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Net Neutrality: Liars and Hypocrites

Why does this keep happening? Why do Republicans always make the wrong choice? Why do they deliberately misrepresent the truth? Do they now own the trademark on “hypocrisy?”

Ted Cruz recently took a swipe at net neutrality that was classic. He compared it with Obamacare — as though it was a government bill designed to impose controls on the Internet. The gambit is classic: make it look like it’s something that (“hated”) governments do and that, by opposing it he is, somehow, allowing us to remain free of unnecessary regulations.

Now either Cruz is a total idiot or he is assuming that voters are — and we know the answer to that one.

The Affordable Care Act was, as many have noted, a piece of legislation designed to fix health care problems. Yes, it imposed some governmental controls and regulations. Cruz may hate that but over time everyone else is coming to like it for one blindingly simple reason: it’s working.

But drawing this parallel with net neutrality is bizarre. Net neutrality is what we now have! There’s nothing to fix, nothing’s broken. Opposing it means bringing government into the picture. Net neutrality isn’t a piece of legislation. It’s the lack of legislation.

If Cruz had even a dollop of honest belief in conservative, small government principles, he’d be a banner-waving net neutrality cheer leader. Net neutrality means what it says. The net stays neutral. Everyone gets the same services. Businesses that use the Internet rise and fall based on their business models. Smart, effective business practice is rewarded, not-so-smart is not. Everyone gets treated the same. It’s Cruz’s vaunted populism.

Abandoning net neutrality means that the government comes in and imposes regulations and sets usage patterns. It takes away from the free market system currently operating. It is everything that Cruz rails against on a nearly daily basis. How can he take this position?

Well, you can guess. First, Obama favors net neutrality so he’s against it — Cruz and company have this knee-jerk reaction. It gets him brownie points with his base. But there’s more here.

We need to ask, who benefits from abandoning net neutrality? The big communications companies and the big corporations. Abandoning the neutral net means that Internet providers can charge differential rates to their customers. If you pay a higher premium for using say, Comcast’s services, your messages get priority. They go out first and faster. Those paying a lower rate become, literally, second-class clients. So who do you think has the cash to pay for the high-end services? Could it be the folks who also have the wherewithal to bankroll Cruz’s campaigns, who shovel corporate cash to corporate-friendly Republicans? So much for the level playing field. So much for all that talk about helping small businesses.

Kind of pisses you off just thinking about this doesn’t it? Sure got my knickers in a twist ‘cause I’m a very small player but I do love my fast Internet connectivity. I also cannot abide Ted Cruz’s hypocrisy.

Reader Comments (2)

arthur, you are one of the smartest people i know. as it happens, you write pretty well, too. those two human features do not necessarily imply each other, and that one person has the benefit of both qualities is all too rare.

but your most recent column requires one brief comment.

you have asked, "Why do Republicans always make the wrong choice? Why do they deliberately misrepresent the truth? Do they now own the trademark on 'hypocrisy?'"

i have no idea whatsoever why you have used the word "now." you are much too smart to actually think that this is something new.

November 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteralan tiger

You're right. How silly of me.

November 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterArthur S. Reber

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