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Biden’s Desperate TikTok Ploy To Regain Young Votes


Desperate times call for desperate measures. And Biden’s campaign team may have just thought of their most desperate move yet – launching a TikTok account.

The hypocrisy is glaring. After banning TikTok on federal devices due to security risks, Biden now wants in on the app himself just as support among young voters falters. It reeks of a panicked president grasping at straws while the political ground shifts beneath his feet.

As word spreads of this potential Hail Mary pass, the backlash has been swift. Senator Tom Cotton slammed the idea as a pathetic ploy that would compromise national security just to boost Biden’s flagging popularity. 

Polls show a staggering reversal among 18-24 year olds who were critical to Biden’s election victory in 2020 but are now souring on his leadership. With a “perfect storm” of inflation, high costs and student loan turmoil, Gen Z feels left behind – and their economic anger takes over screens across TikTok every day.

As pressure builds and options narrow, launching a TikTok account would be the ultimate sign Biden is desperately out of touch. But for a stumbling 81 year old clinging to power, even risky moves that undermine principles might start to look tempting.

President Biden’s struggling campaign is considering an unorthodox and risky move to stem his declining support among young voters – launching a TikTok account. As Senator Tom Cotton warned, this “desperate” gambit to use a “Chinese propaganda app” underscores how dire things have become for the president. At 81, Biden is seemingly out of touch with the social media platforms that resonate most among youth. Turning to TikTok reeks of desperation to seem “hip” and connect with disillusioned young voters.

Senator Cotton shined a light on the blatant hypocrisy of Biden’s team contemplating launching a TikTok account for his campaign. As Cotton emphasized, this is an app that is officially banned on all government devices due to security concerns about TikTok gathering data for the Chinese government.

“You have all of these senior aides at the White House who carry two phones, one government phone — on which they can’t download TikTok — and one personal campaign phone on which they’ll be obsessively checking TikTok to look at Joe Biden’s campaign account,” Cotton pointed out. 

This creates a stunning double standard that undercuts Biden’s own policy prohibiting TikTok on federal devices. It suggests the president is willing to compromise national security principles just to desperately chase young voters on social media. 

After proclaiming TikTok too much of a risk for federal employees, Biden now may embrace that same “Chinese propaganda app” to boost his political fortunes. This episode encapsulates how the administration’s TikTok position lacks coherence and credibility. 

For Biden officials to be glued to TikTok after imposing a ban reveals damning hypocrisy and willingness to bend the rules for political expediency. It is the epitome of “do as I say, not as I do” by demanding government workers stay off TikTok while potentially embracing it to progress his own agenda if strategically useful.

More broadly, this episode illustrates Biden’s struggles to inspire younger voters who were critical to his victory in 2020. Rather than organically connecting with youth through policies and vision, Biden seems to be grasping at straws online. 

A TikTok account is unlikely to significantly increase youth engagement and may backfire by making Biden look desperate. The president would be better served by substantive outreach on issues like climate change, student debt, and jobs that matter to the next generation.

The TikTok move comes in the wake of polls showing Biden rapidly losing support among young voters, who were critical to his victory in 2020. A recent poll found that voters ages 18-24 now prefer Trump over Biden by 46% to 42%, a stunning reversal from Biden’s 28 point advantage among this group in 2020. 

This “massive sea change” demonstrates growing disillusionment with the Biden presidency among youth. In desperation, this TikTok move reeks of pandering and is unlikely to succeed given that young people’s opposition is driven by real concerns over rising costs, student debt, and jobs. 

No social media gimmick can paper over Biden’s failure to deliver on the issues that matter most to the next generation. Unless the president takes substantive action, his support among young voters will likely continue to plummet. Turning to TikTok reeks of desperation and illustrates how out of touch Biden is with what matters to youth.

With over 1.3 billion views on #studentloans alone, TikTok has become a sounding board for the economic anxieties of young Americans. A recent Pew Research poll found that 43% of TikTok users now regularly get their news from the platform, making it a powerful shaper of opinion.

As content creator Kyla Scanlon noted, “A lot of people get their information from TikTok.” This is especially true of Gen Z, with surveys showing they heavily rely on social media for news.

On TikTok, economic-themed posts have taken a decidedly negative turn as inflation and debt weigh on youth. Videos tagged “Silent Depression” compare the 1930s Great Depression to today, implying economic conditions are similarly dire now. 

The videos accurately highlight today’s profound housing unaffordability. The median home price is now 5.8 times median income versus just 2.4 times in 1940. For young people, home ownership feels out of reach. 

As influencer Freddie Smith summed up, “It’s this perfect storm” of high gas, food, housing, and other costs making millennials and Gen Z feel they’re falling behind.

While inflation has cooled from 9% peaks, costs remain painfully elevated. Groceries are still up 13% annually, gas hovers around $3.40 versus $2.60 pre-pandemic, and rents were up 7% in 2022. 

This steady economic pinch sustains TikTokers’ frustrations. Nowhere are complaints louder than around student debt, with hashtag student loans garnering 1.3 billion TikTok views. 

Biden’s debt cancellation plans have proven a “rollercoaster” for young borrowers, with $20,000 in proposed broader relief blocked by courts. Despite limited forgiveness for some, anger erupted when Biden ended the student loan payment pause impacting 40 million Americans.

The White House’s new interest in TikTok might mean trying to inject positive videos there about debt relief. But organic negative content goes far more viral, illuminating young Americans’ profound economic dissatisfactions. 

For Biden to make inroads with this demographic, tangibly addressing kitchen table costs and student debt likely matters far more than social media messaging.

Beyond hypocrisy concerns, Biden’s advanced age makes his potential TikTok presence seem even more absurd. As the president turns 81, he is already struggling to connect with young voters who are worried about his age and mental acuity. 

The fact that an octogenarian president is contemplating turning to TikTok shows just how desperately out of touch Biden is with the mindset and priorities of young Americans. 

Rather than embarrass himself through clumsy social media antics, Biden should take his age and lagging support among youth as a sign that it is time to gracefully retire. 

At 81, he should not be scrambling to boost his chances through gimmicky apps but should instead open the door for new, younger leadership that inherently understands modern communication and the economic anxieties plaguing young voters. 

Celebrations of Biden’s 81st birthday will rightly be low-key given the political climate. The president knows lavish parties would only draw more scrutiny to his age when voters’ concerns are already high. A private gathering with family is a wise choice. 

However, this sober approach stands in contrast to the proposed TikTok strategy facing criticism for the very reasons being deflected on his birthday. 

By launching a flashy social media campaign just as doubts grow over his age and fitness, Biden risks looking desperate and out of touch with younger audiences he hopes to court.

As the pressures mount and his options dwindle, Biden is left with an unenviable choice – undertake a distracting charm offensive likely to ring hollow or gracefully accept that his time has passed. 

While another term offers continuity, it cannot mend all that’s fractured without bold action. As an octogenarian grasping at viral stunts instead of solutions, Biden appears resigned to reaction over revolution. 

The promises of his campaign now feel as broken as the system he aimed to fix. For a nation crying out for leadership to meet the moment, half measures and hashtags will no longer suffice. If real change is to take hold, new vision and voices must emerge to light the path ahead.

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