulation of what has been a free and open Internet more than they fear what any other institution might do to the Web..."


An even broader lesson might be that almost nobody was thinking about net neutrality when they entered the voting booth last week. Try as I might, I can't find an exit poll where the issue ranked among voters' top concerns last week. And though I favor net neutrality, broadly, it wasn't even really on my mind when I went to vote.

But no mind. It's pretty easy to make election results say what you want them to say -- even if the election results were silent on the issue. At the very least, opponents of net neutrality legislation can take comfort that voters aren't paying enough attention to punish them if they let corporations have their way on the web.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yoga

I've been making some life changes lately — trying to use the time I have, now that I'm back in Kansas, to improve my health and lifestyle. Among the changes: More exercise. 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but some is more than none, and I know from experience that getting overambitious early leads to failure. So. Thirty minutes a day.

One other thing: Yoga, a couple of times a week. It's nothing huge — a 15-minute flexibility routine downloaded from an iPhone app. But I've noticed that I'm increasingly limber.

Tonight, friends, I noticed a piece of trash on the floor. I bent over at the waist and picked it up, and threw it away.

Then I wept. I literally could not remember the last time I'd tried to pick something off the floor without grunting and bracing myself. I just did it.

Small victories, people. Small victories.

Liberals: We're overthinking this. Hillary didn't lose. This is what it should mean.

Interesting:
Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimates that when every vote is tallied, some 63.4 million Americans will have voted for Clinton and 61.2 million for Trump. That means Clinton will have turned out more supporters than any presidential candidate in history except for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And as David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes, the total vote count—including third party votes—has already crossed 127 million, and will “easily beat” the 129 million total from 2012. The idea that voters stayed home in 2016 because they hated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is a myth. We already know the Electoral College can produce undemocratic results, but what we don't know is why — aside from how it serves entrenched interests — it benefits the American people to have their preference for national executive overturned because of archaic rules designed, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. 

A form of choosing the national leader that — as has happened in …

I'm not cutting off my pro-Trump friends

Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

And as a long-term issues, confining ourselves to echo chambers is part of our national problem.

Don't get me wrong: I expect a Trumpian presidency is a disaster, particularly for people of color. And in total honesty: My own relationships have been tested by this campaign season. There's probably some damage…