In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Thursday, July 18, 2024

Paul Abrams: Getting Out the Youth Vote: Tell Them What Republican Plans to End Net Neutrality Will Feel Like


.If Republicans win Congress, then all messaging will no longer be treated equal. Ever again.

If Democrats want to turn out the 18-30 year-old voters, my message to Organizing for America is to text the mobile phone numbers you have from 2008 with a simple message about what is literally about to happen to net neutrality if they stay at home at let Republicans take Congress. For one thing, such a text message will no longer be possible–or, at least, not without paying a high price to do it.

Here’s what’s cookin’:

In January, 2011, the Koch Boys and their rightwing ultra-rich comrades will gather for a secret meeting to discuss what to do with the Congress they just purchased.

First on the agenda: kill and bury net neutrality, the principle that all messages are treated equal, that there are no “fast speed” and “slow speed” lanes based upon one’s ability to pay.

Once destroyed, net neutrality can never return. Messaging to return to net neutrality will be routed to the bridge to nowhere. With the news media under corporate control already, you do not even see this issue covered, even by good people like Ed Schultz.

Otherwise, voters, especially those 30 and under who were raised on and expect a neutral internet, would be flocking to the polls.

This is no joke. Invitations to the “Kochs and comrades” meeting have already been sent. [If you didn’t get yours yet, let me know. Justices Scalia and Thomas may have a few left over].

A brief note to so-called ‘pundits’: if the electorate had really soured on progressive policies, just why did Kochs and comrades have to pour one-quarter billion of their inherited money to win? It is not as if the Democrats are adept at political strategy.

The ‘pundits’ don’t get it, but the Kochs and their comrades get it very well. Their self-interests and the interests of 350 million Americans are different. They cannot sustain support for what they want–no taxes, no regulations, the globalization of labor markets to pressure wages even lower, and unfettered pollution. It’s a simple set of goals, but many Americans cannot square that with their own modest savings and jobs and social safety net being demolished by policies the Kochs and comrades want pursued.

They did not make their billions by wasteful spending. Purchasing the Supreme Court was far less expensive than buying Congress (9 lifetime appointees vs 435 two-year stints). And so, carefully grooming a legion of faux-Constitutionalists through the benign-sounding ‘Federalist Society’ cost chicken feed. (Harriet Myers was hounded by the rightwing when “the smartest man she ever met”, George W Bush, appointed her; the Kochs and their comrades could not be certain of her votes as she was not a card-carrying member of the Federalist Society despite George W’s curious ‘guarantee’ that she would never change).

The reason the rightwing hates war-hero John McCain, and never credited him with his obsession with fiscal conservatism and militarism, is he committed the cardinal sin: he restricted how they spent their money in elections. They went after the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law–and failed. Finances of the electoral playing field were not leveled, but brought into some balance.

Leveling, balancing–the big-moneyed interests lose. They then must spend all their money on buying individual votes on specific issues(which they did with reasonable success), but were always subject to popular opinion overcoming their largesse and their lies being exposed.

So, first they purchased the Supreme Court.

Step 1: Citizens United, in which the Supreme Court found that the original intent of the Founders was to define Corporations as Persons for purposes of the Free Speech protections of the First Amendment, they just forgot to insert the word. [I had American history in the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades, and never learned that the Founders intended that, but then we did not use history textbooks written for schools in Texas].

Without limitations on corporate spending, and without disclosure of the source (so that those who objected could vote with their feet by not purchasing a company’s products), paid advertising overwhelms unpaid speech.

But, a funny thing happened on the way to plutocracy. The internet.

So long as we are still able, we can organize, debunk lies and slanderous claims, and disseminate widely and–here is what sticks in their craw–equally. All messaging is treated equal.

Hence, with the first step achieved, the number one item on the “Kochs and comrades” January agenda must be to destroy the last bastion of equality and democracy, the last threat to their power.

Step 2: End Net Neutrality.

With newspapers and magazines in inexorable decline, with one major TV network that has declared itself to be the communications arm of the rightwing, and the others under corporate control, and with the population under 30 getting most of their “news” online anyhow, ending net neutrality will not end the principle of free speech, but it will certainly diminish its value and rig the “market place of ideas”.

Couldn’t happen in America, you say?

Give Republicans control of Congress, and it is guaranteed.

Young voters, 18-30–the group who will suffer most under such a regime–can stop them.

But, only if they vote. In large numbers. Like they did in 2008. It didn’t really interrupt their lives then. It won’t now.

The end of net neutrality–that will interrupt their lives.


From The Huffington Post