Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A note to my conservative friends about SOPA

Some of you may see the Stop SOPA-PIPA battle and the website blackouts by thousands of personal blogs and commercial sites as a "liberal" movement. But I would ask you to consider the larger implications for free speech and to realize that censorship of the Internet by traditional media companies poses a perhaps greater threat to conservative ideas and values than to liberal ones. 

Conservatives have had issues for literally decades with what they perceive to be liberal leadership and control of media; not just with network broadcasting, but also and perhaps more pervasively in entertainment production. My friends, these are the very interests behind SOPA and PIPA. If you believe that there is liberal bias in the media industry, you should be fighting harder than anyone to ensure that those forces are not able to exert arbitrary control of publishing on the web.

Everyone suffers when people are not free to speak. The conservative interests in our country thrive just as much on grass-roots activism and opinion as do liberal ones. 

Conservatives have always championed the idea of removing the stifling hand of government regulation and control from small businesses and entrepreneurs. We are experiencing a transformation of our business processes and societal communication through the internet. I can think of no more stultifying measure upon this explosion of innovation than the control and regulation of content, for after all, that's all the Internet really is: a means to create and distribute content.

So I would ask all of you, my friends, to consider expressing your opinion on this threat to perhaps the single most essential freedom we have as Americans: our freedom to express our opinion the way we see fit.


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