The turmoil in Hong Kong is a huuuuuuge embarrassment for Democrats. Hong Kongers are waving the stars and stripes, singing the national anthem, and issuing a global cry for freedom. For a Democratic party that loudly supports bend-a-knee leftists who hate the U.S. flag, such as Colin Kaepernick, that’s a problem. And for a party that is trying to sell socialism to the U.S. public, well, thug-state China’s got socialism in spades.
President Trump has taken flak for his response to the crisis, arguably so, but the real clown show is in what’s coming from the Democrats.
Here’s what Axios found when it tried to get answers from Democratic presidential candidates about what to do, particularly if the Chicoms get violent with the Hongkongers:
- Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke offered the most specific responses. Sanders’ campaign said the senator, if elected president, would be willing to sanction foreign officials involved in human rights abuses, including violence against demonstrators.
- The O’Rourke campaign said he would support Rep. Jim McGovern’s legislation to halt the sale of munitions and police equipment to the Hong Kong police, and would support sanctions on those perpetrating human rights violations.
- The campaign also said O’Rourke “would work with allies in the region and across the world to condemn any acts of violence in response to non-violent protests.”
- Aides to former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Kamala Harris and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg directed Axios to the candidates’ public responses, none of which offered a direct solution in the event China uses violent military force.
- Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign offered a vague statement on her support for the protesters, but did not address Axios’ question.
- Sens. Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro did not respond to requests for comment.
O.K., so cowardice and an embarrassed silence is the response from the vast majority of them. Total tongue-ties from Booker, Klobuchar (the supposed moderate), Gabbard (figures, she has a soft spot for Russia’s Putin and Chavista Venezuela), Yang, and Castro. Can’t have anything cutting into that support for the Colin Kaepernick vote for those guys.
Harris, Buttigieg and Biden also gave non-answers, failing to address the Axios questions. They like their own palaver. No idea what’s wrong with Buttigieg, Harris I imagine remains in bed with Silicon Valley interests which have big business deals with China, and Biden, well, China’s been good to the Biden family, so we all know which side old Joe’s really on.
Sanders and O’Rourke actually tried to provide answers. The problem: their answers were dogs.
Sanders wants to sanction a few thuggy cops, not allowing them to have visas to the states? As if those guys could afford a lot of visits to the states? Never mind about the entire problem of the policy? That’s weak tea, given that China is about to swallow that enclave whole.
O’Rourke wants to do the sanctions on bad cops, too, and halt sales of police equipment? Like the Chicoms can’t get whatever they want from their own factories? The equipment is probably manufactured in China to begin with, so file under ‘own goal.’
This is what the Democrats are offering as one of the world’s greatest beacons of freedom stands to fall into the jaws of communism. Trump’s response is still developing, so I’m not going to criticize him entirely for weakness, though I hope he moves things along.
Marc Thiessen last week on Fox News came up with some slam-dunk proposals for knocking the Chicoms into line and out of Hong Kong and these are the solutions that I hope President Trump eventually enacts:
He should warn Xi that if he launches a crackdown in Hong Kong, then the United States will repeal the Hong Kong Policy Act, under which we treat Hong Kong separately from China and give it better terms.
That treatment rests on the idea that Hong Kong is a distinct entity, but if Beijing moves in and occupies the city, ending its autonomy under the “one country, two systems” principle, then the rationale for treating Hong Kong better disappears. (It’s worth noting that nearly 1,400 U.S. businesses operate in Hong Kong.)
Trump should also tell Xi that if he cracks down, the United States will welcome Hongkongers as refugees. Hong Kong is the most economically vibrant city on Earth, filled with hardworking, creative, entrepreneurial people — precisely the kind Trump has said he wants coming into our country. If China does not want them, Trump should say, we’ll happily take all their entrepreneurial energy and creativity here in America.
Trump should make clear that the cost of military intervention will be capital flight, brain drain and the end of Hong Kong’s preferential trade status, as well as any hopes of a trade deal. China would face massive tariffs and international sanctions that could send its economy into full contraction — which could cause instability and protests on the mainland. A military operation, even if it succeeded, would be Pyrrhic victory.
Bingo. End the Hong Kong trading privileges arrangement. Then let ’em all in, giving China the brain drain from hell. The Hongkongers are, after all, among the world’s most desirable immigrants. They aren’t going to come here looking for welfare.
Here’s one more: Get going on getting Google, Yahoo! and all the other Silicon Valley enablers of the Chicom regime to stop their nefarious police-state-supportive doings. Smack them down, they needed smacking anyway, so the time is now.
Those are the ways of strength that the Chicoms are going to understand, and they may well play ball if they see them coming.
We all know that Trump is reluctant to get the U.S. into conflicts abroad. But the Hong Kongers are now waving the U.S. flag. It’s time to wave it back at them.
Based on these miserable responses, Democrats aren’t going to be the ones to do it.