The American people have a stronger moral pulse than America’s leaders in government, business, media, universities and entertainment — often clumped together as “elites.”
And I think this is true in a bi-partisan nature if talking politics: Basic registered Democrats have a stronger moral pulse than Democratic leaders and ditto for basic registered Republicans and Republican leaders. Exceptions abound, but in a broad sense, this seems to be true and demonstrated regularly.
Let’s take the latest item in the news that adds to the evidence pile.
The NBA’s craven, knee-jerk reaction to the Houston Rockets’ General Manager tweeting out his support for the freedom-minded protesters in Hong Kong was embarrassing, at the least. The GM quickly took it down and the NBA groveled before Chinese dictators because China is a growing market for the NBA and a place for future franchises. So you know, mo’ money.
This is pretty black and white. China is a brutal dictatorship that imprisons and enslaves millions of its citizens — particularly ethnic and religious minorities — and is an increasing military threat in the region and eventually the world. It squashes free speech, free religion, free association, etc. The Beijing tyrants are perfecting the Orwellian Big Brother state (with help from American companies, which we will get to) and they mercilessly crush any dissent.
Hong Kong has a long history under British control of enjoying western freedoms. Great Britain turned Hong Kong over to the Chinese in 1999, but with an agreement that Hong Kong would retain her freedoms and a degree of independence. The Chinese dictators have been steadily working to erode those freedoms and the latest push finally sparked the ongoing demonstrations.
The Hong Kong demonstrators have been holding up the Stars and Stripes because the American flag more than anything else globally represents freedom. At heart, Hong Kong residents probably have more in common with Americans than with the Chinese mainland. With average Americans, that is.
Who is right and who is wrong in this dispute is crystal clear — to the American people.
The public reaction to the NBA’s cowering was swift and broad. The media and the “elites” as defined by the above were more muted, and talked about the complexity of the issue, stroking their chins as they considered weighty factors. But NBA fans, of which I am one, knew exactly the right moral position — the one the Houston GM originally took. We support freedom-loving people everywhere against their oppressors. That’s American.
The NBA has now backpedaled and said it will not offer an apology, or discipline the GM. But that is only because the average American cuffed them upside the head for their initial response.
Meanwhile, China is cutting ties with the NBA and ending agreements with all Chinese companies. All because the NBA would not officially apologize for the GM’s tweet. The Chinese government also banned the TV show South Park for mocking them. That is verboten! This is China. They’re a bad player.
Before you say that it is not the NBA’s role to make moral decisions, remember how quickly they pulled the All-Star game out of Charlotte, North Carolina after that state passed the “horrific” law saying that biological men had to use men’s rooms and biological women use women’s rooms. They were very fast and morally clear on that issue.
But it’s hardly just the NBA that can’t see morally straight even when it is smacking them in the face.
Apple bowed low to Chinese censors recently and removed the Taiwan flag emoji from Apple phones in Taiwan and Macau. Apple will do whatever the killers in Beijing say so that the company’s supply lines in China are not disrupted.
Google is probably the worst offender. Google actively built in the censoring software for the search engine when used in China, giving the Chinese the ability to erase anything related to, say, the Tianamen Square massacre in 1989, or anything else that does not fit Big Brother’s line. Google has since pulled out of that, but the Chinese have the ability to continue their Memory Hole.
Microsoft’s LinkedIn agreed to censor anti-Chinese government material so they could continue to be used in China. ESPN executives are muzzling their on-air talent from speaking out in support for Hong Kong, though they certainly talk about other political and cultural issues pretty freely.
And the Philadelphia 76ers removed two fans from a game last night for chanting “Free Hong Kong.” The irony of this happening in the birthplace of liberty — the 76ers comes from 1776! — is just amazing. Really? Acting as the hands of the Chinese Communist dictators…in Philadelphia?
You get the picture.
Here’s what I’d love to see: Fans at NBA games around the country chanting “Free Hong Kong!” Let’s see if the American authorities bowing to Chinese dictatorial demands will start removing fans en masse.
The American people, however, support the Hong Kong demonstrators, showing again that your average Americans of all political stripes have a much stronger moral pulse than American leaders in politics, business, media, entertainment and so on.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.
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