Kathryn Lopez

I've been wondering for a while now why the heck Rep. Thad McCotter is running for president of the United States.

Yes, you read that correctly.

You may not have encountered the Michigan Republican as a candidate because he did not meet the one-percent poll- threshold rule for the recent Fox News debate in Iowa. But days later, at the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames, there he was.

At Iowa State University's stadium there, what began as a professorial lecture gave way to a urgent call to arms when he brought up China: "We have to accept the reality that Communist China is a strategic threat and rival model of governance to the United States."

The applause echoing around the room showed that the congressman had struck a chord. And so McCotter continued: "They are as wrong today as the Soviet Union was wrong in the 20th century, and I for one ... will not cede the 21st century to a Communist nuclear-armed dictatorship that tells you how many children you can have, that tells you if you can pass out Bibles, tells you what Catholic Church you can attend, or tries to culturally commit genocide against the people of Tibet."

China, of course, is home to the one-child policy, which turns 31 this September. The Chinese government boasts that it has prevented 400 million births since 1980; the program's results have been enforced by mandatory abortion, involuntary sterilization and other persecution.

The World Health Organization can tell you that China also has the highest female suicide rate in the world. "Could this high suicide rate be related to forced abortion?" Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers wonders. Families frequently make sure that their one child is a boy. China has reported as many as 37 million more men than women, making unhappy bachelorhood increasingly commonplace. "China's one-child policy causes more violence towards women and girls than any other official policy on earth. It is China's war against women and girls," Littlejohn contends. And not only against Chinese women -- desperate times open the floodgates for international sex trafficking. To women from poverty-stricken neighboring countries such as North Korea, "refuge" is sex slavery in China.

Mark Steyn in his new book, cheerily titled "After America: Get Ready for Armageddon," makes a demographically practical point: "China has structural defects. It's a dictatorship whose authoritarian policies have crippled its human capital. It has too many oldsters and not enough youth, and among its youth it has millions of surplus boys and no girls for them to marry."

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.