RealClearPolitics White House correspondent Philip Wegmann asked Press Secretary Jen Psaki a timely question on Friday: Why is President Joe Biden calling for the MLB All-Star Game to be moved out from Georgia due to election bill, but has yet to call for United Will states boycott travel to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics? Shortly after Wegmann’s request, MLB announced that it was moving the All-Star Game out of state.
While the left calling on all companies to boycott Georgia is ludicrous, Biden would be careful to heed Jimmy Carter’s failures in 1980 and send our athletes to face the new Evil Empire in China. The presence of American athletes in Beijing makes it clear that our nation’s enterprise and athletic superiority will not falter in the shadow of tyranny. If the United States pulls out of the Winter Olympics, the CCP wins, and it doesn’t deserve a shred of victory.
In 1980, the United States joined 65 countries in boycotting the Moscow Summer Olympics. After 35 years of containment, the Soviet Union’s presence stretched from Poland to Afghanistan to Nicaragua to Mozambique and Angola – Marxism-Leninism trampled the world and relaxation did not cut it.
President Jimmy Carter, whose strategy during the Cold War was far from stellar, announced the boycott after the Soviets declined US requests to withdraw from Afghanistan, a year after the military invaded the country. As Carter tried to make up for his failed foreign policy, his plans came to nothing and shattered the dreams of more than 500 hardworking American athletes, denying them the unparalleled chance to compete on the world stage.
It is quite true that the Chinese Community Party is responsible for the mass genocide and is a tyrannical regime. Indeed, it will be up to the Biden administration to send a clear message to dictator Xi Jinping that the United States will not support the extermination of the Uyghurs. Yet, as witnessed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken who was pushed around by a Chinese diplomat on top of Alaska, the Biden administration has a lot of work to do.
Biden must go on the offensive. It means forcing federal contractors to disclose their ties to the regime, as proposed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. It means speaking out against censorship, stopping talking about systemic racism that only communicates national weakness to foreign adversaries, and working with Quad member states, Australia, India and Japan to strategize to oppose aggression from China, as Trump did. It also means holding China responsible for covering up evidence of the coronavirus months after an outbreak in Wuhan, which devastated the entire world.
It means policies and partnerships, not fruitless efforts that only hurt our own talented and hardworking citizens.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas made this point in March, writing:
The worst thing we can do to stand up to China is to keep our athletes at home. As anyone who’s ever faced a bully knows, when you decide to hide and not fight, the bully wins. Our athletes should proudly travel to Beijing next year, bring home medal after medal and show the world what it means to compete in the name of a free society. We shouldn’t be giving China an easy way to increase its medal count by preventing Americans from going to the Olympics.
Cruz went on to note that a boycott shows that “the Biden administration has no Chinese strategy and, in its trial and error, they would use American athletes as pawns to appear tough on China instead of getting tough on China. China.”
Similar to Cruz, Doug Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, argued in The American Conservative boycotting the Olympics only makes the US government “vanity” by feeling as though it had accomplished something by mistake.
“Lone, or almost lonely, resistance from the United States might make some people feel righteous, but it would probably be counterproductive. It would look like a politically motivated fight of moral vanity at the expense of athletes who lose the opportunity to compete, ”Bandow wrote.
While some may argue that the United States would cede to the Chinese by participating in a sporting event with the repressive regime and going to their home court, the opposite is true. By forcing our athletes who have trained for years to stay on the sidelines of the world stage, America would allow China to declare victory before the race even begins.
More importantly, there are many reasons to doubt that the United States that does not participate in the Olympics will actually repair China’s human violations or help those affected. It is doubtful that China will suddenly realize that this is a repressive regime that needs a course correction after the withdrawal of American athletes from a winter Olympic competition. On the contrary, given the tremendous media opportunities, the participation of American athletes offers civically engaged people the opportunity to shed light on the myriad of human rights violations in China.
The Biden administration must take tougher action against China, whose Communist regime is arguably the world’s biggest threat. But not participating in the 2022 Olympics is not the right way to do it.
Photo Fireworks erupt at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
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