Democrats pull page from Chinese playbook for the coronavirus crisis
Drones made in China flying above our streets. Fines for worshipers who stay in their cars. State rewards for secret informers. Information deemed “problematic” censored. In fighting a scourge such as the coronavirus, the United States must rely on its founding principles, not borrow a page from the Chinese playbook. Yet with millions suffering due to central planning in China, Democrats believe it is the time for central planning at home.
“We can transform the country,” Joe Biden says. Democrats seem to think a pandemic is the perfect opportunity to kill millions more jobs and then give households another $75,000 in debt to pay for the Green New Deal. Their central plan has more in common with the Soviet constitution from 1936 than the American one from 1787. Bernie Sanders demands a “just transition” to “real jobs.” Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez calls for “economic security for all” and even for those “unwilling to work.” That was a mistake, Democrats claim, but at the end of the day, she said it.
While Democrats in Washington are using the crisis to push central plans for voting and for climate, Democrats at the state level are enacting their own. In Michigan, abortions are apparently essential and “life sustaining.” Garden seeds are not. The crackdown by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on planting, boating, and painting, but not on abortions, kayaking, or lottery tickets fueled an uproar. She responded by blaming struggling residents.
Gun ownership in China is essentially nonexistent for citizens. Democrats think the United States should be the same. Biden surrogates blast those small business gun shops that are still open, while blue states declare the Second Amendment no longer essential during the pandemic. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy needs to learn about civil liberties, since his state is one of nearly two dozen using drones from a Chinese company suspected of spying on Americans to enforce social distancing and lockdown rules.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is enlisting Michael Bloomberg to build a “tracing army.” Let us hope it looks nothing like the one in China, whose regime Bloomberg likes to assist by shutting down investigations by journalists reporting on Communist Party elites. It is widely known that China uses smartphones to track movements and send data to the police. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio seems to favor that sort of idea. “There are some people who need to get the message,” he claims. “That means sometimes making sure the enforcement is there to educate people.”
In California, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcecetti tells residents “snitches get rewards” for reporting violations of social distancing. Cops have been called on people practicing yoga and paddle boarding alone in the ocean. Police have created sting operations for women giving manicures in their own homes. But why stop there? We could create a “social credit system” for reporting the littering, gossiping, or jaywalking by your neighbors.
Fortunately, President Trump and his administration are looking out for violations of civil liberties. The Justice Department is seeking to protect religious liberty and will step in if states go too far. As Attorney General William Barr says, “The Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis.”
Unfortunately, massive liberal corporations seem to think it is. Facebook bans Americans from organizing protests it does not approve of. Twitter censors political jokes, but it protects propaganda from China. YouTube removes information it finds problematic, defined as contradicting what the World Health Organization says. That international institution knows a thing or two about problematic disinformation. It told us the coronavirus was limited in spreading from human to human contact only months ago.
Democrats seem eager to borrow ideas from the very regime that allowed the pandemic to spread. China lied for weeks. While the Communist Party locked down travel within its country, it was encouraging tourism to Italy. Yet many Democrats deny the culpability of Chinese officials and instead blame the American president, though he rightly ignored the very faulty recommendations of the World Health Organization and restricted travel.
Democrats believe we have to “reject any calls” for a return to normal. But normal in the United States is freedom of opportunity and prosperity. Our individual rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and not by politicians who choose to disregard it. Americans should not have it any other way.
Elizabeth Harrington is the national spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. You can follow her updates on Twitter @LizRNC.