I wouldn’t say I’m strongly affiliated with either political party, but I believe each party/candidate’s view on net neutrality (NN) can be a proxy as to what kind of leader they’d be.
While legit reasons exist, none of the top Republican candidates oppose NN for those reasons. They all give arguments that are either incredibly disingenuous or show a huge lack of understanding.
- Trump: “Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target the conservative media.”
- Cruz: “In short, net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet. It would put the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities and higher prices.”
- Carson: “We need to be exploring ways to allow people to do what they want to do. They’ve been doing it for years, so why should we now impose a layer of government control.”
- Rubio: “It is one of our people’s greatest treasures, which is why it belongs in the hands of our people, not our government.”
- Bush: “The idea of regulating access to the Internet with a 1934 law is one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard. … It’s not going to be good for consumers. It’s certainly not going to be good for innovation.”
Rubio is maybe close to a legit reason (or at least it’s pleasant rhetoric), but consumers have little power in markets with little choice and NN is meant to limit the abuse monopolistic ISPs may inflict.
Lying to push an agenda is terrible, but coming out in opposition of something without even understanding it is not an attribute I look for in my next president either. Most of the leading GOP candidates tout NN as anti-consumer and as some form of “big government trying to control the internet.” Since it’s actually pretty pro-consumer in that it prevents large ISPs from holding the internet hostage, I find the GOP spin incredibly deceitful. It’s even more depressingly ironic that many of these same candidates are pressing tech companies to provide backdoors into their encryption, which is far more “controlling of the internet.”
So, that makes the upcoming election relatively easy for me. I don’t want a president that has so apparently sold themselves out to Comcast or are foolish enough to believe their lies for free. That strikes out every Republican hopeful (though honestly reasons to do so are not otherwise lacking).
All that said, while I’m skeptical he’d be able to accomplish everything he’s pushing and I don’t know if I’m completely bought into all his ideas, I’d love to see what a Bernie Sanders could do in office.