Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Thursday, December 23, 2004

See, this is what I don't like about politics and the two-party monopoly

Glenn Reynolds, a law professor, blog pioneer (Instapundit) and ardent conservative/Republican, had this to say regarding the lack of success the RIAA and MPAA had in all its abundance of litigation in 2004:
And if the courts don't do the job, perhaps politics will. Republicans are beginning to notice that the chief beneficiaries of this intellectual property explosion are entertainment industries that support Democrats. Legislation to limit their power would deprive the opposition of funding, while winning the affection of the tens of millions of voters - especially younger, technology-savvy voters - whose slogan is 'Keep your grubby laws off my computer.' Will Republicans take advantage of this opportunity? That depends on whether they want to be a majority party - or history.
With solid control of both Congress and the Executive, the Republicans have it within their power to get rid of the DMCA and related laws that restrict free speech in the name of intellectual property, and to deal a blow to the industries and people who have been their most determined, well-funded, and vitriolic opponents. Extend Michael Moore's copyrights? The politics of this situation ought the favor free speech.
As a vociferous supporter of free markets, capitalism, technological innovation, and basically anything that will (legally) give the RIAA a black eye, what could I possibly have against this little diatribe? I'll tell you since you asked. Is it just me, or is something as important as freedom turning into nothing more than another political pawn, a gamepiece to be used when it will advance a particular party's agenda - hopefully at the expense of that of the other party? Why can't Republicans embrace freedom not because it'll put a thorn in Michael Moore's side or because it might win a big voting block (the above-mentioned "tech-savvy") - but because it's the right thing to do? Why must everything devolve to partisan politics for the sake of partisan politics?

Entirely too many Democrats and Republicans are way too fixated on the labels of their friends and enemies and not giving enough mindshare to the principles that they believe in and should be encouraging in their representatives. That's one of the things that a breaking of the two-party monopoly would, I believe, bring to the country. Each party would have to vigorously defend their platforms and issues with reasoned and principled analysis rather than just being able to say, "What we're offering may be slightly off-putting to you, but you better vote for us so you don't get stuck with the repugnant stuff that other guy is offering!" Talk about free exchange in the marketplace of ideas.


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