The Pledge to Regulate the Internet is a Losing Campaign Tactic
There has been quite a lot of talk from pro-Internet regulation groups about why Net Neutrality is so important, but it’s been suspiciously absent from the left’s campaign talking points – until now. Today, a group of 95 Democrat candidates signed a vague and inaccurately worded pledge promising to regulate the Internet. Organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, the pledge promises to enshrine Net Neutrality rules into law that would allow the Federal Communications Commission to regulate how data flows across the Internet. The left wants you to believe that a lot of Democrats support Net Neutrality, but with this announcement we also learned why Net Neutrality has been suspiciously absent from Democrats’ talking points.
We count one – that’s right, one – of the ninety-five signers of the pro-regulation Pledge who is actually leading in the polls heading into Tuesday’s election, according to Real Clear Politics and Cook Political Report. The issue of Net Neutrality is so far left that no one wants to campaign on it and those who are pushing it aren’t even viewed as acceptable candidates. This makes sense, since the most recent poll found that 75 percent of Americans think the Internet is “working well” and 55 percent were opposed to regulating it. Perhaps this is why over 300 Members of Congress - a vast bipartisan majority - have opposed the FCC's Title II Internet regulations.
A couple more comments about the Internet regulation pledge. First, it claims that Net Neutrality is the “First Amendment of the Internet,” which is odd since there is great concern that the regulations under consideration could lead to the government regulating online speech. Worse, far left groups pushing Net Neutrality Internet regulations, such as Free Press, have already called for the FCC to monitor speech online. And when these groups aren’t busy running the First Amendment through the mud, they’re creating a new “right” to Internet access.
Second, the Internet regulation pledge demonizes businesses for trying to “control the Internet,” handing that responsibility to government instead. What this empty rhetoric won’t tell you is that proponents of Internet regulations want to ban certain practices that reduce congestion and increase speeds for consumers. Given the nature of networks, Internet service providers must organize data traffic at a rapid pace to prevent congestion and increase efficiency; thereby ensuring customers have better service.
Americans for Tax Reform runs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. We fight higher taxes because the only way government can materialize enough power to control your life and the economy is by pillaging taxpayers’ wallets. Yet, government doesn’t only wreak havoc by taking money out of the private economy through excessive taxation; it does so with excessive regulations that crush investment and innovation, just like those proposed by the progressive signers of the Net Neutrality pledge. It should thus come as no surprise that not a single signer of the Internet regulation pledge has also signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
ATR looks forward to letting Americans know the multitude of Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers who win their election on Tuesday night. We also look forward to letting Americans know the multitude of pro-Net Neutrality Pledge signers who lose.