A few days ago former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp wrote a column critical of the Trump administration’s approach to China.

It wasn’t a particularly insightful piece, meandering as it did through the typical Democratic talking points on that issue. What was notable, actually, is what wasn’t in the column.

Not a single mention, anywhere, of the pro-democracy protests taking place in Hong Kong and the Chinese regime’s brutal efforts to suppress them. Heitkamp’s position is that we should just go back to business as usual with China again.

This is an all-too-typical oversight in American discourse today. Just a couple of weeks ago I was in Bismarck for a policy summit put on by the Greater North Dakota Chamber of Commerce. One of the panel discussions was about China and trade and, again, there was no discussion at all of the millions in Hong Kong fighting for democracy.

It was just a lot of fretting about soybeans and steel prices.

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