John Kerry, the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat who by the way served in Vietnam (h/t James Taranto), was recently in Brazil speaking to State Department officials. An interesting tidbit from his speech (emphasis mine):
“I’m a student of history, and I love to go back and read a particularly great book like [Henry] Kissinger’s book about diplomacy where you think about the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the balance of power and how difficult it was for countries to advance their interests and years and years of wars,” Kerry said to a gathering of State Department employees and their families.
“And we sometimes say to ourselves, boy, aren’t we lucky,” Kerry continued.
“Well, folks,” he said, “ever since the end of the Cold War, forces have been unleashed that were tamped down for centuries by dictators, and that was complicated further by this little thing called the internet and the ability of people everywhere to communicate instantaneously and to have more information coming at them in one day than most people can process in months or a year.
“It makes it much harder to govern, makes it much harder to organize people, much harder to find the common interest,” said Kerry, “and that is complicated by a rise of sectarianism and religious extremism that is prepared to employ violent means to impose on other people a way of thinking and a way of living that is completely contrary to everything the United States of America has ever stood for. So we need to keep in mind what our goals are and how complicated this world is that we’re operating in.”
This guy is our Secretary of State. He represents us and our interests with foreign countries. And this is what he’s saying: The internet makes it harder for governments to control people, and we are too dumb to process the vast amounts of information and news.
The fact that the internet makes governments uncomfortable is precisely why it is good and necessary. Having access to information and news is good and necessary. The ability to find and communicate with people who share common interests is good and necessary. It is part of how we filter and process the flow of data, which we are perfectly capable of doing.
Freedom is messy. It’s dirty. Sometimes it’s downright dangerous. But freedom is ours. It is good. It is desirable. It is our God-given gift. It should be defended at every turn. It’s a shame Mr. Kerry doesn’t agree.