Mario Cavolo: Insurrection, tragedy and hypocrisy at the Capitol steps

January 13 , 2021

Supporters of US President Donald Trump cover their faces to protect from tear gas during a clash with police officers in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, Jan 6, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

By Mario Cavolo,a senior research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization(CCG).

Is what we have witnessed with the storming of the Capitol building by President Donald Trump’s supporters a betrayal of their country? Was it an insurrection, threatening the end of the American values of freedom and democracy?

While distasteful and controversial, even tragic with the deaths that have occurred, let us step back to consider these difficult days with much needed wisdom and a clear understanding of the underlying facts.

I must remind us all the assault on the genuine true ideals of freedom and democracy, the American experiment and its many admirable achievements began decades ago leading to why Trump was elected in 2016 in the first place.

He was elected to clean the house, to quell the norms tilted in enormous favor of the elites in a liberal democracy that has clearly failed the American people. The Atlantic magazine couldn’t have been clearer, “America is acting like a failed state.”

We are all deeply concerned about America, wishing America to be prosperous and harmonious, much as today’s China is remarkably so. China has learned a lot from the West and there are still important lessons to learn from one another. This is a crucial understanding in considering our global future together.

What is the betrayal of a country, the needs and interests of its people? Step back to the early 1990s and ask did then President Bill Clinton betray the American people when he repealed the Glass-Steagall Act? This and related events allowed the banks to engage at the time in the financial fraud of the century while clearly neglecting and abusing the country’s middle class.

We have a state of affairs where the political establishment simply did not do its job with both sides of the aisle to blame, no matter Trump’s status as a controversial lightning rod.

The current climate includes calls against Trump because of the violence that has occurred. Indeed, it is highly offensive and tragic. No one supports violence to solve problems, it never works as intended, it is a stain on humanity because violence always begets more violence. Yet even on this point, the hypocrisy of many Western leaders and media is unmistakable.

For example, let’s take a moment to discuss the pivotal and hypocritical position Facebook finds itself in and compare it to an even worse story of violence and how Facebook responded.

CNN’s Brian Stelter reported immediately after the Capitol riots that Facebook has chosen to suspend the account of President Trump.

Why Mr. Stelter stated, “Facebook…is afraid that the outgoing President will use their platforms to continue to incite violence and riots…We are seeing corporate America take extraordinary steps to try to protect the public from the president.”

You might heartily agree with Brian Stelter, and here in China? Let me tell you friends, we definitely agree. Limiting extreme speech and keeping society stable for everyone is a top priority in governance here.

But wait, why isn’t Facebook operating in China anymore? The real reason Facebook was banned? Facebook was blocked following the July 2009 Urumqi riots because terrorists of the al-Qaeda-affiliated East Turkestan Islamic Movement who violently killed nearly 200 innocent civilians in Xinjiang were using Facebook to communicate, to incite murderous terrorist violence. Isn’t that obviously a reason to ban them from Facebook?

And yet, when the Chinese government asked Facebook for cooperation and information, and to delete their pages, Facebook refused.

Another glaring example of hypocrisy, incoming President Joe Biden roundly rejects violence and calls for unity. Yet when referring to the extremely violent and repeated Black Lives Matter protests this past summer including destruction of property, looting of stores and assault on innocent people, Biden and his leftist allies were silent.

You probably don’t need me to also remind you that when the same violence occurred for months on end in Hong Kong, lovers of freedom and democracy were silent.

Why is this maddening chaos and decline really upon us? What is the simple magic missing ingredient? When those in power promise “What’s best for the American people,” they don’t mean it and they don’t actually care one bit. Their shameful lip service has created a society with socialism and bailouts for the elites, while the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness for the common people is met with greater burden and a vanishing opportunities to do so.

Make no mistake, that is America’s core domestic threat to returning much needed unity back to American families and society, back to American soil and back to cooperation as a global partner.

From China Daily , 2021-1-13

Keyword Mario Cavolo