Rick Santorum: Civics Expert; Cell Phone Historian

The notion that the United States of America was somehow founded on a principle of "limited government" is ludicrous on its face. It's bad enough that the GOP keeps puking up that lie, but now Rick Santorum wants you to believe that the supposedly

The notion that the United States of America was somehow founded on a principle of "limited government" is ludicrous on its face. It's bad enough that the GOP keeps puking up that lie, but now Rick Santorum wants you to believe that the supposedly overbearing government we had 20 years ago—when Republicans controlled both houses of congress and we had just come out of more than a decade of Republican presidents—would have prevented cell phones from coming into existence ... even though they were already in use by millions of people all over the world by that time.

The cell phone technology that Rick Santorum declared would not have come to be, had government had its hand in it, was funded in part by government grants, and spurred along by the very bureaucracy he deplores.

"How many people have a cell phone?" [Santorum] asked at a campaign speech in Chillicothe, Ohio. "The young folks here, 20 years ago, there were no cell phones to speak of. And now people who 20 years ago couldn't conceive of a cell phone, now can't live without one ... Let me assure you if the government had taken over the technology sector of our economy 25 years ago, no one would ever have heard of a cell phone. Because what we would be doing is we would be making sure everybody had pagers and allocated them equivalently across everybody."

Mm Hmm ...


(Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in 1987's "Wall Street")

First, let's mention the complete arrogance of Rick Santorum to assume that the United States would be the only country in the entire world that could ever conceive of such a thing as a cell phone. Someone needs to educate him to the fact that the first cellular telephone was invented in Sweden by a man named  Sture Laurén and a team of engineers at a company called TeliaSonera ... in 1956 (just a few more years ago than 20). Russia, Bulgaria and Finland even beat us to the punch!

And had it not been for the "big, bad" government protecting not only the American consumer from a monopoly, but affording American business ingenuity an opportunity to blossom by breaking up AT&T in 1982, who knows where cell phone technology in the United States (or any other country for that matter) would be now.

From telco historian Tom Farley:

"On August 24, 1982, after seven years of wrangling with the American federal Justice Department, American Telephone and Telegraph was split apart, succumbing to government pressure from without and a carefully thought up plan from within. The Bell System, serving 80% of the American population, and custodian of Bell Laboratories, was broken apart. Complete divestiture took place on January 1, 1984. After the breakup new companies, products, and services appeared immediately in all fields of American telecom, as a fresh, competitive spirit swept the country. The AT&T divestiture caused nations around the world to reconsider their state owned and operated telephone companies, with a view toward fostering competition in their own countries."

A person this ignorant of simple facts, who resorts to telling insanely stupid tall tales, and who has so little grasp of any sort of reality outside our borders, is a dangerous person to even be considering for the position of President of the United States of America. Yet there are multi-millionaires out there feeding his campaign the fuel it needs to fight on, as if he had any business running a gumball machine at a state fair, let alone one of the greatest nations on earth.

Incredible.

This post originally appeared at Reelect Democrats

About Jill W Klausen

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