It’s time to change who we depend on

While the world adapts to the threat of COVID-19, there’s another virus —  a figurative one — that poses a threat to American independence and our way of life.

We have gone too far in our reliance on cheap items made in China, and that’s a threat to our national security and our national health. Vital pharmaceuticals should be produced in the USA, and we should rely more on allies and also ourselves to manufacture the critical items that keep our country going.

When China threatens to cut off medical supplies or lifesaving drugs, we have not only them to blame but ourselves and those who allowed this situation to get out of hand. “Made in the USA” used to be a point of pride, and it still should be. Items made in Mexico and Canada are also things that we can appreciate and enjoy. But made by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party)? That’s just not a good deal if we want to keep America as the land of the free.

It’s time we allow America, our neighbors and our allies to shake off the undue influence of a Chinese ruling party that does not have our best interests at heart. Heck, the CCP doesn’t even have its own people’s best interests at heart. The Chinese people deserve better, but a brutal regime is dedicated to retaining its own power and prestige at any cost.

For far too long, in our effort to save a few dollars and enjoy lower prices, we’ve helped to prop up that sinister regime to our own detriment and to the detriment of its people, as well.

We know from honoring our veterans and those who serve in the military that American freedom is not free, that there is a price in sacrifice. It’s time to realize that we are the home front. If we have to pay higher prices on some of the items we buy because they are not sent to us via the CCP but made in the USA or by a country that’s friendly to us, that’s definitely a worthwhile sacrifice.

Totalitarian regimes are not our friends. Sometimes, it takes a crisis to jolt us awake. Not only our American military but also our industries and also the manufacturers in non-totalitarian countries are an important part of our national security.

We have to cast off the shackles of dependence on Communist China (and also keep the shackles of foreign oil producers off) in order to enjoy our own freedom and to help promote freedom around the world.

Hopefully, one day we can have a partnership with the Chinese people that is not beholden to the dictatorship of an evil regime. Unfortunately, that day has not yet dawned. We cannot allow our nation to be held hostage by the demands of a totalitarian government that only wants to elevate itself at the expense of the rest of the world.

Buy American products, buy Mexican, Canadian, Filipino, Indian, South American, etc. But for our country’s sake, it’s time to stop our reliance on Communist China, just as surely as we were once able to cut our reliance on foreign oil.

The Chinese Communist Party rules that country with an iron fist, and those controls aren’t limited to its own people. By making donations or concessions to several other countries, in effect the CCP is providing a golden noose. There is the benefit for those companies and countries of an immediate cash benefit, but it comes with a price, and that price is bowing to the will of the CCP.

Some of those countries, which are poor or ruled by corrupt leaders, may have little choice in bending to the will of Chinese communists. For decades, America and its allies were embroiled in a Cold War with the Soviet Union, and when the USSR fell apart in 1991, the West was too quick to declare total victory over communism and totalitarianism .The brutal Chinese regime — despite its bloody crackdown on freedom loving citizens at Tiananmen Square in 1989 — wasn’t perceived as the same type of threat by the West by the USSR. Content to mostly work in the shadows and get rich by selling America and the West cheap goods, the quest for world domination was no less.

While we should have seen the threat (and many did) far earlier, after the events of the COVID-19 crisis there should be no doubt. Rumors and speculation abound about the real source of the coronavirus that has caused at least 175,000 deaths worldwide and crashed the world’s economy. Regardless of the source, a market, a lab or Shang-ra La, the fact is that Chinese authorities are acting irresponsibly in dealing with the health threat, barring the door to Americans, seeking to control the message instead of doing the right thing. 

Whether though harmful intent or negligence, the fact is the CCP acted in a way that allowed the virus to spread and cause tremendous damage to the world.

If there was ever any doubt that the CCP could be trusted, that doubt should by now be shattered. That’s not the kind of partner with whom we can safely do business.

It’s time for Americans and people of all freedom loving nations to band together and stand against this great threat to our nations, our communities and our families.

Returning to the way things were is a recipe for disaster. We have been given a piercing wake up call. Hopefully we will not hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.

Jeff Osborne is the editor of the News of San Patricio and the Refugio County Press.