Monday, November 12, 2007

The Sheer Ignorance of Politicians

One major problem I have with politicians is the tendency they have to take an issue, and rather than take the time to learn the ins and outs, or even just the basics, they will just choose a side that they feel will best please their audience, and run with it. This is especially bad when the issue is one that far exceeds their everyday level of expertise, such as an issue involving science or technology. Global warming is one fine example; so is the issue of so-called "network neutrality."

Senator Barack Obama is the worse offender I've seen recently, when he stated this a few weeks ago at an MTV/MySpace sponsored forum at Coe College in Iowa, in promising to deliver a law mandating "net neutrality" if elected:

"I am a strong supporter of net neutrality. What you've been seeing is some lobbying that says that the servers and the various portals through which you're getting information over the Internet should be able to be gatekeepers and to charge different rates to different Web you could get much better quality from the Fox News site and you'd be getting rotten service from the mom and pop sites, and that I think destroys one of the best things about the Internet--which is that there is this incredible equality there."

The saddest part about that incredibly dumbed down, ignorant, tin-hatted conspiracy theory driven statement is...HE KNEW THE QUESTION WAS COMING. He knew someone was going to ask that, blogs were abuzz with anticipation on what his answer might be, and despite the time to prepare or have an assistant prepare by researching the issue, HE COMES UP WITH THAT? A freakin' Fox News conspiracy?

What I'm left to wonder is:
a) is Senator Obama just that stupid, that he really thinks that's what "net neutrality" is?
b) is Senator Obama just that politically driven, that he would use an ignorant, intellectually dishonest cliched statement, rather than do some homework on the issue and find out what the real issues are?

I honestly do not know the answer to this.

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