I’m writing to let you know that, I’ll have an opinion piece in the Florida Today regarding the . The piece is set to appear in the print and online editions of the newspaper. Also, there are a few new things on the web site – I hope you’ll take a few minutes to see some of them. And please spread the good word.
Finally, I’d really like to meet each of you in person. Anyone who would care to invite his or her friends and family to meet me by hosting a coffee at his home, a local restaurant or social club would be greatly appreciated. I am available nearly every evening for the next three weeks. Please email me so that we can arrange it.
Libertarian Candidate for Congress
Here is his op-ed in Florida Today; normally I would just post an excerpt and link the rest, but that particular paper has a screwy website, so I’m not sure everyone would be able to easily access it.
Boycott the Beijing Games
Don’t reward China for human rights abuses.
When I was invited to write an op-ed piece for FLORIDA TODAY, many issues flew through my head.
From war to immigration to my tax plan as a Libertarian candidate to replace U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon in Congress, dozens of topics could have been a focus.
But after 15 Congressmen and women made the not even half-hearted effort of asking President Bush to skip the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics this summer, I knew I needed to explain my moral position concerning the games.
All U.S. athletes should boycott the Beijing Olympics this summer. I know this decision will be difficult for any athletes to make because they have trained for years. But when you consider whether many former Olympians proudly displayed their medals from the 1936 games in Nazi Germany, I doubt it.
There are myriad reasons to boycott:
TibetAfter years of oppression, Chinese authorities arrested hundreds of Buddhist monks and other protesting Tibetans over the last month. XinjiangA mostly Muslim province north of Tibet, the people of this sparsely populated region also do not consider themselves Chinese but forced integration into Chinese society and arrests are the norm there as well. Sudan/Darfur.Film director Stephen Spielberg resigned as a consultant for the game’s opening ceremonies because of Chinese support for the government of Sudan. China is Sudan’s largest trading partner and many activists are upset the Chinese government does nothing to pressure the Sudanese to end the genocide in Darfur. Taiwan.Chinese hostility toward Taiwan constitutes the single greatest danger to world peace. China insists the re-unification of Taiwan is an “internal affair.” The Taiwanese do not agree. The Chinese Gulag.China’s prison system is the largest in the world. Dozens of human rights activists have been jailed for speaking out against the “Harmonious Society.”
Ironically, the same day the Olympic Torch was lit a Chinese court sentenced Yang Chunlin to five years in prison. His crime: Collecting 10,000 signatures on a petition that began “We want human rights, not the Olympics.”
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband doesn’t think a boycott would help human rights issues in China. He also said “engagement, not isolation” of the Chinese is the correct road.
But more than a few people in Britain compare him to Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who thought the best way to deal with Adolf Hitler was to let him have Czechoslovakia in 1939.
President Bush and Congress have no moral clarity on this vital issue. They have broken moral thermometers themselves by allowing Abu Ghraib and the torturing of prisoners held by the U.S. military.
The rest of us know torture, oppression of free speech and the denial of legal representation are wrong.
That’s why U.S. athletes should boycott the Beijing Games. Anything less will glorify and justify the deeply corrupt communist government of China.
Bouffard is a Libertarian candidate for Florida’s 15th Congressional District, which includes the southern half of Brevard County. A former Army lieutenant, he lives in Satellite Beach.