Kent Bush: The Internet is governed by people who have never sent an email
Lobbyists have undue power because legislators are ideologues who take positions based on gamesmanship rather than knowledge.
In an attempt to mount an attack on Hillary Clinton for using her personal email account to carry out official business – which prevents appropriate archiving, opens her up to security breaches and allows her to dodge open records requests – Graham dropped a cultural bomb.
“You can have every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never sent one,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning.
He has never sent an email.
Last weekend alone, I sold a house in Kansas while at a Christian concert with my son, signed off on a bid for a house in Oklahoma while eating at Cracker Barrel, and finalized the purchase of a home traveling on I-35 to take my family back to Kansas.
I can shoot a video, edit it, post it to our newspaper’s website and post it on social media all from my phone.
Graham has never sent an email. It isn’t like he has elderly grandchildren and once thought ballpoint pens were a major advance in technology.
Graham is 59 years old. He has a legal degree.
He has been in Congress for two decades. But he has never sent an email.
If he hasn’t sent an email, then he also hasn’t used any social media since email addresses are required to log in to almost every social platform. He has also never paid a bill online or used online banking.
Basically, he is not an American. My mom is 76 and she is an avid emailer and keeps up with her family on Facebook. She wasn’t born into a world with technology like this, but she is a smart woman and she learned.
Graham’s cellphone probably still has a rotary dial.
But unlike every other person in 2015 who has a solid grasp on modern technology, Lindsay Graham is one of 100 senators who help decide issues like net neutrality.
Graham can’t have a personal opinion on this issue. He knows where he stands based only on what his legislative allies and enemies have said on the matter plus what lobbyists have paid him to think.
He recently received a letter from a constituent about the issue of net neutrality. It was delivered by the United States Postal Service, so Graham was able to respond.
“I am pleased the Court held the FCC’s rules were a serious regulatory overreach and believe elected members of Congress rather than government bureaucrats should address issues of net neutrality,” Graham’s response read. Yes, instead of the FCC whose directors work in this world every day, we need to let Senators who have never sent an email decide the issue.
But Graham’s letter obviously came from a staffer. The following paragraph confirms that.
“If you are online, I would also encourage you to visit my website - http://lgraham.senate.gov - as it has information on the most recent activities before the Senate,” the letter stated. “While there you can also sign up for our e-mail newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages which will provide the latest information, and my up-to-the-minute views on the major issues facing our nation.”
So Graham has never sent an email, but he has an electronic newsletter and a social media presence on multiple platforms.
I guess he has people for that.
Before he casts a vote on issues governing how we use technology, I hope he asks some of those people what they think he should do.
Hopefully, this admission will be embarrassing enough to force Graham to reach out to others who have experience online and help him start to join modern society.
Who knows, he and Hillary Clinton might even become pen pals.
Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at email@example.com.