Map of Congressional SOPA support

Here is a map of the United States indicating where SOPA has Congressional support and opposition. It’s easy to see that the support leans Republican and the opposition leans Democratic. But implicit in the map is that the inhabitants in these geographical areas feel the same way as their representatives. They voted for them, right?

Well, this is tricky. First, SOPA was not an issue when these people were elected, so individual voters could not get a clear idea of where the candidates stood. They might have had a rough estimate, but it would be very rough given that some Democrats favor and some Republicans oppose SOPA.

Second, I doubt that most voters have any idea what SOPA really is. Even if their candidates had given explicit positions on specific points of it, as some have since they were elected, support for it is couched in such terms that it obscures what the real effects of the bill will be and how powerless even the almighty US government is to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

A part of me just wishes SOPA would pass so that people could see what it really meant and what it could and couldn’t really do. It wouldn’t stand for long. The general public and especially the US Congress still doesn’t fully realize what the internet is capable of.

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