Dear Sweet Intern

Dear Joshua,

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ruling on internet regulations. I appreciate hearing from you and I care about your thoughts. […]

We care about keeping the internet open and free. Since its inception, the internet has played a vital role in driving innovation, commerce, economic opportunity and job creation. It has provided an accessible space for small business owners and entrepreneurs to compete in the market. That is why this Congress has rolled back harmful and overreaching regulations that were enacted by the Obama Administration. […]

As this debate continues in Congress, I will keep your comments in mind to ensure a free and open Internet


Tom Reed
Member of Congress

Thank you, dear Intern, for writing this vacant, pro-forma e-mail for your boss.

Senator Reed (who I’m beginning to suspect may not have read my letter) either has an understanding of Net Neutrality that’s so flawed as to be ironic, or, he is baldly promoting the interests of the multi-national corporations who stand to benefit from its dismantling — in direct opposition to the interests of his constituents.

Constituents like me.

Yes, hi.

Look, I have lots of respect for honest intellectual conservatism, and I understand and share the fear of giant, non-transparent governments.  I’m no fan of fascism, authoritarianism, or really any kind of autocratic government that isn’t The Philosopher King’s Benevolent Monarchy.  I believe the absolute freedom of the individual is our most fundamental modern right, and anything infringing on it requires overwhelmingly demonstrable proof of its necessity.

That being said, I have only hatred in my heart for the corpocracy that rules this country.  We could just as easily be talking about private prisons, or industrial weapons and war profiteering, or health care “insurance” that ranks citizens in access tiers and puts profit-makers between patients and doctors — we could be talking about a great many things, and this fact would remain:

Protecting the freedom of corporations to restrict the freedom of our citizens is an irony of astounding myopia.

Your boss, dear Intern, is either willfully ignorant, willfully corrupt, complacently stupid, or some absurd combination of the three —  NONE OF THESE OPTIONS ARE DEFENSIBLE.

This man and his ilk should — and God willing, someday will — be stripped of their titles and their dignity and made to walk home to their constituents, barefoot and crying.

Sorry, Intern, but — Congressman Reed,  it is my belief that you are a rank asshole.


A free market REQUIRES REGULATION TO OPERATE.  The game-theory incentives of a truly free market are for the top players to collude, force out competition, then drive up prices.  ALL unrestricted markets devolve into MONOPOLY, ALWAYS.  If you stand to benefit from that system, as Congressman Reed does, and your principles are only skin-deep, self-serving lip service, as Congressman Reed’s are, then hey, who cares?

But if you care about justice, or kindness, or the collective human trust that is placed in the hands of a public SERVANT, then you care. And what’s more, you are growing increasingly ANGRY at being talked to like a child.

As I’m sure you can tell, this is not just about New Neutrality.  This is about an entire civilization’s tipping point of no return.  It’s about what we could be, versus what we are, and what we are becoming.  Intern, forgive me, but your boss IS the servant of someone, and it isn’t the public; worse, they see the public as something bovine, undeserving of empathy, something to harvest.  But as that public grows more educated, as knowledge is further democratized and disseminated, it’s possible the day of their disgrace is coming.  For their sake, for all our sake’s, if that day comes I hope our species has outgrown the guillotine.

For today, though, for this sorry day in a string of sorry days, the slap in the face that was your pro-forma response has simply cost him a vote he never had.  And so he laughs, and returns to his life.  Hell, he probably won’t even have to face the minor discomfort of reading this letter.

Forgive me my malice, Mr. Reed, but on the off-chance this does make it to your desk, I hope you choke on your next ill-gotten check as it’s crammed down your insatiable, still-slurping throat.  The choking would not stop the slurping, I’m sure.

You are beyond saving.

But for you, Intern, all I can say is question everything.  Nobody has a premium on absolute truth, not your boss, not your boss’ boss, and certainly not me.  It’s up to you to bring the servant back to public servant.  Someone has to be the seed.  If the corporations aren’t pried off the head of our democracy soon, they will devour the host; and this 200-year experiment of by the people, for the people, will fall finally to its ruin.  If you aspire to a place of rulership in the new aristocracy of that old world order, then goodbye sweet Intern, and God save your soul.

But if you aspire to a better world, one constructed in the very face of the supra-national powers that rule us — If you aspire to preserving and fulfilling the promises of actual freedom and self-government made at the signing of our incredible constitution, well, you have my email address.

I’ll be here, swallowing my vomit, husbanding the last of my compassion, cupping my calloused hands around the flickering, fading light that was the birth of this beautiful republic.

By the people, For the people,

With love,


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