Oh, Hong Kong, wonderful, magnificent Hong Kong. It is standing up for consent of the people, for freedom, justice and personal rights. Millions have risked their futures through protest. But then look west for a dismayingly different story. Look at the U.S. where too many want to get rid of President Donald Trump no matter what and are forsaking such principles, rewriting our history and substituting utopianism for thought.
Hong Kong has never known all the democratic delights we’ve known, but the British, during the island’s colonial days, said, hey, here’s capitalism, grab hold. The people did, becoming wonderfully prosperous while given more of a chance to experience liberty.
Colonialism ended, fear of China inspired an exodus, but authoritarianism did not then squash the island. The Chinese government said it would make Hong Kong a part of China, but with restrained interventions allowing magnificent piles of moolah to come Beijing’s way.
Nevertheless, guaranteed rights eroded and China got a Maoist imitator as its leader, Xi Jinping. He took debilitating command of China’s semi-capitalist, enriching economy, aimed at super-power status and began reinstituting tyranny’s lapses.
Working through Hong Kong’s unelected leader, China sought a bill allowing the extradition of Hong Kong residents accused of crimes, meaning it could better control dissidents. It was a flagrant foul that instructed more than a million Hong Kong residents to take to the streets even as China parked troops and tanks across the border.
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Here’s wishing more Americans were reacting with distress to what’s happening here.
We’ve had government officials employ illegitimate means to unseat a legitimately elected president, and, yes, loud voices have said this was terrible. But more people appear to be shrugging their shoulders with many buying the line that the miracle of capitalism is a farce and that slavery built America. Our brilliant, courageous, enlightened founders, minimized by leftists as nothing much, are said to have endorsed this abomination.
We are told our American creed is a farce. Several of the Democratic presidential candidates favor dictatorial climate change plans costing trillions to achieve nothing much. The top of the heap also favor collectivism, impracticality, restricted rights, judicial activism already in play and spending maybe meant to bribe voters when it could impoverish them.
What might emerge could be a protracted, devastating adventure in socialistic meanderings worse than Trump’s flamboyant flubs ameliorated by such policies as enabling a flourishing economy, going after the evils of mass incarceration and nominating as Supreme Court justices two men who truly believe in the Constitution. What’s scary at the moment is that he isn’t addressing the crisis-prone debt and could topple his economic achievements with his tariffs on Chinese exports.
There isn’t much doubt about China’s Cold War antics and criminal misdoings aimed at world mastery. It has digitally invaded our government, stolen our intellectual property and taken over South China Sea properties claimed by other nations. Trump should still get it that a trade alliance with other Asian countries is the way to go, but lots of Democrats don’t like that idea, either.
And the valiant Hong Kong people? Three months of protest have forced their leader to back down on extradition but not on such other demands as direct elections or releasing protesters from jail. The free world should help them in every valid way it can, and the U.S.s should do more to help itself.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service; firstname.lastname@example.org.