Culture

Trump continues to assail TikTok, despite indications he'll lose

This won’t be resolved until he’s a private citizen.

Tired senior judge sitting with book in courtroom
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TikTok v. Trump is the gift that keeps giving, even with the slow pace of legal proceedings. The story charges forward once more as the Justice Department appeals an injunction from earlier this month, according to Reuters. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols made it impossible for the Commerce Department to restrict TikTok’s operations in the country despite the soon-to-be-former President's wishes.

While trying to shut down a viral dance app with few opportunities to leak user data that just happens to be Chinese-owned is par for the course for a stubborn, xenophobic narcissist, the move — in the dying days of his administration, no less, and while a pandemic continues to ravage the U.S. — feels like little more than a desperate man desperate for a win.

Here we go again — Just about every writer at Input has covered Trump’s feral attempts at banning TikTok, most recently and succinctly outlined here. Since August, all allegedly-national-security-protection-fueled efforts to ban TikTok have ended in laughable failures, while TikTok maintains users have nothing to worry about and remains a ByteDance property, despite efforts to force a sale of its U.S.-related business to American interests.

Fresh off of repeatedly losing the presidential election, Donald J. Trump seems intent on continuing to lose. Perhaps he's developed a taste for it. Officials told Reuters it’s unlikely that TikTok’s uncertain standing in the U.S. will be settled by President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, though.

Technically, TikTok’s run out of time to hand itself over to Walmart and Oracle as it was previously expected to do after pressure from the current administration, but officials are allowing the stilted talks to continue, hoping for a miracle deal. Of course, the Biden administration could simply drop all of the DOJ’s current anti-TikTok legal battles, including an appeal of a different injunction set for January.

Get those sweet tax-paid lawyers while you can — Once Trump is out of office, he’s open to potentially thousands of civil and criminal lawsuits. If he can push his anti-Chinese agenda using lawyers he doesn’t have to pay for, why not go out in a blaze of loserdom?

Even by trying to do something ostensibly good — and obviously petty — like demanding the larger stimulus checks Congress eventually signed off on, Trump's efforts resulted in the delay of crucial financial programs millions are relying on as COVID-19 cases surge.

When dealing with a narcissist, sometimes motivations are as simple as optics, and cold hard cash has the same impact for both parties’ constituents. In lieu of that, “saving” America from the perceived threat of Chinese technological prowess could be a solid boost for an already inflated ego. To us, though, it looks like another pathetic attempt at posturing from a pathetic poser.