US IDEALOGUE David Barton has come out against Net Neutrality with both testaments blazing.
Barton, a self-taught 'historian' with a fanbase that includes Fox News rabble-rouser Glenn Beck and the extremist Tea Party fringe of the US Republican party, offered his views on the Net Neutrality debate during a radio interview reported on the Rightwingnews website.
The contents of that interview should serve as a reminder to never talk about something you know nothing about, lest ye maketh thyself look like an ass.
"We talk about [Net Neutrality] today because it is a principle of free market. That's a Biblical principle, that's a historical principle, we have all these quotes from Ben Franklin, and Jefferson and Washington and others on free market and how important that is to maintain. That is part of the reason we have prosperity," said Barton in an interview with radio host Rick Green.
"This is what the Pilgrims brought in, the Puritans brought in, this is free market mentality. Net Neutrality sounds really good, but it is socialism on the Internet."
Whether the Bible and the US founding fathers warned against Net Neutrality we can't say, but it's easy to grab that sort of statement out of the air, say it in a loud stern voice and make it sound convincing.
"This is the Fairness Doctrine applied to the Internet, and I'll go back to what I believed for a long time is: fair is a word no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary. Fair has nothing to do with anything," he continued.
"What you want is justice, you don't want fairness. Fairness is subjective, what I think is fair, what you think, what happened to Jesus wasn't fair. That's right, but we needed justice so God did that for us... This is really, I'm going to use the word wicked stuff, and I don't use that word very often, but this is wicked stuff."
It's hard to believe perhaps that such a man does not use the word 'wicked' very much, but even harder to fathom are his arguments, which hark back to Depression era demagogues with megaphones whipping up ignorant mobs wearing bedsheets. We've heard of muddying the water, but this is more mud than water.
"I mean, if Skype uses eighty-five percent of the server space, you can't charge them eighty-five percent of the fees because that would be unfair. And if Skype says 'well, we don't want to pay that,' and you say 'well, you're off our server,' no you can't do that. You can't kick them off just because they won't pay," he added.
He railed, "I mean, this is crazy stuff. This is redistribution of wealth through the Internet and it really is redistribution. This is socialism on the Internet." µ