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Guest Column: Congressman supports free trade, not American jobs

December 7, 2011

By John Stassi

Even though the Rockford area suffers from a chronic shortage of living-wage jobs for its residents, it continues to be saddled with a surplus of elected politicians who are unceasingly eager to promote the job-stealing tactics of the People’s Republic of China.

Chief among them is our congressman, Don Manzullo. During the nearly two decades he has spent misrepresenting our interests in Congress and traveling to China to meet with his communist pals, Rockfordians have witnessed the wholesale decimation of our once-thriving manufacturing facilities right alongside an unprecedented increase in cheap labor manufacturing capacity in China. As a result, a tidal wave of Made-in-China imports has inundated our unprotected marketplace and carried away our good-paying jobs.

Congressman Manzullo has been and continues to be one of our country’s most enthusiastic supporters of the trade policies that have swamped his Rockford constituents in this unemployment tsunami. Despite that, he has the nerve to call himself a champion of manufacturing. Strictly speaking, of course, he is correct. Manzullo has been a champion for manufacturing … in China.

If you think that Manzullo’s preposterous claim is something that only a lawyer could love, you could be right because, in imitation of Manzullo, Mayor Larry Morrissey has adopted his twisted logic and jumped on the Red China bandwagon.

In an interview broadcast on WIFR on Nov. 7, Mayor Morrissey informs us that on the strength of his four trips to China, each of them carefully organized and overseen by Communist Party officials, he believes himself qualified to “dispel some of the myths that might be out there that the Chinese have stolen all of our jobs.” It’s not their fault, he claims, but ours for failing to do more to keep those jobs here. [A]

I imagine that Congressman Manzullo would be proud of such an excuse because he has used it himself. Back in 1999, when the news came out that China had stolen our nuclear weapons secrets, Manzullo told the National Journal (May 29, 1999) that the blame for that was mostly America’s for having made it so easy for China to do so! And he got away with it!

Mayor Morrissey further advises us that the Chinese are very entrepreneurial and suggests that we need to follow that example. Is he completely unaware of what really goes on in the factories operated by the “entrepreneurial” Chinese whom he so admires? If so, he would not be the first foreigner to be so deceived.

Some years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Loretta Tofani discovered she had been bamboozled by Chinese government officials:

When I decided to become an importer, [she writes,] I believed the common wisdom prevailing in America that American trade with China improved the wages and lives of Chinese factory workers and their families. The nice factories I had seen in China as a reporter during the ’90s, under the tow of officials, seemed to support that premise. But the reality I observed as an importer, and later as a reporter interviewing young dying workers and those who employed them, made me arrive at a different conclusion: American trade with China has caused unspeakable suffering among millions of young factory workers, who are shocked to discover that their jobs making cheap goods for America are causing their deaths.[B]

Ms. Tofani followed up on her discovery by investigating, exposing and denouncing the Chinese government’s complicity with horrific entrepreneurial crimes against factory workers. [C]

Perhaps in ignorance of their crimes, Mayor Morrissey suggests that we follow the example set by the Chinese. Can he still really mean it?

But this is not just about our clueless mayor and useless congressman, or our stolen jobs and China’s brutally abused and unfree working people, although those should be reasons enough to alarm and disgust those of us who still remember what this country is supposed to stand for. It is, more importantly, about our national security.

To enhance the profits of their corporate sugar daddies, our elected politicians of both parties have allowed them to create, through so-called free trade, a powerful, nuclear-armed Chinese Communist monster that despises every freedom we enjoy and every moral value we hold dear. Consequently, we now find ourselves on the brink of a new Cold War, which we could well lose, and our government in the hands of corrupt politicians who are still eager to trade away to our enemies the weapons they will use to destroy us.

How could we have allowed this to happen?

Will we act in time to avoid the awful fate that we have allowed our politicians to make for us?

I’m sorry to have to say that I doubt it.

References: [A] “Morrissey China Talkback” WIFR-TV, Nov. 7, 2011; [B] How I got the story — Loretta Tofani; Backstory: The Dick Goldensohn Fund, Jan. 7, 2008; [C] “American Imports, Chinese Deaths” by Loretta Tofani, The Salt Lake Tribune, Copyright 2007.

John Stassi is a native Rockfordian who believes in liberty and justice for all.

From the Dec. 7-13, 2011, issue

2 Comments

  1. Jolly Roger

    December 8, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    When was the last time Manzullo held a “town hall” meeting free for ALL citizens to attend? Apparently meeting with small select groups and riding in farm community parades is the only support he needs.

  2. John M Stassi

    December 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

    It’s true: Manzullo has employed stealth tactics to avoid meeting with those who might question his voting record and his positions.

    But it’s also true: The local media has allowed him to do so. Indeed it has facilitated his evasion by publishing his self-applauding press releases as “news” without ever publishing or broadcasting any sort of critical analysis of them.

    The media is behind the dumbing down of America, allowing cowards like Manzullo to serve long and prosper. You can’t have one without the other.

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