Written by Nancy Salvato
August 9, 2008
by Nancy Salvato
Reporters charged with covering the Olympics are now whining about "not knowing what they will be able to cover and not knowing how much the Chinese government will censor their online coverage." (1)
The fact that the mainstream media is even remotely surprised at a Communist Government not allowing complete freedom of the press is laughable, irrespective of the fact that China promised them complete freedom to report on the events after this one party state was awarded the honor of hosting the Olympics. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is absolutely right when it reminds folks that the Chinese government is "only doing what authoritarian and dictatorial regimes always do." (2)
Those reporters who dominate the mainstream media are finally getting a small taste of what it feels like to navigate the barriers set up by a country that limits their liberty to speak their mind. The New Media writers have been all too aware that the continuing erosion of our own country’s freedoms in the name of political correctness has been steadily subsuming our constitutional rights for years now. Many writers plying their craft in the New Media are used to their message not being published by agenda driven mainstream papers. A substantial number of people who rely on the New Media for the news have long recognized that the sovereignty of our people is being subsumed by the one world agenda being preached by the socialist left and echoed by the alphabet network lemmings. The hours spent identifying and exposing the prejudices embedded in the mainstream coverage of the issues has well honed the analytical skills of New Media writers.
Political Correctness, which dictates to people what they must feel, so as not to offend anyone, is only one encroachment on our liberties. Each time the government spends our hard earned dollars, we give away our right to choose what we think is best for ourselves. I'd much rather be given a tax break, to donate my money to a cause that has personal meaning for me than have to give 33 percent of my paycheck to a Congress made up of spendthrifts who think nothing of bribing the electorate in order to retain their power and award their cronies, putting political opportunity before government. Furthermore, the system of public education in this country, a system funded by the hard work of our citizens, reflects a secular agenda, promotes a one world order, and discourages divergent thinking.
What might it be like to live in a country where people are prevented the freedom to disagree, to practice their chosen religion, or from habeas corpus? How would it feel to live in a country where a government acts with complete disregard for rights the US Constitution was uniquely designed to protect?
The Olympics might serve to remind people in this country just how truly lucky we are to be American citizens. These athletic contests might provide a lesson on the difference between a nationalism based on the notion of “E Pluribus Unum,” out of many-one, versus a “Rising China” which means, “A China that is the leader in Asia is a China that will have the allegiance of its masses.” (3)
The games are seen by the Communist Party of China (CCP) as a way to show off their country’s strength, adding legitimacy to their rule. In the United States, the Olympics are seen as a chance for our country’s best athlete’s to compete against athletes from other countries for medals and prestige. If we don’t win the games, it won’t impact our feelings about our government. For some athletes, it’s about personal bests, for those watching, enjoyment of a sport. It’s an opportunity for representatives of our country to interact with those who may not share our beliefs but have sports in common, to compete against each other without threatening our sovereignty.
The CCP in China wanted very badly for China to host the games, to elevate their prestige in the world and with their people. However, "The construction of facilities for the Olympics in Beijing has directly resulted in the forced eviction of thousands of citizens in and around Beijing, often without due process or compensation to ensure access to new housing." (4) This is unlike eminent domain in the United States, where people are compensated based on the value of their homes should a need arise to build critical infrastructure on their land According to the Center on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) "15,000 people are evicted every month in Beijing, often in poor neighborhoods, in a brutal and arbitrary manner with inadequate compensation." (5) The 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that, “No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”
While many people complain about the political processes in our country, no one can argue that we have not been afforded the opportunity to vote our conscience and for the candidate who best represents our beliefs. This is in direct contrast to China, in which the US Department of State 2006 Country Report on Human Rights Practices counts among their long list of Human Rights Abuses that citizens are not provided the right to change their government. A small sample of other abuses include extrajudicial killings, torture and coerced confessions of prisoners, and the use of forced labor, including prison labor. (6) What is produced by some of this forced labor? Next time you buy something at Walmart, Target, Cosco or Sam’s Club, look at where the product was manufactured. It might be very enlightening. (7)
In China, there is no guarantee of a trial by a jury of our peers, or that someone arrested will even be able to offer a defense. Exercising strict political control of courts and judges, the Party and state maintain “closed trials” and “administrative detention.” A person can be convicted of a crime and executed all in the same day. A family violating the single child birth planning law may be subjected to forced abortion and sterilization. Freedom to assemble, practice religion, and travel is severely limited. (8)
All of this information might lead an inquiring mind to question what makes the Chinese people loyal to their government and express anger when outsiders want to report their affairs to the rest of the world. One explanation is that, “China’s nationalism today is shaped by its pride in its history as well as its century of humiliation at the hands of the West and Japan.” (9) When a U.S. plane “accidentally bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade” and when “a U.S. EP-3 surveillance plane, in what China says was a violation of its airspace, collided with a Chinese F-8 jet fighter,” the Chinese saw these acts as American aggression. (10) The Chinese government, stoking the nationalism of their people, reported these acts as encroachments upon China’s “sovereignty.” (11) The Chinese people will not be allowed to see the United States as anything other than an imperialist country with designs on China. The Chinese government keeps its people united by promoting ideas like this. If the CCP can make the country strong militarily, able to defeat a country like the United States, it legitimizes itself.
In this country, we have access to information, although private search engines like Google have taken to censoring information and the mainstream media unfairly portrays those who disagree with their ideas. People in our country have the freedom to travel abroad, although it might not be safe in some countries. We can generally count on the enforcement of laws which are designed to maximize our safety, even though some might seem to compromise our freedoms. It’s a balancing act. It has always been a balancing act between what is best for the individual and what is best for the community. It’s a balancing act between the federal and state powers. As long as there is a balance of ideas, most people will have maximum freedom. Vigilance is required by the people of this country to make sure that one group is not empowered over another.
Our system will never be perfect, but that is why we say, “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.” Socialism and Communism is based on the idea that there can someday be a utopia and that the means justifies the ends. In our country, it’s all about the journey. Let the games begin!
(1) (2) 'Choosing Beijing Was a Drastic Mistake'
(3) China's Military Power
(4) (5) Beijing Olympics Basics
(6) China: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2006
(7) (8) Congressional-Executive Commission on China
(9) (10) (11) Nationalism in China
---------------Nancy Salvato is the President and Director of Constitutional Literacy Program for Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) research and educational project whose mission is to re-introduce the American public to the basic elements of our constitutional heritage while providing non-partisan, fact-based information on relevant socio-political issues important to our country, specifically the threats of aggressive Islamofascism and the American Fifth Column. She serves as the Assistant Provost for the American College of Education and as a Senior Editor for The New Media Journal. She is also a staff writer, for the New Media Alliance, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) coalition of writers and grass-roots media outlets, and a frequent contributing writer to The World & I educational magazine.