Human freedom has many threats. The struggle for freedom is never finished. It is iterative and incremental. Where freedom is won, it can be lost again.
Today, surveying the world around us, there is much to worry about. And among the first worries we register now is a regressing China.
Twenty years ago, we had reason to believe that China would join the world of free nations by expanding human rights and democratic self-determination as economic freedom and personal prosperity began to bloom.
In the person of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the CCP is grossly expanding its authoritarian control over the lives of the Chinese people. And its expansionist vision on the foreign stage should be a cause for grave concern.
The Chinese Communist Party cherishes a vision of cradle-to-grave control of human life, with the ancillary belief that this can occur in an economically prosperous society. Just follow the rules and nobody gets hurt, it suggests. The vision is as fundamentally misguided about human nature as Mao's grotesque Great Leap Forward programs. But it may be more sustainable in the short run as a way of doing business. And, given China's current economic might and influence in the developing world, it could be expanded either by force or coercion.
It is popular now to suggest that America is damaged goods, that our role on the world stage is so diminished we are no longer an effective advocate of freedom. After the shameful retreat from Afghanistan, there is, sadly, some truth to this. And to no one is that sweeter than Xi Jinping.
That is why it is crucial for every American, and especially for the American president, to remember that America's central idea--its reason for being--is the elevation of human freedom and of the God-given rights that codify that freedom. We need a clear foreign policy that acknowledges China as it is, not for what we wish it to be. It matters for us, and it matters for the world.