Skip to main content

Latest example of living without principle

I saw in the news this morning that Montana banned TikTok. Inevitable legal challenges aside, it is very sad to see such wanton blindness to what things must co-occur, what things occur subsequently, etc.

People who live in the realm of immediate consequences are destined to get body-slammed by unanticipated consequences.

When you break a principle, you don't just get the specific outcome you are seeking for. You also make it much easier for all other outcomes precluded by that principle to come to pass--sometimes without anything else needing to change.

The people pushing for this sort of thing are always the ones acting most surprised when the broken principle affects them in ways "no one could have foreseen."

In this case, it seems rather obvious that if the government has the authority to ban TikTok, it can also ban you from using any other app they choose. This reduces the burden of decision from "what people choose to do with their phone is up to them" to "what people choose to do with their phone is up to the majority of legislators current in office." If you think that is a good idea, try contacting your representative to see if you can even get a response (that they write; it is easy to get an auto- or secretary-generated response, which is obvious when it does not address anything specific in your letter).

When people who are not accountable to you make decisions for you, that is no longer representative government. It is no longer freedom. It is slavery or monarchy. 

Imagine if you earn money through TikTok, live in Montana, and wake up this morning to see that a set of government goons has made your livelihood illegal. And why? Because they were not treating the root cause. They presumed that they were wiser than all the parents upon whose shoulders every negative aspect of TikTok falls.

The real problem isn't China, "mental health," apps, or cell phones. The problem is that we have an entire generation of parents who are so lazy, selfish, and spineless that they give their kids anything they want instead of what is good for them. The problem is we have at least an entire generation of kids who think its ok to spend your free time watching idiotic-at-best short videos, typically featuring either some young person publicly airing personal (and often fake) drama, nonsensically raging about something that offends their signaled virtue, or simply stars some young lady shaking her butt to music. These are kids who have no concept of what is good, true, or beautiful, and who are doing nothing to acquire or experience the same in their lives. This is not how the kids are. It is how their parents have made them. Parents of these miscreants ought to be ashamed.

The other day, I stood in a restaurant waiting for some to-go food. It was during a weekday. I saw two mothers in the restaurant with one young (3-7 years old) child each. Both mothers spent the entire ten minutes I was there staring and and scrolling through their phones in unbroken concentration while not so much as looking up at their child. That is the problem. This is where it all starts.

As I reflect on this, I realize that I made a mistake in simply watching this. I should have said something to them, because I'm sure no one else is. I will be better at this now that I realize it.

We are willing to pass nanny-state laws with terrible unintended consequences, but we aren't willing to say or do anything about it ourselves. First, we should all make sure we are not part of the problem in how we are raising our own kids. Then, we need to speak up: saying the truth, saying what benefits, and trying to help people to see a better way.

How hypocritical our society is to do nothing to address individuals we witness, even giving them every benefit of the doubt that can be imagined, while excusing the blanket destruction of wide-ranging principles.

Here are some comments from the article that are spot on:

"I think people that are supporting a government ban on TikTok are not thinking ahead on what comes next after the ban. If you want your kids off TicTok quit shoving a phone/tablet in front of your child and actually be parent. There's no conversation about personal responsibility on this issue, only that we need more government."

"f they can ban TikToc, they can ban claimed Russian Hunter Biden disinformation or any nongovernment approved app.  People can decide.  It is gung ho crap like this which got the Patriot Act passed allowing no warrant spying and no habeas corpus arrest and detainments for your "safety" and "security".  You do not want the government in the business of censoring what apps the plebs are allowed to use...."

"In a free nation you would have the choice whether you use TikTok or not. I suggest everyone delete, or never use in the first place, TikTok. However, if an individual wants to use TT they should have the right to do so. This is another great example of government overreach. This nation has so much wrong with it, all caused by government, and TT is the least of our worries. "

"I'm no fan of TikTok, or social media in general, but this is one hell of a slippery slope."