The radical Left is currently hard at work to rewrite our laws and remake the American economy in the image of their woke worldview.
Democrats in Congress have set their eyes on transforming America’s largest tech companies. While Republicans rightly have serious concerns with Big Tech’s abuses, Republicans should be very skeptical of this Democrat-run effort.
Just days ago, some of the most progressive House Democrats – including several leaders of the impeachment attempts against President Trump – dropped a package of bills that would empower the Biden administration to command and control Big Tech with an unchecked iron fist.
Make no mistake, Big Tech is out to get conservatives and must be reined in. But these bills do nothing to fight Big Tech’s anti-conservative bias and censorship. These Democrat bills will only make things worse. If you think Big Tech is bad now, just wait until Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google are working in collusion with Big Government.
The Democrats have cleverly tried to recruit Republicans to make their bills seem like a serious and noncontroversial bipartisan effort. But a close look at these bills shows them for what they are: a clear and present danger to freedom.
Some of the Democrats’ bills are worse than others – Democrats know this, which is why they separated them out – but taken as a whole, these bills would wreak bureaucratic havoc on conservative values, speech and free enterprise.
Antitrust law is complicated stuff and it’s foreign to most people. Democrats are weaponizing legitimate Republican anger about Big Tech’s abuses to encourage Republicans to support these bills. But Republicans should read the fine print.
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Let’s look at what some of the bills really do.
One tells Big Tech companies that if they want to invest in any other companies, they will face more scrutiny. In theory, this seems like a good idea. But this legislation says the companies can still buy up other companies, so long as they first get permission from the Biden bureaucrats.
Imagine the largest companies in the world needing to appease their woke overlords in the Biden administration before funding a new start-up. Remember when Tea Party groups were sidelined by Lois Lerner at the IRS? Remember when the Obama-Biden administration weaponized the Justice Department to target the Trump campaign? This bill creates every incentive for Big Tech to take similar anti-conservative actions on behalf of Big Government.
Two of the other bills give the same Biden regulators the ability to sculpt the structure, business lines and conduct for these companies. Amazon wants to keep offering Prime movies? The bureaucracy needs to say it’s OK. Apple wants to keep selling a watch that lets you get Parler notifications on it? Only if the nanny state approves.
The radical left sees antitrust law as its vehicle to fundamentally transform America.
The scariest bill sets up secret committees at the Federal Trade Commission that would manage data practices of the largest tech companies. These committees would include members of the targeted companies (i.e. Google, Facebook), their competitors, a "competition or privacy advocacy organization" (i.e. groups like Planned Parenthood), and academics (think Elizabeth Warren acolytes).
Not only that, but this new law – masked as an innocuous attempt to make data "portable" and "interoperable" – would open our data systems up in a way that could make them more vulnerable to spying.
The radical left sees antitrust law as its vehicle to fundamentally transform America. And they’ve said as much. Democrat Federal Trade Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter, a former adviser to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has advocated for "deploying resources to prioritize investigations that address systemic racism" and using antitrust law "to address racist practices."
It’s a sure bet that the Biden regulatory scheme envisioned in these bills will not address Republican concerns.
The newly named chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, previously worked for impeachment managers Jerry Nadler and David Cicilline as counsel on the House Judiciary Committee. There, Khan helped to lead the Democrat effort to develop these bills. Prior to working for Nadler and Cicilline, Khan was the legal director at the Open Markets Institute, a far-left think tank founded by George Soros. Although a third Democrat commissioner has yet to be announced, you can be sure Biden’s nominee has never been to a Trump rally.
These bills threaten to undo one of President Trump’s conservative legacies. Remember how Trump reshaped the federal judiciary with hundreds of new federal judges to be a check on the unaccountable administrative state? These bills would legislate away the power of these new judges by giving unprecedented power and deference to Biden-run regulatory agencies.
We all agree: Big Tech is out to get conservatives. But the answer is not to marry Big Tech to Big Government. These proposals would be a takeover of our economy by the woke elites and leaders of the so-called Hipster Antitrust movement. Even worse, these bills would do nothing to actually address anti-conservative bias and censorship in Big Tech.
We must rein in Big Tech’s abuses and ensure they can’t continue to silence conservative speech online. Our plan is to take away their liability protections and break them up.
Mark Meadows served as White House chief of staff from 2020-21 during the Trump administration. He represented North Carolina's 11th Congressional District from 2013 to 2020, and chaired the House Freedom Caucus from 2017-19.