Insights, 7/5/19

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In today’s edition of Insights, we focus on democracy - how people are fighting for it abroad, how ours is running today, and what may impact its longevity. With expert takes on the Hong Kong protests and their repercussions for the Chinese government, how Supreme Court rulings will impact the upcoming election, what the vast 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate field says about the party, and the historical roots of our present economic issues. Read the insights below, and, of course, we encourage you to read the articles in full and inform yourself on these important issues:


“[For] China’s hard-line leader, Xi Jinping, the reaction was a humiliating rejection of his basic premise that Western liberties and independent judiciaries are incompatible with the “people’s republic.” Yet so long as the protests were big but peaceful, he seemed content to have his captive media grumble about “Western” incitement and otherwise inform the mainland public as little as possible about what was going on in Hong Kong. The Beijing-backed leader of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, was left to retreat, issuing public apologies and then indefinitely suspending consideration of the contentious legislation. All that changed on Monday, the day Hong Kong’s Beijing-endorsed officials were to make their annual demonstration of fealty to China at ceremonies marking the anniversary of the handover of sovereignty from Britain to China. A small group of masked protesters broke away from a peaceful march and attacked the legislature, smashing down glass doors, destroying official portraits and spray-painting slogans in the formal chamber. It will be weeks before the legislators can meet there again.” - Editorial Board, New York Times, MORE


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“The Supreme Court is already poised to drop some big political bombshells right into the heat of the 2020 campaign. And there are even more waiting in the wings. Why it matters: The court will likely hand down rulings on some of the most contentious issues in American politics just a few weeks before the Democratic convention. They'll be a reminder of just how often the justices effectively have the final say — and that 2020 is a race to pick the next justices. The court’s next term will “probably help to crystalize people’s thinking in the political season about the importance and the role of the court,” said Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society and a key adviser on President Trump’s Supreme Court nominations.” - Sam Baker, Axios, MORE


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“The slate of 24 contenders is too unwieldy for a constructive debate, many activists and strategists say, and too large for most voters to follow. And with a leadership vacuum at the top of the party, there is no one to elevate candidates with an endorsement, or help steer third-tier candidates out of the race when they’ve reached their plausible expiration date.” - Reid Epstein, New York Times, MORE


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“Today’s woes have their roots in the 1990s, when policymakers set the world on its current, hyperglobalist path, requiring domestic economies to be put in the service of the world economy instead of the other way around. In trade, the transformation was signaled by the creation of the World Trade Organization, in 1995. The WTO not only made it harder for countries to shield themselves from international competition but also reached into policy areas that international trade rules had not previously touched: agriculture, services, intellectual property, industrial policy, and health and sanitary regulations. Even more ambitious regional trade deals, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, took off around the same time.” - Dani Rodrik, Foreign Affairs, MORE


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Common Good.