China flexes its muscle — don’t let America go down with a whimper
BY DENNIS M. POWELL, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR – 03/23/23 11:00 AM E
A quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln about the fate of America reads, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
The world is increasingly dangerous. China is courting Russia in a new alliance and extending its sphere of influence into South and Central America, Africa and the Middle East — while the United States continues to wage warfare and deplete its treasury and arsenal in pursuit of more nations adopting democracy.
Meanwhile, China is branding itself a peacemaker. As Foreign Affairs recently reported, “While U.S. President Joe Biden’s Middle East team was focused on normalizing Saudi-Israeli relations, China delivered the most significant regional development since the Abraham Accords: a deal to end seven years of Saudi-Iranian estrangement.” Also, China recently introduced a 12-point plan for peace in Ukraine that included “abandoning Cold War mentality.”
Since the end of World War II, the United States has promoted freedom and democracy around the world from its position as the only superpower and great economy. China is now trying to create its own new world order, based on its economic and military hegemony, which has put us at the brink of conflict.
The fact is, America may not be able to win a war against China today. As Josh Luckenbaugh concluded last fall in a commentary picked up by the CATO Institute, “At the end, defeat for the U.S. and its allies would be possible, if not likely. In recent years, U.S. war games have generally shown Beijing as the victor.” Yet this is incomprehensible for most Americans.
But the whole notion of a shooting war with China may never happen, because our social order is crumbling from within — as we trend toward fulfillment of Lincoln’s prognostication about the destruction of America. There is the possibility that, when presented with the prospect of a “hot war” that threatens internet access and creature comforts, many Americans may just surrender what they consider to be a racist and fundamentally flawed nation.
An incident at Stanford Law School threatens to become commonplace on campuses across America. The school’s Federalist Society invited Fifth Circuit judge Stuart Kyle Duncan to address students. Some students protested and leveled accusations that the judge deliberately misgendered a defendant in court, according to free speech advocacy group FIRE. There can be honest debate about limits that should be placed on free speech and protests, but that is not what is happening in America.
An entire lexicon of terms designed to shut down debate is being designed to promote conformity to a fixed set of ideas promoted by progressives about climate, race, gender and other matters. Debate ends when terms such as “racist,” “sexist,” “bigot,” “xenophobe,” “privilege,” “patriarchy,” “oppressor,” “supremacist,” “Nazi” and “micro-aggression” enter conversations. Dissent is viewed as a form of violence that can drive a generation of Americans to seek “safe places.” There is no effort to find middle ground — the essence of democracy.
The fallout is everywhere. Congress is dysfunctional. President Biden often fans the flames of division when talking about MAGA Republicans. Cable TV and some other major news outlets are partisan. Comedy comes under attack. Classic books are being rewritten to conform to the “woke” ethos. University admissions are sometimes based on ethnicity, as may be hiring in government or corporations. The National Museum of African American History stated that “whiteness and white racialized identity refer to the way that white people, their customs, culture and beliefs operate as the standard by which all other groups are compared.” Before it removed and apologized for its “Whiteness” chart, the museum defined “white qualities” as self-reliance, work ethic, nuclear family, punctuality and putting work before play.
China, meanwhile, recently introduced its Global Civilization Initiative, which “calls for respect for the diversity of civilizations, upholding the common values of humanity in pursuing peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, and promoting robust international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation.”
China continues to build its brand and influence at the highest levels of power (globalists) by making its markets available. It is positioning itself as a peacemaker in the Middle East and, potentially, Ukraine. It is buying influence and respect by investing in infrastructure in third-world nations. And, it is all-in with its rhetoric supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.
As reported in the South China Morning Post, “Post-millennial [Chinese] students usually have a strong sense of superiority and confidence, and they tend to look at other countries from a condescending perspective,” stated Yan Xuetong, director of Tsinghua University’s International Studies Institute. Compare this to the finding in a Morning Consult Poll that only 16 percent of Generation Z — those who would fight a war — said they are proud to live in the United States.
The thought of our great nation ending with a whimper no longer may be far-fetched. The most lethal enemy America faces may be that which comes from within. When the American people no longer are able to share ideas, the idea of America dies.
Dennis M. Powell, the founder and president of Massey Powell, is an issues and crisis management consultant and the author of the upcoming book, “Leading from the Top: Presidential Lessons in Issues Management.”TAGS CHINA AGGRESSION CHINA-RUSSIA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP JOE BIDEN POLITICAL DIVISIONS STUART KYLE DUNCAN US-CHINA TENSIONS WOKE CULTURE
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