How ‘democratic’ U.S. callously disregards humanitarian values

The U.S. has been holding high the banner of “openness,” “freedom” and “equality.” But in reality, these universal values have been the first to be sacrificed by American elites for self-interests.

Internationally, the “democratic” U.S. has shown its unrivalled bullying skills in interactions with countries it deems as rivals. Over the past few years, the United States – under its “small yard, high fence” containment strategy – has escalated its efforts to hinder China’s technological progress. Through measures such as export controls and investment restrictions, Washington has constructed a “high fence” obstructing exchanges between China and the U.S. in the field of high-tech.

Washington’s “small yard, high fence” strategy is making a rod for its own back, which will ultimately harm American companies. Decoupling has resulted in a significant reduction in sales for U.S semiconductor companies in the Chinese market. Boston Consulting Group estimates that American companies could lose 18 percentage points of global share and 37 percent of their revenues if the U.S. government continues to pursue decoupling and bans domestic semiconductor companies from selling to Chinese firms. But apparently, Washington does not care as long as it can harm rival countries.

Domestically, the U.S. government has shown no respect for humanitarian values either. Take the immigration issue as an example. The U.S. is a nation of immigrants; but the country’s treatment of immigrants is a history with inhumane tragedies. Even in the 21st century, human rights violations against immigrants see no improvement.

The young migrants at Customs and Border Protection facilities in Donna, Texas, U.S. /AP

Upon crossing the U.S. border, migrants see their “American Dream” transform into a nightmare. Adults have been detained while their young children, who entered with them, were forcibly separated and placed in separate accommodations. Even infants – as young as four months old – have been subjected to this cruel separation.

The children were held incommunicado in emergency border patrol facilities or shelters under the supervision of government contractors, confined within metal-fenced cages, sleeping on bare floors covered with foil blankets. Their anguished cries for their parents echo through these facilities, while their basic human rights remain unmet.

The American Academy of Pediatricians rightly labels this as “government-sanctioned child abuse.” Sadly, no solution can fully heal the trauma inflicted upon these families. As the Texas Civil Rights Project, a legal aid organization, states “either the government wasn’t thinking at all about how they were going to put these families back together, or they decided they just didn’t care.”

Worse still, American politicians are using the issue as a political leverage. Some Republican governors have transported illegal immigrants from theirs to blue (Democratic) states – all in an attempt to embarrass the federal government, according to media reports.

Shouting “democracy,” American politicians only care about self-interests, manipulating every possible tool to attack rivals. In this context, political fighting has become an every-day event in the United States: Former President Donald Trump faces allegations of property fraud; President Joe Biden is currently under investigation for impeachment; the federal government has experienced frequent shutdown crises.

Rep. Richard Hudson (left) pulls Rep. Mike Rogers back as they talk with Rep. Matt Gaetz and others during the 14th round of voting for speaker as the House meets for the fourth day to try and elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, January 6, 2023. /Getty

Over the past decades, differences between the two parties were resolved through compromise, with politicians acting in the interests of their respective backing interest groups. However, U.S. politics today is witnessing polarization, with demands from interest groups becoming more divergent and uncompromising. Cross-party cooperation and consensus have become nearly impossible.

Such an intense political climate has spilled over into U.S. society, manifesting itself in increased threats of politically motivated violence and attacks. Since the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, the United States has witnessed numerous cases of political violence, often incited by “lone wolf” attackers or occurring during rival group demonstrations and rallies. Analysts warn that the United States may be heading towards widespread political violence, according to The Guardian.

The United States feels complacent, playing the role of “human rights preacher,” harping on about others’ human rights conditions. However, it has been blatantly suppressing other countries’ growth, violating the human rights of tens of thousands of migrants drawn to its shores by the “beacon of democracy” and wantonly attacking political rivals at the cost of normal operation of the government.

The “democratic” U.S. has demonstrated to the world how it has callously disregarded humanitarian values.

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