What can we learn from Hong Kong?
As we watch the recent events in Hong Kong unfold, we are reminded of and must take stock of, the circumstances that have allowed a “tyrannical government” (China) to intrude the inter-sanctum of Hong Kong’s democratic ideals. There are many lessons to be learned from China’s backdoor attempt to wrest control of Hong Kong’s form of government, system of laws and the mini constitution known as the Basic Law.
Since the transition of power and handover of sovereignty from the UK to China in 1997, there has been an ongoing attempt by China to upend and redefine the “rules of the road” on civil liberties currently enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong. What was initially labeled a “one country, two systems” policy, has eroded into a “clear and present danger” for the original intent of the agreement. Make no mistake, the Communist Party has a disdain for any form of government where totalitarianism does not rule the day. That disdain is obvious with the heavy handed tactics being used to suppress those protestors trying to save the liberties and freedoms that they have so long enjoyed. In typical communist style, the police force has used excessive violence and inhuman means to dampen down the political protests and uprisings. Was this the expected pathway negotiated by the UK and China for the people of Hong Kong?
While the UK itself never fully democratized the jurisdiction/administration of the Hong Kong region, they did establish a semi-autonomous form of government that was to be left in place at least until 2047. However, it is clear by their actions over the years that the Hong Kong legislature and the Chief Executive (both who are predominately pro-China in their political orientation and allegiance) have no such intentions. Ultimately they will make decisions that are in the best interests of communist Beijing, giving little, if any, support to an inferior (in numbers only) subset of the populace. This is nothing more than a crackdown (erosion) and an infringement on the rights guaranteed in their constitution.
What I admire most about the people of Hong Kong is that they recognized the new proposal on “extradition” as just one more stepping stone toward China’s complete and total domination/control of the administration. The people of Hong Kong recognized this as another backdoor attempt to manipulate and control the process of governance. The protestors are standing up and telling the world that they will not tolerate the continuous erosion of their freedoms and liberties. They see this as a direct and blatant detour from the original intent of the agreement between the UK and China when transitioning sovereign power. What can we learn about the recent events in Hong Kong, compared to our own civil liberties and freedoms here in the United States of America?
There is a desperate need in America to have a “watchman” like approach when safeguarding our fundamental rights as citizens. We must be on-guard and watchful of any/all backdoor attempts to erode and limit those rights guaranteed by our Bill of Rights and our Constitution. Small and incremental “giveaways” to our basic freedoms are NEVER the right answer. For example, Senator Lindsey Graham recently recommended Red Flag laws that would do great harm to the 2nd, 5th, and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. Based on some arbitrary decision-makers’ beliefs that someone is at risk to themselves or someone else, they want to be able to seize one’s private property first, without the right to due process. In the U.S., the Red Flag laws are nothing more than a backdoor attempt to CONTROL our gun rights. Likewise, in Hong Kong/China, the proposed “extradition” laws are nothing more than a backdoor attempt to CONTROL another aspect of governance in Hong Kong. These are simply tactics being used to chip away at the foundations of our respective forms of government. Big government will never stop trying to control all facets of life, unless we collectively stand up and say, "No!".
Perhaps we need to learn something else from those standing up, protesting, and marching in the streets of Hong Kong………make sure that you stand up, protest and march when our civil liberties are being threatened in our own back yard! When we do protest, we do it within the confines of the law!