For months we’ve been speculating about how Ron Paul might spend the political capital he’s amassed accumulating all those delegate votes through the primary season. Now it looks like we have our answer.
A new document from Ron Paul and his son Rand called “The Technology Revolution” lays out the Pauls’ roadmap for where they’ll focus their agenda moving forward: Internet freedom.
The document makes a case against the largely GOP-motivated legislation to regulate the internet that’s been proposed over the last year—acts like SOPA, PIPA, etc. It also makes a case against the dominant voices resisting internet regulation—the tech companies and political progressives who protested SOPA and who last week released their own manifesto called the Declaration of Internet Freedom.
The Pauls argue that both approaches from the left and the right seek to impose harmful controls on an internet that should be left totally unregulated. In the Pauls’ view, the left’s anti-trust concerns and advocacy for “Net Neutrality,” which would prevent telecoms from divvying up their bandwidth and charging sites for quick load times, are as misguided and anti-free-market as the right’s push for tighter copyright controls with SOPA. Government regulation in the interest of openness and consumer fairness is neither open nor fair, they say.
Instead, the Pauls want to see the internet totally unregulated, with corporations and individuals behaving in the ecosystem however the market will motivate them to.
“The revolution is occurring around the world,” they say. “It is occurring in the private sector, not the public sector. It is occurring despite wrongheaded attempts by governments to micromanage markets through disastrous industrial policy. And it is driven by the Internet, the single greatest catalyst in history for individual liberty and free markets.”
Earlier this spring Ron Paul’s Nevada campaign manager Carl Bunce discussed Paul’s strategy of continuing to accumulate delegate loyalty even though he’d stopped campaigning for president. “Romney would have to give something,” he said, if Paul had enough delegates at the convention. “Who knows what that could be? It depends on how many delegates we get and how much leverage we have.”
It looks like we now have a pretty good idea of what that will be: Paul and his son Rand will likely use their considerable leverage to try to push the GOP away from their efforts to regulate the internet with SOPA, and to line up behind their vision for an unregulated internet outlined in this new document.
It’s a move Democrats are more likely than Republicans to champion, but then again Ron Paul isn’t known as the GOP’s renegade for nothing. He may never be president, but if he’s able to significantly impact the shifting forces that have been threatening to change the internet, he’ll have achieved quite the legacy.
Check out “The Technology Revolution” below courtesy of BuzzFeed.