"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Periscope Sticks It to House GOP on Gun-Control Sit-In

A great example of the power of social media has been going on all day today:  House of Representative Democrats have been staging a sit-in to get the NRA-whipped Republicans off the dime in enacting new gun control legislation.   The Republicans control the House, and with it the ability of CSPAN to carry House events live to the nation and world.  Unsurprisingly, the cowardly Republican leaders of the House refused to let CSPAN do its job, and cut off its cameras.

But the United States and the world have been seeing what's going on just fine, thanks to CSPAN picking up feeds on Periscope.

This is a big victory for democracy, as well as what social media can do on behalf of freedom. Unregulated by any authority other than the conscience of people who point their smartphones in the right direction with an app like Periscope, social media can bring people the truth when political authorities think it would be better to suppress it.

This is exactly what I've been saying for years, especially in New New Media.   Ultimately, the people are more important than their elected representatives in a democracy, and when the elected representatives do the wrong thing, social media allow the people to correct that.

The Republicans are wrong not only in trying to shut off coverage of the House sit-in, but in saying no to sensible gun reform, which is the reason that House Democrats are sitting in.  The Republicans have a big majority in the House of Representatives, and would no doubt be able to easily defeat any Democratic proposal for gun control.  So why won't they even allow a gun control bill to come to a vote? The answer: the Republicans don't want to be on record as opposing such life-saving legislation. That's why having a video record of what the Democrats want to do - have a vote on a gun control bill - is so important.

We all should vote this Fall for people who want to safeguard our lives as well as our freedoms.

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