It all about how you frame the discussion. If the discussion is framed that you're arguing about "Love, Freedom, and Liberty", then good luck providing the counter argument. Good luck arguing against the ideal of "democracy". Good luck arguing against the ideal of "Universal Sufferage".I just read this article on the New York Times and am now frustrated by the depressing comments in it. It looks like the majority of the NYT readers are clueless about China, not to mention the situation in Hong Kong. The cold war stereotype and condescending attitude about the superiority of their morality are blinding all reasons. And to think this is touted as the best news publication in the world read by the intellectuals.
But of cause, as Henry Kissinger rightly pointed out. Idealism needs to be tempered with a health dose of Realism. The issue in Hong Kong is a lot more complex than the universal ideals of "Love, Freedom, and Liberty". There is a multitude of economic, social and historical layer underneath. And that's what these high level ideals type of discussion are so good at shuting down. What if you're not discussing the merits of "democracy", but instead about "competitive electoral politics" in the regional context? That would be a completely different discussion.