The Existential Threat We Face
Different countries hold different standards of fairness and justice. If you’ve lived in a nation not governed by a functional democratic system, as I once did growing up in China, you would find that some practices that we frown on here in the U.S. are entirely acceptable there; for example, using one’s connections to powerful people to gain favors you do not merit. To forfeit that kind of back door, and go through proper channels, would actually be considered foolish. It’s not that people in such societies are innately more dishonest. The difference is that they live in cultures with different views of fairness and justice.
China’s National Obsession — Knowledge
Many practices common in China would be considered fraudulent by American standards. There is, however, one area that has not been touched by corruption: the Annual National College Entrance Exam. As long as I can remember, the process has upheld the highest degree of integrity, a startling aberration in the midst of Chinese culture. This is the one area where one’s outcome correlates with one’s performance, regardless of one’s social connections.
Why do Chinese behave so differently in this particular area? What drives them to overcome their usual disdain for fairness, and guard the veracity of this examination so diligently?
It stems from Confucianism, the primary philosophy in the Chinese culture, which puts great emphasis on education. Confucius believed that knowledge provides the foundation for morality. The more knowledge one has, the deeper one’s moral convictions become.
Chinese assume that an official who holds high moral standards will tend to govern society more judiciously. They also believe that a person with greater knowledge will have higher moral standards. Traditionally, therefore, the government has selected its administrators through a vigorous and elaborate system of examinations, to place the brightest and the most knowledgeable men in government posts.
In reality, intelligence is not so directly proportional to administrative skills or to morality. There have been plenty of immoral and incompetent government officials in Chinese history.
Nonetheless, success on the national exam can change one’s destiny. To hold a government post is to open up endless opportunities for personal gain.
China’s National Identity — Education
This is the primary reason for China’s national obsession with knowledge. It is also what caused education to become the national identity. And the survival of this national identity is entirely contingent upon the integrity of the examination process. Should corruption taint the process — changing persons’ scores, for example — there would be no objective measure of anyone’s knowledge. Education would lose its crucial, central place in Chinese culture. Therefore dishonesty in the process would pose a direct threat to the existence of the Chinese national identity. Missteps in the examination process cannot be tolerated.
We The People
What is America’s national identity? As an immigrant from a socialist country, I can unequivocally answer that America stands for freedom, rights, and equality under the law. This identity is protected and secured through the workings of our constitutional republic. We the people have the privilege to participate in governmental affairs through different electoral processes.
Other countries hold elections. Even a dictator can call for a vote, but in that case everyone knows the result will be a predetermined exercise in fraud. Authoritarian regimes never admit it, though. They masquerade as lovers of freedom and rights instead.
What Sets America Apart?
So, what sets America apart is its electoral integrity. In fact, electoral honesty is so engraved in the hearts and minds of the American people, it is presumed as an unspoken reality. For most Americans, electoral fraud is not just wrong, it is morally impossible.
I believe this trustworthiness in an election is the cornerstone and prerequisite of our political system, and thus our freedom, rights and equality under the law, the national identity. Without trustworthy elections, America would be just like other nations where corruption is the accepted norm.
Election fraud in America would devastate our constitutional republic. America would cease to be America. Electoral integrity is the single most crucial safety measure guarding our national identity, freedom, rights and equality under the law.
Electoral Integrity Put to the Test
That electoral integrity was put to the test during the 2020 election. There have been reports of widespread corruption. Electoral fraud has always been so unthinkable here, any allegations could only come from conspiracy theorists. But Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary 2000 MULES provides shocking yet irrefutable evidence that this allegation is far from being conspiratorial.
This subversion of electoral integrity should raise indignation in every American who cherishes our freedom, rights and our future, whether Democrat or Republican, left or right. Yet many had dismissed the complaint even before any investigation began!
Chinese, who are culturally lenient towards bribery and cheating, have meticulously guarded their national identity where it matters most. Should we, who hold a higher standard of honesty, do less?
Further, if the Chinese lost their national identity, their obsession with education, China would still survive. At most, they would have a reduced population of highly educated persons. It is not so in America. If we were to forsake our national identity, America would not survive. We would be just like any other nation where tyranny replaces freedom, scarcity substitutes for prosperity and obedience is swapped for liberty. America, the “city on a hill,” would disappear into the pages of history — if not erased, that is.
That’s why this is no inconsequential blunder. It is an existential threat to our nation, the equivalent of a foreign invasion.
A Mutual Self-Interest in Electoral Integrity
When the Japanese invaded China during WWII, Mao Zedong’s Chinese Communist Party and Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese National Party joined forces temporarily to deal with their common enemy. Bitterly opposed to each other in peacetime, they still knew that if the country were destroyed, neither party would survive.
Americans of all persuasions, left or right, blue or red, face a common enemy, just as they did. Electoral fraud will destroy America. We share a mutual self-interest in electoral integrity, without which our freedom and rights will vanish. And we, too, will vanish with it!
All true Americans have the obligation to stand up and demand a full investigation. We must not stop until the inquiry is properly conducted and completely finished and justice is served.
Chenyuan Snider was raised in Communist China and majored in Chinese language and literature in college. After immigrating to the U.S. and having studied at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and Duke Divinity School, she became a professor and taught at Christian colleges and seminary. After March of this year, she sensed God was leading her to use her unique voice to provide a warning about various kinds of Marxist influences in our society. She lives in northern California with her husband and has two grown children.