CHALFANT: Trump’s Inaction in Hong Kong Speaks Volumes


Saturday, October 19, 2019

The United States has been both a destination for the oppressed and a source of inspiration for those who wish to fight for freedom in the homeland of their own. Many on both left and right agree that it’s our duty as the leaders of the free world to support those who are fighting for the most basic of freedoms.

Earlier this summer, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongese began to protest legislation that would allow the Chinese government to extradite citizens and force them to trial before the Communist Party. Some protests grew violent after a police crackdown, and they have extended beyond opposition to the now-defunct bill to demand greater autonomy and the assurance of basic civil liberties.

As videos of these protests flooded the news and social media, many spoke out in support. Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted out an image encouraging his followers to “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.” The NBA took offense, but both houses of Congress issued a statement criticizing the league for bowing down to the Chinese government. The statement received bipartisan support from the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ben Sasse, and Ted Cruz.

In this environment where there’s near-unanimous support for Hong Kong, outlets report that President Trump promised silence on Hong Kong in exchange for trade talks remaining open. That, coupled with Trump urging the Chinese government to begin an investigation into the Biden family, leads one to the baffling realization that AOC has taken a more firm stance on China than the President. 

In short, Trump finds himself in the same boat as those who would trade American values for a higher profit margin. This isn’t a good look for someone facing re-election, and whose poll numbers look bleak compared to his Democratic opponent.

The Leader of the Free World must be unified with the rest of the nation in its support of Hong Kong. The American responsibility as the world’s moral superpower aside, the Chinese have increasingly become bad actors in recent months. They’ve been fighting for more influence in the South China Sea and they continue to prop up the North Korean regime with their 300 percent increase in mineral imports alone over the last decade.

The President will have to take a stance on this issue shortly. Both sides of the aisle agree that complacency and appeasement are both un-American and disadvantageous to the United States on the world stage. The House passed a series of bills supporting the Hong Kongese that, among other actions, condemn the Chinese for their treatment of Hong Kong. The Senate has similar legislation up for a vote soon, so it’s only a matter of time before these bills reach the Resolute Desk.

This legislation is Trump’s opportunity to distance himself from those who would trade values for profit and it’s a chance for him to restore a portion of his damaged credibility in international affairs. If he hopes to save face and show as much backbone as AOC surprisingly has, he must sign these bills.

Joseph Chalfant is the President of Lone Conservative. He is a political science major at Texas State University and plans to attend law school to study constitutional law after graduation.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Joseph Chalfant

Texas State University

Joseph Chalfant is the President of Lone Conservative. He is a political science major at Texas State University and plans to attend law school to study constitutional law after graduation.

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