Over the past week, Trump and his administration have tried to “call out” China for their handling of Hong Kong, which has by no means been perfect or even close to it. And to be clear, China should be called out for its handling of Hong Kong, not only for what is happening now, but over years.
Unfortunately, with Trump at the helm and many police apparently feeling emboldened by his tweets and statements demanding harder lines drawn in response to protesters in America, this administration is hardly in a position to be “holier than thou” and China let them know it.
The most interesting exchange came when State Department spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, was tasked and sent out to chastise China:
"I can't breathe." pic.twitter.com/UXHgXMT0lk
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) May 30, 2020
“I can’t breathe.”
It literally took three words to turn the tables on the US … that is what happens when a nation has no moral authority.
The US isn’t standing with the “rule of law” as it has allowed police departments to increasingly violate the rights and even kill African Americans with little or mostly no consequence.
It hasn’t stood with the “rule of law” as it has allowed Trump, along with his family and friends, to pillage and plunder for their own financial gain. The emoluments clause is ignored. Trump brashly promotes his own businesses. His kids use government resources to travel, make money, garner patents, and basically doing whatever they want to profit despite any laws or traditions this country used to hold until January 20th, 2017 came along.
It didn’t stand with the “rule of law” after Bob Mueller pointed out multiple violations and obstructions of justice in his report.
It didn’t stand with the “rule of law” when the impeachment trial clearly showed he was using taxpayer money to dig up dirt on political rivals in the “quid pro quo” ways that he and his allies did.
It didn’t stand with the “rule of law” when his allies like Sheriff Arpaio are being granted pardons and Trump’s Department of Justice is sandbagging their own people to get convicted felon Michael Flynn out of any trouble.
The only “rule of law” this administration seems to ever stand for are the ones that coddle and protect Trump and his allies while the rest of the nation can’t breathe as the fire rages on.
So now, when we try to call out China for their treatment of Hong Kong, we don’t have a leg to stand on. That is precisely where we are now. It didn’t have to be that way.
Republicans could have stood up to Trump and had multiple opportunities since he was sworn in — they turned their collective heads away. They could have still gotten their tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy through with a President Pence. Mitch McConnell could still pack courts with right-wing judges. And of course, a President Pence could have signed racist and bigotted executive orders to squelch the rights of minorities, the LGBTQ community, and women just as easily as Trump did.
But, as they say, “we are where we are.” And where we are is a place where we have no moral authority and apparently no real leader as the lights go out in the White House and the POTUS hides in the basement tweeting out insults at anyone who disagrees with him.