Can we stand up to China? Apparently not.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) blocked a move Wednesday by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) to pass his bill that would ban the embattled social media platform TikTok in the U.S., saying the legislation violated First Amendment rights.
“The company has bent over backwards to work with our government,” Paul said on the Senate floor.
Does a Chinese Communist organization have First Amendment rights? It does not, but the libertarian politician keeps insisting that it does.
“I will continue to defend the First Amendment, and those who believe that the First Amendment doesn’t protect this speech are in the wrong,” he said.
A Chinese company’s platform isn’t ‘speech’ either.
“The truth will carry the day and we will continue the fight,” Hawley said in response to Paul’s objections.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) came to the defense of Hawley, pushing back against Paul’s argument that the bill would violate free speech.
“This is not a First Amendment issue, because we’re not trying to ban booty videos,” Rubio said. “This is not about the content of the videos that are online. It is about the dangers to the national security that are presented by the way that this company functions.”
“There are no such things as private companies in China. They do not exist.”
That’s true. Any company in China ultimately answers to the Chinese Communist Party. But Paul seems to think that the First Amendment protects the right of the Chinese Communist Party to spy on Americans.
Paul fired back at both Harley and Rubio, saying he was “unlikely to take First Amendment advice from someone who believes that the First Amendment doesn’t protect the communist party.”
So China doesn’t have much to worry about after all. No more than the Soviet Union did.