There comes a time when activists should just back up and take the "L" on some things.
I get that they want to save the whales, birds, trees, puppies, harp seals, each and every person (except for corporate CEOs and Arab warlords, because they're of Satan), and the earth itself. I commend their efforts. Someone's gotta do it, and I can't, because I've got way too much football to watch right now.
But some things just can't be done like they want. Everyone isn't willing to give up their fur, so throwing paint on it is just going to get your ass kicked. Everyone isn't going to buy a Prius or start recycling overnight, and trying to force it on people is going to make them react in one of two ways: Resentment or riotous laughter. Because let's face it, no one ever feels intimidated by the kind of people they see at environmental rallies.
So don't get butthurt because our President isn't willing to walk into China and start demanding that they start their people on a hugging regimen. We're not in the war-mongering mood these days and that kind of attitude is usually followed by slapping someone across the face. With missles.
See, just because we're America, it doesn't mean that we can just get up in anyone's shit and tell them what to do inside their own borders. If that strategy worked so well, someone would have tried it on us back in the 1960s. Or maybe they'd have convinced us not to wage war on a third world country.
Politically speaking, we can't dictate to too many folks right now, especially when they have something we want or need. Like good credit. So what can we really say to China? "Stop kicking your people's asses or we'll run up our national debt with someone else?" If the Chinese really cared what we thought, they'd stop putting lead and ebola in all the foods that they sell to us.
It's not that I think China's human rights violations are okay, because I don't. Yeah, it's messed up that people are rounded up like cattle for the crime of disagreeing, then held in secret prisons every time someone important comes to visit. It really is. It's also messed up that they believe that we can't figure out how this game works. That shows how stupid they think we are. They think we're like fucking babies: If we put the keys behind our backs, they don't exist anymore, even if we can still hear their screams of pain and anguish.
But let's be realistic about our powers of influence: We can't even stop Israel from shooting people armed with rocks, and we actually give them money. Based on that level of control, if we start preaching to China (and by now, they own 17 states), they'll probably have us invading Taiwan by the weekend.
And that's with almost no relationship with China, outside of money changing hands. How often do you listen to the Homeowners' Association President when she tells you that you can't paint your house lavender pink or replace your front lawn with weed plants? You don't know this chick (because it's always a woman) and if you cared what she thought about anything, you would have worn pants when you came to the door. Yet, China's supposed to take a tongue-lashing from us? That's the part where they say, "Yeah, but you elected Bush twice."
Our government just doesn't have the kind of pull that activists think it does. Not with a country that powerful. And they're not even fully aware of their power yet. They're still at a stage where they're pretending to be humble, like when you were still learning to play "Street Fighter." Yeah, you can beat your friends, because you can luck up and bust out the Dragon Punch from time to time, but you're not good enough to do it at will yet, so you're gonna keep your fucking mouth shut when Tony Pham comes into the arcade.
We're just not that swinging dick these days, and it's funny, because I always thought it was economic pressure that got South Africa to end apartheid, anyway. South Africa would have laughed at the US Government if they had come at them all high and mighty in the early 90s. "What, you started playing rap on MTV and now you think you can talk shit us? Aren't your kaffirs rioting right now?"
Economic pressure is they key, because money is what they want. They're perfectly okay with letting us think we're still the only superpower in the world, and at the rate we're going, once they buy us completely, we'll still be able to say that.
But if you want to do something, stop buying Chinese goods. You shouldn't be putting a biohazard in your mouth, anyway. Just because they're all over the place doesn't mean you have to buy them. Why not keep pressuring companies that run Chinese sweat shops? That one kills two birds with one stone, and since both of them probably had bird flu, that's actually THREE birds.
Being critical of OUR government for not stamping out the scourge of human rights abuses isn't gonna solve anything, because it's outside the realm of their powers. All the government is really good at is invading shit, not changing hearts and minds. That's why they arm our military with guns instead of the Care Bears.