Is access to the internet a “civil right”?
Well, of course anything can be declared a “civil right”. All it takes is using the force of government via law or bureaucratic fiat (FCC imposes new rules on internet) to make something into that. But any basic understanding of the word “right” does not include something which depends on the labor, money, services or assets of a 2nd party for its fulfillment. Health care is not a “right”, civil or otherwise, because in order to fulfill it, one must coerce a 2nd party provider to give the services necessary whether they want to or not.
So is the internet a “civil right”? Depends on who you ask – for the entitlement crowd, the answer is “yes”:
"Broadband is becoming a basic necessity," civil-rights activist Benjamin Hooks added. And earlier this month, fellow FCC panelist Mignon Clyburn, daughter of Congressional Black Caucus leader and No. 3 House Democrat James Clyburn of South Carolina, declared that free (read: taxpayer-subsidized) access to the Internet is not only a civil right for every "nappy-headed child" in America, but is essential to their self-esteem. Every minority child, she said, "deserves to be not only connected, but to be proud of who he or she is."
Heck, the same argument could be made for any number of things – a cell phone, for instance. Any number of people I’m sure would argue that a cell phone and unlimited access to a cellular phone network has become a “basic necessity”. Of course we’re sliding down that slippery slope at an amazing rate of speed.
And if internet access is a “basic need”, a “civil right”, what about the tools necessary to access it? An account with an internet provider and a computer? Software? Michelle Malkin remarks:
Face it: A high-speed connection is no more an essential civil right than 3G cell phone service or a Netflix account. Increasing competition and restoring academic excellence in abysmal public schools is far more of an imperative to minority children than handing them iPads. Once again, Democrats are using children as human shields to provide useful cover for not so noble political goals.
And, of course that “not so noble political goal” is more government control which, of course, translates into more power accrued and more control of every aspect of your life. Malkin again:
For progressives who cloak their ambitions in the mantle of "fairness," it’s all about control. It’s always about control.
Precisely – and they’ll use any trick in the book to enlarge it. And cloaking it in the guise of a “civil right” simply points out, again, how blatantly transparent they’ve gotten in their quest. This isn’t about “rights” – this is about power and intrusion.