Rogers: Unveiling the Real Threat Behind TikTok

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Opinion

Across the spectrum of threats facing America in the last few decades, politicians in Washington D.C. have insisted on focusing maximum effort and taxpayer dollars on those that were self-perpetuated or performative. With the public finally realizing endless middle eastern campaigns haven’t exported democracy or stability, and the specter of the mighty Russian military machine humiliated by Ukrainians armed with our old stuff – China, our nations true adversary is finally getting the attention it should have had this entire time.

The proposed congressional ban on TikTok, a social media platform controlled by the Chinese company ByteDance, has become a focal point in this escalating tension. Thousands of hysterical, smartphone and social media addicted children called Congressional offices from inside our K-12 schools, weaponized by the Chinese Communist Party to protect one of their most effective manipulation tools yet. If that doesn’t scream a crisis of urgency, we have truly lost our way.

For decades, the strategy of engaging China in economic exchange was predicated on the belief that such engagement would inevitably lead to political liberalization and a more responsible global presence. However, this experiment has demonstrably failed. Instead of moving towards greater political openness, the CCP has tightened its grip on power, increasingly asserting its authoritarian model both domestically and internationally. The engagement policy underestimated the CCP’s ability to leverage economic growth to strengthen its control, rather than liberalize. TikTok, with its vast data collection capabilities and an algorithm clearly designed to amplify and accelerate the most destructive elements of American society in contrast to its own wholesome and patriotic domestic variant, represents a continuation of this trend, where economic integration does not lead to political openness but rather to increased surveillance, espionage, and cyber war activity against American citizens and our way of life.

The proposed TikTok bill also draws attention to the broader pattern of mistreatment experienced by American entrepreneurs, innovators, and companies at the hands of the Chinese government. From forced technology transfers to intellectual property theft, American companies have faced constant barriers and unfair practices in China. Such actions not only harm the companies directly involved but also undermine the United States’ competitive edge in key technological and innovative sectors. By allowing platforms like TikTok to operate freely within its borders under the influence of the CCP, the U.S. risks further exposing its citizens and its economic interests to exploitation.

Moreover, the influence of the Chinese Communist Party extends far beyond the tech industry. China has strategically positioned itself in control of crucial production sectors, notably those relevant to health and national defense. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the perils of over-dependence on China for essential medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Similarly, China’s dominance in rare earth minerals, vital for everything from consumer electronics to military hardware, has raised alarms about national security risks. These examples underscore the broader issue of allowing the CCP undue influence over critical global supply chains, which can be leveraged to exert political and economic pressure.

The proposed ban on the Chinese Government control of TikTok is not an isolationist policy but a necessary step in addressing the broader challenge posed by the Chinese Communist Party’s influence over global economic and political systems. By taking decisive action against TikTok, Congress would send a clear message about realigning the US-China relationship with a commitment to protect its national security, safeguard the privacy of its citizens, and preserve the integrity of its democratic institutions. Still, concerns about federal overreach and abusive targeting of domestic Americans, their companies and technology by the security state are well warranted. It is crucial that the final version of this bill protects us from our foreign adversaries and doesn’t open us up to further partisan weaponization of the federal government.

Lastly, and most personally, as an American war veteran and former intelligence officer I continue to hold in great contempt those who are paid by our nations enemies (and sometimes “frenemies”) to advocate for policies that hurt America, our children, and our way of life – but I have never seen anything as shocking as the scope and scale of the pro-CCP Tiktok effort. I would encourage my fellow public policy advocates, particularly those on the pro-America side of the aisle, to think long and hard about the damage that such a position and affiliation will have on their branding and business.

Follow Sam Rogers on X at @RealSamRogers.

NEXT: Rep. Thomas Massie Calls TikTok Ban a ‘Trojan Horse’, Says the POTUS Will Be Granted Power to ‘Ban’ Websites Outright

AMP America

Get Amp’d in your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter to get videos, articles, and more sent right to your inbox daily. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This