Monday, 21 of April of 2014

The Political Symphony of American Lawmakers

By: Mike McClure

It’s no secret policymakers in Washington use tactical naming conventions when proposing new bills to Congress. Even worse, they play the people of this country like a violin using our strengths against us. Most people would find it tough to argue that our status as the world super power is due to anything other than the hard-working, blue collar attitude this country adopted since its birth. The American Dream. Yes, if you work hard enough, America will bear the fruits of your labor. Now, whether or not you still believe that or whether you believe the game is fixed from the top down, doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that certain lawmakers, albeit not all, intentionally take advantage of those strengths by drafting bills with titles that can be used to create partisan divides and make it almost impossible to oppose.

Think about it for a second. The Patriot Act? There’s nothing, absolutely nothing patriotic about the patriot act. However, at a time when fear dominated the social landscape in America, lawmakers knew to use the veil of patriotism as a smoke and mirrors act. The majority of Americans probably never laid an eye on a single page of that bill, but rather were manipulated to believe that those standing against the bill were anti-American and pro-terrorism. How could you possibly be a patriot if you don’t support the PATRIOT ACT?!

As much as I’d like to think we have become more self-aware over the last ten years, we will soon find out as we are fast approaching another significant stepping stone to losing every right the true patriots of this country fought for. The initial SOPA and PIPA public outrage, the crescendo of this composition, has seemingly died down and is now heading into the diminuendo due to the success of the concerted efforts by major online enterprises as well as the attention deficit disorder this country has towards social and political issues. However, don’t let the calm nature of Texas Representative Lamar Smith’s political diminuendo lull you into complacency. He planned for this, so he drafted a backup bill that might gain a lot of support simply because of its name. PCFIPA, the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act. This bill, according to IT World, would require ISPs to keep track of every single click you make on the internet dating back 18 months with its “purpose” being to protect the children of America from, well, everyone it seems.

Cue somber bass and eery violin, reminiscent of Requiem for a Dream.

By proposing that law enforcement and the government have access to everything you do on the internet, at all times, without legal justification or probable cause, Representative Smith is suggesting that every single American has a sole purpose in life to maliciously target children with porn. Well, you caught us Mr. Smith. Round of applause and a pat on the back to you, sir. My passion in life is to dream of new ways to distribute porn to the children of this country effectively corrupting our youth. Just when I thought I was safe, you meddling congressman…

Legal disclaimer: that was sarcasm.

I think it is obvious Representative Smith doesn’t actually think that. But, he masterfully crafted the name so that when unleashed to the uninformed partisan hacks of America, your opposition to this abomination of a bill will get you swept into the corner of pedophiles and rapists. Thus, the name alone poses a serious roadblock to gaining support in opposing it. Maybe I am being too pessimistic. In fact, I hope I am. It’s optimistic pessimism at its finest. Prove me wrong America, stand up and be proactive against PCFIPA, but I won’t be surprised if you don’t.