The governor’s latest enemy is “big tech,” but it’s a feckless political pitstop, not actual problem solving.

ICYMI, new politically driven legislation just dropped in Arkansas. So what is Sarah Sanders demonizing now?

Social media, or as she likes to call it, “big tech,” which is a much more politically expedient name. Once again, she’s taking after her former boss, who got so mad at big tech he signed executive orders to limit social media companies’ power and made his own lackluster social media platform.

How’s the governor framing her big tech takedown? With the usual meaningless save-the-kids-empower-the-parents balderdash we’ve come to expect from her.

Things Arkansans should remember as this legislation unfolds:

  1. It’s going to pass. The first Governor Huckabee appears to have bought his daughter a legislature, not to mention the continual bullying from her administration that’s keeping General Assembly members under her watchful, threatening eye.
  1. It likely won’t be enforceable. Legal minds appear certain this legislation won’t be enforceable due to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), a federal law that preempts state attempts to add additional requirements to social media companies. There is also the issue of that pesky Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, as this policy is likely to impact interstate commerce. We’ll pay attention as more legal opinions emerge.
  1. It won’t fix the problems it’s meant to address. Even if it passes legal muster, internet safety and teen mental health are two interconnected and complex issues that require complex solutions in order to be effective. All this bill does is require parental consent for minors to access social media. For crying out loud, kids are building apps for their schools, and Sanders thinks an ID requirement will stop them from scrolling Twitter? The kids are smarter than she thinks. Building intrinsic motivation to address mental health and providing ample access to mental health services would be a more effective way of addressing this issue, but that wouldn’t be politically expedient for our governor, would it? Which leads us to our final point… 
  1. This isn’t about the kids, it’s about Sarah’s political future. Let’s be honest — and this is an evergreen point — Sanders keeps herself in the headlines using talking points that signal national aspirations while she does little for the people of our state. There are children who need protection, and there are parents who need to be empowered. This big tech legislation, just like everything she’s done for the past two months, does nothing for those who actually need help in Arkansas.