In 2010, along with the birth of the Tea Party movement conservative websites also began springing up all over the place. Sites such as Townhall, Drudge Report and Breitbart had been going strong for years but suddenly other sites (including PolitiChicks.tv) began giving voice to more and more awakened conservatives.
The Left hadn’t counted on any of this. The Tea Party had already caught them off-guard, so when conservatives also began utilizing the Internet this really ruffled their feathers. They weren’t used to dissidents; they weren’t prepared when we actually had the audacity to “talk back” to them.
The Silent Majority wasn’t so silent anymore and the Left did not like it--and no one seemed angrier about the conservative use of the Internet than Obama and his administration.
Canadian Free Press columnist Doug Hagmann recently wrote a very cloak-and-dagger article outlining a conversation he had with a “DHS insider” who told him the administration is getting ready to shut it all down:
“[T]his is bigger than you can imagine, bigger than anyone can imagine. This administration is collecting names of sources, whistle blowers and their families, names of media sources and everybody they talk to and have talked to, and they already have a huge list. If you’re not working for MSNBC or CNN, you’re probably on that list. If you are a website owner with a brisk readership and a conservative bent, you’re on that list. It’s a political dissident list, not an enemy threat list…”
When Hagmann asked exactly how they plan to do this, he was told:
“First, they intend to use the Justice Department to silence journalists like in the Rosen case, but they won’t stop there. They will use a host of national security policies, laws, letters, whatever to take out the bigger threats…Next, they will use some sort of excuse, an external threat, and I believe it will be a combination of the economic collapse and a Mid-East war that will begin in Syria to throttle the information that is accessible on the Internet. And you know what? People will believe it!”
As a conservative who runs a website, these thoughts have of course crossed my mind many times. We’ve often seen Obama giving blatant hints regarding his great disdain of the Internet, including the 2010 commencement speech he gave in which he called the Internet a “distraction”:
“Meanwhile, you’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t rank all that high on the truth meter. With iPods and iPads, Xboxes and PlayStations--information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment. All of this is not only putting new pressures on you; it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”
It would appear that the reason this administration despises the Internet so badly is because it’s one of the few areas in which Obama’s government can’t control us.
On Friday Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss cyber security. (Personally if I were the President of the United States, I would have maybe discussed security issues with, say, someone who isn’t the leader of a Communist country—but that’s just me…)
Hu Jia, described as a “prominent dissident in Beijing”, provided his take on the meeting to the New York Times:
“I think the main difference is that in China surveillance is done for the interests of the Communist Party, with no legal basis or limits at all, to monitor dissidents. In the U.S. case, I think this was used to fight terror.”
Hu Jia is probably correct—when you consider the Obama administration has deemed conservatives the targeted “terrorists” in America.
As involved in our lives as this administration appears to be, they are acutely aware that one of our greatest sources of gathering and spreading information is via the Internet. So what will we do if/when Obama follows through on shutting it down?
Last July Obama signed an executive order, which in a way makes himself the giant “tool of empowerment”:
“The executive order — “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions”…outlines procedures for government agencies to follow in preparing plans so they can communicate with ‘the public, allies, and other nations’ should a national crisis occur…Essentially, it says the government can take control of private telecommunications technology, presumably including those used for the Internet, for government communications in an emergency.
Under the Executive Order the White House has … granted the Department [of Homeland Security] the authority to seize private facilities when necessary, effectively shutting down or limiting civilian communications.”
Democrats always think 3 or 4 steps ahead when faced with something like this. They, of course, have print and TV media so if they lose the Internet it’s no real biggie. But what about us? Yes, we have Fox News, the soon-to-launch One America cable network and talk radio (which they’re also going after)—but without the Internet, Facebook and Twitter, how will we communicate? How will we send out ‘action alerts’ and provide the other side of the story (aka the Truth) in spontaneous, instantaneous ways?
These are questions we all definitely need to ponder—and sooner rather than later.