In the humidity of late summer, I walked into the master practitioner’s office in Hong Kong.
He was a distinguished doctor of Chinese medicine, who counted movie stars such as Jackie Chan, Mark Wahlberg, and others as former patients. He was also a well-respected martial arts master, whose lineage intertwined with that of the legendary Bruce Lee.
I was visiting from Washington, D.C., and was seeking martial arts instruction and medical treatment.
Back home, blaring news headlines provided daily reminders of China’s growing political and economic power, while talking heads and policy types regularly pontificated about a future in which China might displace U.S. global leadership.
Rising global influence was now China’s new bragging right. In the office of the master practitioner, however, a quieter commodity prevailed — traditional Chinese culture.
Earlier this week, Ying Ma spoke to The Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong about the Donald Trump presidency, the Trump political revolution of the 2016 campaign, the Trump administration’s controversies and accomplishments, and her continued support for the President.
Watch a video of the discussion here or on YouTube.
The heated debate over the weekend about whether President Trump was enabling white supremacist groups revealed the mainstream media’s eagerness to label him a racist. Yes, Trump should have more unambiguously spurned racists who invoked his name as inspiration for their violence, but the mainstream media’s coverage and Trump haters’ reaction also showed the knee-jerk, decrepit nature of this country’s discussion on race.
When it was confirmed that a female counter-protester died and more than a dozen were injured, Trump said on Sunday, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
In turn, pundits and politicians alike lambasted Trump’s failure to explicitly name white supremacists in his condemnation.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” yesterday, anchor Jake Tapper asked if Trump was sending a dog whistle to the white supremacists who supported him. To bolster his point, Tapper repeatedly pointed to his interview with Trump in February 2016 where Trump did not explicitly disavow support from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.
Nowhere did Tapper point out that two days before his interview with Trump, the presidential candidate was asked at a press conference about Duke’s endorsement and unequivocally declared, “I disavow.”
After his interview with Tapper, Trump reiterated his rejection of Duke’s support on Twitter. Tapper said nothing about that either.
The mainstream media suffered a further erosion of its authority during the 2016 campaign. It copiously displayed its disdain of Donald Trump, not least in assuming that his election to the presidency was not simply unlikely, but next to impossible. Then came the evening of November 8, when assorted media pooh-bahs stared in incredulity at the actual results—a Republican trifecta.
Many have blamed Trump himself for his adversarial relationship with the press, but that distracts from the media’s culpability. However unconventional or controversial Trump’s candidacy was—and it certainly broke new ground—the mainstream media have long failed to report the news truthfully about right-of-center public figures with whom it disagrees.
In my view, at a time when many are complaining about “fake news” manufactured by Russia, it is worth taking a closer look at the mainstream media’s complacency and downright dishonesty. Numerous examples exist, but two incidents involving Dr. Ben Carson, surely the most civil and genteel GOP presidential contender in the 2016 election, are illuminating.
I’m a woman, a racial minority, and an immigrant, and I grew up in inner-city America. I have two university degrees, one from Cornell University and another from Stanford Law School. I have worked for some of the most elite institutions in America, including a foreign policy organization that counts Chelsea and Bill Clinton among its members.
According to conventional wisdom, I have no business being a Trump supporter. Yet I have been an unabashed fan since Trump declared his candidacy for president. In fact, never in my life have I been this excited about a presidential nominee.
Establishment Republicans won’t stop saying or doing stupid things this election season. One after another, they have declared their hatred for Donald Trump or endorsed Hillary Clinton. Those who have not stooped to such unseemliness have little to brag about either, as many of them have repeatedly failed to defend their party’s nominee or undermined him at every turn.
Each time, establishment Republicans eagerly proclaim that they are more decent than the man chosen by a record number of GOP primary voters and supported by 83 percent of self-identified Republicans. Yet, while objecting to Trump’s unconventional style and rhetoric, the Trump haters have no appreciation or answer for the grave issues he raises.