By Chuck Rogér
At a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Democrat Senator Charles Schumer badgered witnesses from Apple and Google to comply with his demand to censor cellphone software that the Senator considers objectionable because those apps warn users of DUI checkpoints. Schumer’s official demand is that “Apple, Android, Blackberry, and others… remove smart-phone apps that allow drunk drivers to evade police checkpoints.”
Schumer, a quintessential progressive, sees no problem with the federal government demanding that companies not offer certain products. The basis for such demands is invariably the same: that the products violate progressive ideological sensibilities. Which, in everyday language, means that use of said products by consumers renders consumers too free. Mere people, the masses must submit to the wisdom of ruling class elites, who must be assumed to know best for all people.
Indeed. But suppose a completely sober, law-abiding citizen simply doesn’t want the hassle of going through a DUI checkpoint? To such a person, the smart-phone app is a godsend. But Schumer wants to take away the smart-phone app as well as the sober, law-abiding citizen’s choice. “You vill do vhat vee zay,” seems to be Schumer’s attitude.
Jim Harper at the Cato Institute points out:
If Senator Schumer succeeds, our right to freely and efficiently communicate about police activity will diminish in a way that is effectively insulated from First Amendment challenge. Privacy and freedom be damned. There are drunk drivers to catch.
Charles Schumer’s crusade is presenting Americans with a grand display of progressive arrogance.