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American Liberals Aren’t Hong Kong – They’re China

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Left-wing activist and actress Alyssa Milano tweeted video of hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents in their streets this week protesting the encroaching threat from communist China to their democracy. Milano captioned the video, “Take note America. This is what fighting for critical change looks like.”


Milano’s heart is in the right place, but the American policies for which she advocates aren’t similar to the protestors in Hong Kong. They’re more in keeping with their Chinese totalitarian neighbors.

This column space is beginning to have an alarmingly familiar ring to it, isn’t it? Two weeks ago I wrote about “woke” Wall Street and big business bowing to the alter of leftist mobs. Wal-Mart just did it again this week with gun sales. 

Last week, I wrote about “woke” comedy and how Dave Chappelle has gone to war against the concept. He’s still being shredded by the left two weeks later for his refusal to cater to the new way of thinking the American left demands. 

But ask yourself: when was the last time you read about a hilarious Chinese stand-up comic? How about trying to find a comedy club in China? I researched this a little bit and discovered the comedians in China “cannot and dare not talk about some hot topics, which are determined by China’s national conditions.” 

Sincerely, how much different does that sound from todays American left?  

“National conditions?” Chappelle critics literally whined his jokes “disappointed” them and whined some more that he refuses to adopt “new perspectives.” As of now, we don’t have a government agency to determine appropriate perspectives through joke telling, but you can certainly hear leftists cheering a politician to create one.


In the last week alone, Beto O’Rorke has proudly boasted – despite that pesky Bill of Rights – his administration would buy back all firearms he deemed unsuitable for use by citizens. Those who wouldn’t willingly sell them back to the government simply “will not be allowed to keep them.” 

Elizabeth Warren was chirping a familiar tune this week discussing her proposed wealth tax. This starts out as an easy sell. Let’s soak the rich and make them pay for all the stuff you’re currently paying for! Not especially new rhetoric. But she’s definitely using a more modern framing of collectivism to sell the pitch.

It’s a version of President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” riff of a few years ago. The basic gist is if you’re wealthy it’s because you got wealthy using employees who were educated in public schools. You used roads everyone pays for. You rely on cops and firefighters to protect your business that we all pay for. So, pay up you fat cat, Scrooge McDuck, gold bullion hoarding jerk! 

Again, it’s tempting to cheer if you’re having trouble making ends meet. But it’s still authoritarian collectivism  It’s the idea “we’re all in this economy together” and if someone has more than you, they must owe you something to make that inequity right. Further, someone took advantage of you because they use public services they paid for, but you use and pay for them, too and they got rich! You didn’t. So… you know… punish someone! 


As an authoritarian, Ms. Warren will then seize all that ill-gotten wealth and she’ll begin spending it on all kinds of things. This is her actual list of promised freebies: universal college, universal pre-K, universal daycare, universal trade schools, raise the wages of all child care workers, and pay off everyone’s existing college debt (college debt alone makes up over a trillion dollars among Americans today).

Yep, she’s going to do all of that. But you know what she doesn’t tell you? The quality of everything will collapse. Would you want to take your infant child to President Warren’s government daycare where government employees look after you child all day? Perhaps you do, but I’ve been to the DMV and worked with the IRS and I’m not sold those are good working models for my baby.  

A man stood up at a Bernie Sanders rally in South Carolina this week and expressed concern that Sanders’ pledge to eliminate private health insurance and raise everyone’s taxes to pay for “Medicare for all” would actually hurt him, both in his quality of care and his pocketbook.

Another man at the same rally, a doctor, asked Sanders what his plan would do to “maintain interest and the pay of physicians so we keep the brightest in the profession.”  

To both men, Senator Sanders flat-out rejected their concerns. Collectivists don’t care about individual concerns. That’s hard to listen to for them. When you’re an authoritarian, you can command everyone be treated exactly the same way and everyone pays exactly the same price and everyone gets the exact same services. In theory. 


Outcomes don’t matter. Quality doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you like what you currently have. Just shut up and be happy “it’s free” even though I raised your taxes to pay for it, says the authoritarian.  

And let’s not leave out climate change. This week’s Hurricane Dorian became a new inflection point for collectivists to continue their chants of doing away with everything from eating meat to using air conditioning. Because to save the planet, we’ve all got to do our part, you see? That starts by you doing as you’re told and going without things that make your life easier, better, and in some cases safer.  

People are dying in massive numbers in Europe due to extreme heat and cold because their government is trying to save the planet. Fossil fuels are their enemy, of course. But so is air conditioning and affordable heat as a consequence.   

We’re a nation of individuals founded on the concept of rugged individualism. Never in our history have we seen a political party so openly embrace and boldly proclaim collectivism as a campaign promise. Sadly, we’ve never had so many Americans cheer it.

As talk radio host Rush Limbaugh put it, “Collectivist solutions to individual problems is very seductive. It’s how Obama got elected.” How’d that turn out? Eight years of anemic, economic stagnancy and a take over of health insurance that certainly didn’t improve anything or make it cheaper. 


Alyssa Milano is right, but she doesn’t know why. They are in the streets of Hong Kong because they desperately want critical change. They want the Chinese government to stop abusing them and give them their freedom as individuals, not ruled as their oppressed, collective Chinese neighbors.  

Today’s Democrats don’t embrace what Hong Kong’s citizens are fighting to protect. They embrace the ideology China wishes to inflict.  

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