Western culture idolises youth. Chinese culture teaches respect for the elderly. When it comes to democratic development in Hong Kong from now on, people may do well to pay less attention to Joshua Wong Chi-fung and listen more closely to Martin Lee Chu-ming. With the introduction of the new national security law , Wong, the darling of the international community, and his political specialities are out the window: localism, “yellow” economy, rejection of all mainland authorities, forming alliances with foreign governments, especially the United States, and inviting sanctions against Hong Kong and Beijing. But, you ask, if all such strategies are now suppressed, what’s left for the opposition? Well, plenty. There are, for one, old-style, traditional democratic campaigns, pioneered by Lee, sometimes called the father of Hong Kong democracy, and the Democrats but rejected by the younger generation as useless. Actually, they weren’t useless. They achieved a considerable expansion of the franchise after the 1997 handover: 35 directly elected seats and five“super-seats” in the legislature and greater opposition representation on the election committee for the chief executive. But young people have no patience, so any political progress that is slow and gradual is automatically rejected as useless. Of course, all their radicalism and violence has got us is the new national security law. Lee now accepts Article 23 legislation under the Basic Law to complete Hong Kong’s constitutional responsibility for the national security law. With that commitment, and supposing he could convince his more moderate colleagues to go along, they would have a perfectly legitimate, indeed, unassailable argument for the phasing in of direct elections for all Legco seats and one person, one vote for the chief executive. There can be no legitimate counterargument because Lee’s position is simply to legislate some of the remaining key articles in the Basic Law and to complete its constitutional mission. That, in turn, could lead to continuing “one country, two systems” after 2047. Now that Beijing and the Hong Kong government have their national security law, they no longer have any excuse not to consider reintroducing full electoral reform under the Basic Law. With the new security law hanging over their heads like the sword of Damocles, the opposition may be in a better mood for compromise. Some people may allow themselves to sink into despair and anger. China critics may huff and puff. But those who see a way forward should come out now. Hong Kong needs such leaders.