President Theodore Roosevelt was The Trust Buster. He protected our lives and fortunes from being controlled by an uncontrollable few. He busted up monopolies, by which a handful of supremely wealthy and powerful people hold the rest of us in a stranglehold.
On October 6, 2020, an antitrust subcommittee in the House of Representatives took The Trust Buster’s baton, and issued a report titled “Investigation Of Competition In Digital Markets”. It focuses on Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple. It focuses not only on their stranglehold over our marketplace of consumer products, but also their stranglehold over our right to privacy and other “unalienable Rights”. It recommends that Congress pass corrective legislation.
Apple lost no time striking back. In its October 6, 2020 repudiation of the report, Apple made us laugh and cry with its best argument: “Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business.”
Truth be told, Apple’s better argument would have been this: Hey, Twitter does it too!
What’s next began before October 6, 2020. Big Tech’s army of lobbyists and lawyers are hard at work, with unlimited budgets. Even without a contribution from Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jeff Bezos, and Tim Cook can afford whatever it takes to buy Congress.
Is Congress for sale?
When asked about the murder and mayhem throughout America, House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler said they are “a myth”. The antitrust subcommittee is a subcommittee of his House Judiciary Committee. If asked about his staff’s findings about Big Tech, will Jerry Nadler say the findings are “a myth”? Will he give the report its due, or will he give it the silent treatment? Is he for sale?
Our precious right to vote is at stake. Without free speech, without the free exchange of ideas, without free access to the truth, with private corporate censorship of social media, the right to vote is “a myth”. Capitalism also is at stake. Without vigorous competition in the marketplace, capitalism is “a myth”.
History will record October 6, 2020 either as the day The Trust Buster’s legacy preserved our Constitution, or history will record it as the day Brave New World replaced our Constitution. May the moderator of the Second Presidential Debate be authentic enough to ask the candidates for their positions on this most crucial issue.