The Republican Party is haunted by the specter of communism. Even now that “wars of democracy” are out of vogue, the myth of our Shining City vanquishing the Evil Empire remains central to conservatives’ self-identity. Reagan told Mr. Gorbachev to tear down that wall, and down it came.
This preoccupation with communism is the most obvious vestige of “Zombie Reaganism.” It’s a Trojan horse the establishment is using to smuggle its neoconservative foreign policy back into the new, Trumpified GOP. Just look at Washington’s new anti-China turn.
At first glance, an anti-China turn might sound like a good thing. It’s certainly time for the U.S. to wage an economic war on China. We should be taking our jobs back and paying American workers a decent wage to do them. (We might start by breaking China’s monopoly on sensitive industries like pharmaceuticals.) And we should hold to account those who pawned the American Dream to Beijing.
Of course, those hacks won’t go quietly. Now that they’ve sold our jobs to China, they want us to blame Beijing. For instance, last month the Hill published an outrageous op-ed titled, “America must prepare for war with China over Taiwan.” President Biden seems to be thinking along the same lines.
This warmongering is sending shockwaves through the country. As it stands, 52 percent of Americans consider China our biggest threat. By contrast, only 14 percent of Americans consider Russia our chief national foe. Fully half of Americans fear a war between the U.S. and China within the next five years.
What’s tragic is that such a war would be pointless, even if we won. And the odds of us winning are virtually nil.
[Read the rest at The American Conservative.]