Hong Kong or Beijing? There’s only one American choice.

By this time next year, one of four things will be reality:

• President Donald Trump will have been reelected to a second term in office — a term that will no doubt have the anti-Trump press corps giving us a national colonoscopy in search of more Russian mischief.

• Failure of our public educational system to teach history and government will have resulted in a Democratic president-elect.

• Dreams of far-left Democrats to impeach the president will have somehow come to fruition, and in February 2020, Vice President Mike Pence will have become President Pence. Unfortunately for those same Democrats, the resulting Pence/Haley 2020 ticket has history recording that the first woman vice president of the United States was not a “woke” Democrat but a conservative Republican by the name of Nikki Haley.

• The fourth is “fill in the blank” because no matter how crazy you may think your prediction, at this point anything is possible.

I’ve seen far too many surprises over the years to even attempt to predict this political season. America has had its share of socialist/communist candidates since Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels first injected their cancer into the body politic, but never in modern times has there been such a clamor by a major political party to impose such ideology upon America.

Despite the tens of millions who died under Marxist governments in the 20th century and the untold numbers dying right before our eyes today in the 21st, there are still those pulling out all stops to convince millions of prospective voters that their future rests with yet another incarnation of the same.

Minds ignorant of fact and incapable of critical thought are filled with the mush of social justice, environmental justice and something called the white patriarchy, all painting a false picture of a flawed America deserving of nothing less than a full-scale socialist revolution.

Oh, if only those clamoring for relief from their imaginary American oppression were as passionate for those truly oppressed.

Thirty years ago, Chinese troops accompanied by Chinese tanks entered Tiananmen Square and began firing upon student protesters whose only crime was to want more of what their counterparts in American already had. The price they paid was a death toll still unknown but estimated in the thousands.

The price paid by the government? A collection of worthless “condemnations” that were soon forgotten as the West’s appetite for cheap consumer goods proved far stronger than standing up for the rights of innocents.

Three decades later and hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars richer, the communist government in Beijing has upward of 1 million ethnic Uyghurs in “reeducation” concentration camps and is on the verge of marching into Hong Kong to shut down citizen protests demanding that Beijing honor the commitments made in the 1997 agreement transferring power from Great Britain.

This past Wednesday, Trump did what his predecessors would not: He put the communist government in Beijing on notice that business as usual is over.

By signing the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” and a lesser bill banning the sale of munitions such as rubber bullets and tear gas to the Hong Kong police department, the president put America back on the side of freedom.

The main bill not only requires the State Department to annually certify that China is living up to its obligation of Hong Kong autonomy but also holds individuals accountable for human rights abuses.

Not surprisingly, Beijing hit back. A statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry decried, “It is a grave violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.”

Pretty hypocritical stuff coming from the same government that has been ignoring international law since its inception.

But the most laughable response came in a Twitter thread from Lijian Zhao, deputy director general, Information Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China. He started with, “In Washington, the white seldom go to SE area, as it’s an area for the black.” He continued with four more grammatically tortuous tweets, then switched to North Dakota’s restrictive voter ID law, Native American reservations and closed out with a 2018 Thanksgiving night shooting in Alabama.

The responses to Zhao were unabashedly, and quite refreshingly, American. The left, right and center all mocked his asinine attempt to put our self-admitted shortcomings on the same level as his communist government’s outright denial of its.

The theme was simple: “We’re not perfect, but we sure as hell aren’t you.”

Trump is certainly not perfect, but when it comes to communist China, he’s spot on. We either face them economically today or see our sons and daughters forced to militarily engage them tomorrow.

Whoever takes the oath on Jan. 20, 2021, had better understand that.

Geoff Caldwell lives in Joplin. He can be reached at gc@caldwellscorner.com.

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