Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Whatever Wednesday: SOPA

Today I'm starting a new feature that I call Whatever Wednesday. Instead of talking about writing on Wednesdays, I'm going to talk about whatever I feel like. For my first WW, I figured it would be appropriate to talk about SOPA.  SOPA has been extensively covered online.  Instead of talking about it, I'm going to talk about the reactionary politics behind it. 

I never paid much attention to politics until the Columbine Shooting. After the Columbine Shooting, I became aware of a bass ackwards form of politics. Politicians would react to a news event by trying to pass a law or a bill to address this news event. There are plenty of examples out there if you are interested in searching around the internet. 

These laws aren't always horrible, but they usually are. The Brady Bill is a great example of a reactionary bill that made sense. Brady was the press secretary for Ronald Reagan who was shot and nearly killed by a would-be assassin. The law requires a five-day waiting period before a handgun can be purchased. The bill's purpose offered a system that would have prevented an event that took place.  The Patriot Act is an example of reactionary politics done poorly.  It was a response to 9/11 and many provisions of it have been shot down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States.

After Columbine, Congress tried to pass a bill to ban the sale of violent video games of minors. SOPA is not that different from this reaction. SOPA is a shotgun reaction to a much more complicated issue. Piracy does happen. Piracy does cost artists money. But piracy is one of the unfortunately drawbacks of a system of free information online. There are ways to fight it, but Congress should not be doing so at the whim of the corporations that want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Stop reactionary politics. Stop SOPA.

I would also like to personally apologize for voting for Kristen Gillibrand. I assure you that I will not be repeating this mistake.

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