Hong Kong voted today/yesterday and it was of some major significance (to me, for one). Ironically, after weeks of violent protests (sooooo unlike Confucius culture), the vote held was for essentially inconsequential elections.
This vote would be like our municipal elections; important locally but not so much for the province or the country. This was for the administrative level of politicians that deal with noise bylaws, garbage pick-up and the like. NOT hot issues. Turnout was over 80%. The previous record turnout was around 47% and that was last year or the year before when things began to heat up. Now those things are pretty damn HOT and over 3 million votes were cast in a total population of 7.5 million. This WAS an opportunity to make a huge statement and Beijing knew that very well. So did Hong Kongers. The citizens voted to support the protests. They voted for more democracy, more independence. They voted AGAINST police action. They voted against government.
But the election went without a hitch. No protests. No demonstrations. Everyone lined up (sooooooo unlike Confucius culture) to vote peacefully. It was a demonstration in democracy like no other – a massive turnout for ‘dogcatchers’ to send a HUGE message to the ‘powers that be’….but peacefully.
There is a lesson in democracy and courage there for all of us. And an even bigger lesson there for the United States of Imbeciles.
And so, now to the US impeachment process……what can we say…? Trump SHOULD be impeached for a dozen different reasons, piggy obnoxiousness being, perhaps, the most obvious one but there are plenty of bad behaviours to work with. He is highly impeachable as well as repugnant.
But it won’t happen……
….and there are a dozen reasons WHY it won’t but the obvious one: Republicans won’t let it happen is not the critical one. That, of course, is how his protection will show up but the real underlying reason is that Americans are confused to the point of ambivalence. And so they don’t care! Admittedly, the American public is incredibly ignorant of facts and disinterested in finding any but that deliberate, conscious, UNconsciousness is the real stumbling block. They just don’t wanna know. They do not want to work at it, read, think, fact-check or consider what it all means….they prefer TV and, well, more TV. They like listening to propagandists TELL them what opinion to have. They like FOX News.
Well, better put: they are entertained by FOX Lies and Friends.
I think the Democrats HAD to start impeachment. If they had not, they would be aiding and abetting, they would be ‘enabling’, they would be deemed complicit – somehow ‘in bed’ with the worst president in US history. They HAD to impeach.
They KNOW they will fail. They KNOW the GOP won’t ‘turn’ on their dear leader. They know the impeachment will also make them look impotent to the casual viewer and the majority of Americans are barely even casual viewers of politics. ‘Mericans* prefer NFL football to politics. They vote by ‘brand’ or ‘name’ or ‘habit’. They do NOT think.
(Not all Americans are idiots. I know that. Some of my best friends are Americans…but they are also appalled and ashamed by the number of idiots they share citizenship with so I am NOT including the good guys. The problem? I am NOT 100% sure they are still in the majority).
So…how does that all play out? Dunno……but I can’t help but compare the Hong Kong concept of democracy and the risks they are willing to take to have it. AND those people want to get that from a totalitarian government that does not tolerate dissent easily. Yikes! They may be naive but they are heroic citizens speaking up.
‘Mericans, on the other hand, HAVE democracy and choose not to take it responsibly. THEIR democracy ignores the people, cheats the people, steals from the people and lies to the people…and the people? Well, they prefer NFL football anyway so, who cares?
Bottom line: I admire the Hong Kongers fighting an idealistic but ultimately futile battle. They are true hero/martyrs showing incredible courage. Especially since they have so little hope. And they are going to lose. Many will ‘disappear’.
I am beyond disgusted by so-called American flag-waving patriots who have abandoned and disregarded THEIR own civic and social responsibilities and have so little interest in what should be most dear to them. Truth. Honesty. Fairness. Instead they live on lies, propaganda, entertainment and junk food. They are hopeless.
Truly the youth of Hong Kong are manifesting the values as laid out in the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence much more so than are Americans.
I am in total agreement but could not
Have articulated it as well as you.
Thanks, GM. Nice to hear from you. Hope you and C are well…?
I vote in every election and research before I make my choices. I do not vote a party line even though I was raised as a Republican. I vote for the person who I believe will do the best for the city, county, state and federal government. I’ve always voted that way and always will. Sometimes my voice is heard and sometimes not, but I will not stop voting my conscience. And it will be that way here in Canada as well. – Margy
That’s why I vote Green. Voting my conscience…….
What aspirational iteration of democracy do citizens of Hong Kong seek? Direct democracy, liberal democracy, authoritarian democracy, parliamentary democracy or perhaps some other form.
Well, I do not think democracy was the original goal. Nor do I think the students intended for it to get violent. Those issues emerged after the protests had run for some time. The original issue was two-fold: Carrie Lam announced that prisoners could be ‘extradited’ to Mainland China. And force will be employed. China has an almost Napoleonic system of justice or, for our tastes, NO justice at all. Hong Kong’s is still based on British Common Law. HK people did NOT WANT an extradition process.
The fact that the ruling council was ‘fixing’ who could run and appointing Mainland hacks was also somewhat aggravating. But it was the actions of the police that set the rebellion up for chants of democracy.
I honestly don’t think they know what they are chanting for – not fully. They must have some benign version/vision of democracy in mind but they seem oblivious to who they are asking for it. A totalitarian government is not gonna cut HK free. Ain’t gonna happen. Hell! The PRC still want Taiwan back! I really think the protests would have stopped if China had simply honoured the original deal: One country, two systems…..for 50 years….until 2047…..things were supposed to be the same.
But they reneged. The PRC have been encroaching on the edges of the deal but people shrugged the little stuff off. But the extradition proposal was a clear violation and the tinder was dry……voila! Flashpoint!
Yes, yes and yes. I agree with you. It appears that Hong Kong citizens will end up accepting a strongman leader for life guiding a one party system of authoritarian democracy with few features of western style democracy. World wide some people seem to prefer the stability of authoritarian rulers be they capitalist or socialist. Singapore might be an example of such strongman rule. Perhaps a Trump type.
Hong Kongers were voting for “Protest Democracy”….like us poor saps in the “democratic” west.
Once every 4 years were get to “kick the latest czar” out….
Unfortunately the “czars” get to rape, pillage and plunder for the other 3.999 years with “democratic” impunity.
The Hong Kong election was a “protest vote” …… nothing more.
Just like the majority of voters in the last few years of national elections in “democratic” countries…….everywhere.
You dont for who you WANT in power…..you “anti vote” against who’s IN power…
I would say the proliferation of minority govts ALL OVER THE WORLD…..bare this hypothesis out..
Much agreement…but, but, but….if we are always anti-voting, doesnt that say something about who gets in? Who is running?
We are sayingm “WE DONT LIKE THE SYSTEM! ”
We should NOT like the system. IT IS CORRUPT.
No argument from me.
Logic suggests the “ anti vote” is impotent in the face of a 35% organized like minded minority. Sixty-five percent of voters could if unified defeat an organized minority. It appears that “anti voting” has intended and unintended consequences. Trump was elected by voter apathy, the failure to vote. By saying none of the above what follows might be dire. In Switzerland one of the political parties is “The Anti-PowerPoint Party” in essence a party of futility.
Logic does not suggest that……especially if your own logic and values are important to you. Would you have logically voted for Idi Amin? Stalin? Hitler? Obviously at the time, a protest vote would be illogical politically but what if you were a Ugandan, Russian or German and faced with that vote? Worse, you had to LIVE WITH THAT VOTE your whole life?
I prefer to vote my conscience. I can then live more easily with it……
Are your equating the term “anti vote” as synonymous with conscience? How is it possible to vote for totalitarian rulers who have suspended voting rights? It is a stretch to suggest that totalitarian dictatorships are equivalent to liberal western democracies. How helpful are arguments that make false equivalents?
No… I equate” the “anti-vote” as a vote for “anyone but the garbage in power”….
It’s as simple as that.
Not understanding this corruption/corrupt meme. Putin is corrupt evidently Hitler was corrupt with millions exterminated and by analogy politics in the west is corrupt? Please illuminate.
If, if, IF you were a German in Hitler’s era….and a vote came up, you might have chosen NOT to vote if you protested the regime. Many chose to vote ‘to getalong’ and some may have actually voted their dissent. All choices (even the pro Hitler vote) are considered fair expression in a democracy. But, as time wore on, the first two voting choices might make you wonder about yourself. Maybe even feel guilty. ‘Damn! I voted for an evil bastard!” “Boy, was that a mistake.” “Yikes! WHAT have I done?”
In 2019 we had a few foreign students visit. A few were Germans. When they spoke of their country, they spoke with shame and denigration. They (almost three generations later), still carry the shame of WW2 .
So my point is: do not vote party/partisan. THAT VOTE serves them. Instead, vote your own conscience. Why? Because you are going to live with your voting decisions a long time. And some votes are resonating through generations. Anyone voting Trump will have to ‘live with themselves’ for aiding a pig/crook/idiot. When he leaves, he will leave garbage that has stained the fabric of the US deeply. Many GOP followers will feel bad. Many will say, “I was just being great again.” Most will deny they ever voted Trump. They are ashamed.
Do yourself a favour: vote your values, ideals and hopes. Take the high road. Vote your conscience first.
In the article, “How Democracy Produced a Monster” a number of the totalitarian leaders’ assent to dictatorial rule is illustrated. In 1932 Hitler’s party got 37.2 percent of the vote but went on to rule. At that time ‘Germany was politically divided, many were impoverished, angry, frustrated, resentful, fearful and some clutched on to a faint hope!’ Fear of Communism was one justification for installing a strongman. A second issue was that Germany was under attack and being undermined by anti-democratic elites who feared economic ruin if the socialists were voted in. These economic elites were not voting because of their consciences but not voting to protect their economic self-interests by spreading fear of socialism and mistrust of democracy. What followed with Hitler was the scapegoating of millions of people.
Yep. Unfounded fears, ignorance, selfishness, hope in
bullies, national division, scapegoating, lies……hmmmmm….sounds kinda familiar, don’t you think?
“How am I supposed to know?”
First take your citizenship seriously and learn everything you can. Secondly, place your faith in the person running, NOT the party. And, finally, vote for honesty, truth and ideals, not greed and fear. Vote your conscience.
But enlighten that conscience first.
I agree with you. Be ‘woke.’ I’m not convinced that all consciences have a functioning moral compass.
I’m optimistic. If you are ‘conscious’, you have a moral compass. Maybe a bit different than mine but you have one.
It is the walking UNCONSCIOUS that may not. Probably not.
Read Scott Peck’s People of the Lie. In it, he postulates that evil comes from unconsciousness. And, of course, ignorance and unconsciousness are siblings. Really stupid people often choose their ignorance……or rather choose stupid over education, investigation, thinking and doing.
TV is easier than thinking. I should know – I often chose TV so as NOT to think.
Just as we take a drink, watch a movie or just daydream ….time to shut off the little grey cells.
But a break is different from a way of life and many live that way – head in the sand, head in the TV, into the drugs, into the booze or into some other stupid waste time.
I think I get jokes and also ironic positions sooo when I hear that global warming is not real are these proponents just being the ‘big kidders’ you know playing the ‘got you ‘ card. Or are they giving voice to deeply held convictions. These ‘no global warming words’ are voiced they are not locked up in their unconsciousness. When some one is critical of Canadians with dual citizenship or claims credentials they do not possess and excuses it with, “No one asked me.” What is the state of someone’s moral compass. I agree that many beliefs are unexamined. But I do not agree that compartmentalizations of certain beliefs are a justification for unreflective thinking.
I just viewed an interview of an author who is a presidential historian. His past works include historical biographical books about each of the past half dozen or so US Presidents. He is being interviewed, in this video, about his visit with and research and impressions of the current office holder for his new book, which is about Donald Trump. The authors name is:
Doug Wead, and his book: “Inside Trump’s White House”
Very interesting. I’d recommend the video, and think I’ll get a copy of the book.
It is worth noting that Doug Wead, the author, recounts in the video details of his receiving anonymous online death threats against himself and his family if his book is released. He said: “I’ve never had this happen before. Someone went to great lengths to research details about my family.” Interesting that some people would go to such lengths to criminally threaten this author and his family for writing his historical book about our President as he has about every other President he has written books about.
It is obvious in political discourse that the veneer of civilization has been seemingly mostly discarded. The evident decline in civility has many citizens of all political persuasions bunkered down in silos that echo their beliefs. In effect echo chambers repeating deeply held political convictions In some cases these views have lead to threats of violence and in extreme cases to actual violence. Death threats have become the meme of some to further political ideologies and to impose these views on others by force. Bullying furthered by coercive threats…why? Many beliefs that some see as imperatives are on their face matters of choice that one may hold not based upon want an individual prefers. Security of the person is one of many imperatives that societies cleave to as well others. Justice, rule of law, truth telling…!
I don’t like holy-roller evangelicals as a rule (boring and insincere). I have never been a fan of multilevel marketing like Amway and I really dislike influence and access peddlers like Roger Stone. Wead is all of those. His books are short and shallow. And his ethics are questionable (ask the GW Bush family). Mind you, death threats are totally unacceptable but…..well……maybe the threats are a form of marketing? Still, I hope they find out who is doing it, tho. My guess? Hillary.
Sir Edmund Hillary? Wasn’t he interested in ascending mountains?