The TikTok Totalitarians

by | Mar 20, 2024

The TikTok Totalitarians

by | Mar 20, 2024

a teenager holds a smartphone with the tiktok logo and against the background of the american flag. selective focus. donald trump to ban tiktok in united states. russia, kazan august 08, 2020

On Wednesday, March 13th, a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives voted to give the U.S. president the power to remove any website, computer or mobile application, or even service provider that the president determines—without due process—is run by “a person subject to the direction of control of a foreign person or entity” as long as that foreign person or entity is declared an “adversary” of the U.S.

And who gets to decide who is an “adversary”? The U.S. President.

Cut through the hollow propaganda about the Chinese using it to spy on and subvert Americans—another “Saddam’s got WMDs” lie—and it is the most dangerous and un-American piece of legislation since the PATRIOT Act.

In fact it may be arguably worse. While the PATRIOT Act was a fig leaf for the government to spy on Americans, this demon of a bill will actually allow the US Government to determine what Americans can read and thereby what they will think. Isn’t that just what supporters of this bill claim the Chinese government is doing?

Take all the massive evidence of U.S. government collusion and censorship of Americans’ “wrongthink” exposed by the heroic Matt Taibbi and the rest of the “Twitter Files” investigators and multiply it by a million and you won’t even then begin to understand the damage this law will do once it’s passed in the Senate and signed by Biden.

Twitter/X and its owner Elon Musk are routinely claimed to be biased toward (or sometimes against) Russia. Obviously “foreign adversary controlled.” Shut it down.

The video hosting and streaming service Rumble minimizes restrictions on what can be uploaded. It rightly calls itself the free-speech platform. They even allow Russian media RT and Iran’s PressTV to give a perspective different than that given by the U.S. government and mainstream media. Shut it down. “Foreign adversary controlled.”

How about the Ron Paul Liberty Report? We often take positions at odds with the policies of the US Administration and criticize, for example, sending hundreds of billions to fight a proxy war in Ukraine. Obviously “foreign adversary controlled.” Shut it down.

Every single independent conservative media outlet that is sympathetic to Donald Trump will be in the crosshairs of President Biden when this bill becomes law, as Biden and his crew consistently accuse Trump—even after all these years—of being in Putin’s back pocket. That is why right-winger Federalist CEO Sean Davis is horrified by the move, writing on Twitter/X:

“It’s not that the U.S. government wants to protect you from spying and data theft and manipulation. If only. No, the people behind the Russian collusion hoax, and the Kavanaugh hoax, and the natural origin COVID hoax, and the illegal warrantless spying, and the forced transing of your children—they want to be the ones spying on you and stealing your data and poisoning the minds of your children.”

Those on the Left should take heed: Be assured that if Donald Trump is elected president this fall, the bill will become the same political cudgel used by the Right to silence your alternative media outlets as well.

Libertarian-minded progressives like Glenn Greenwald see the danger—and the pattern—clearly, as he writes:

“The TikTok bill is how rights erosions always always always work: Pick a target to start with that everyone hates or fears, so that everyone unites in support, nobody wants to defend. Then the precedent is set, so when it expands inward, nobody can object any longer.”

See where this is going? It’s not about China. It’s about our freedom to consume whatever media we wish to consume. No one is forced to use TikTok. If an American exercising his or her First Amendment rights determines that any risk of using TikTok is one worth taking, that is his or her right.

Tucker Carlson—no friend of China—rightly deemed it, “the most far reaching act of censorship in the history of the United States.” He added, “it’s an attack on the right of American citizens to receive their information from any source they choose.”

After the ignominious House vote, Tucker had Sen. Rand Paul on his program to explain how the “we are protecting Americans from the Chinese Communists” explanation for attacking the US Constitution is nothing but a ruse. Watch that episode on Twitter/X here.

Sen. Paul himself pointed out the hypocrisy in the US government taking such an authoritarian approach to censorship, writing on Twitter/X, “Emulating Chinese communism is not the way to combat Chinese communism.”

There is a mafia element to the legislation as well. The bill demands that TikTok be sold to avoid being banned.

Remember when Michael Corleone told this then-girlfriend Kay Adams how his father, Don Vito Corleone, “encouraged” the bandleader that had Johnny Fontaine under contract to let him out of the contract when Johnny started to become a star:

Michael Corleone: “My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.”

Kay Adams: “What was that?”

Michael Corleone: “Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract. That’s a true story.”

This is exactly what the U.S. government is doing with this legislation. It’s hardly surprising that now that this U.S. government threat against TikTok has likely seriously devalued the company, deep state denizens like former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven “Goldman Sachs” Mnuchin is sniffing around ready to pick up TikTok for a song.

Either TikTok’s signature or its brains will be on Mnuchin’s contract.

This is gangsterism and authoritarianism on steroids, yet the uniparty running Washington DC lapped it up like mother’s milk. Perhaps that is why they lapped it up so enthusiastically.

When this bill becomes law, a big part of America will have died. That’s not an exaggeration.

This article was originally featured at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and is republished with permission.

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