The China Hannitys versus the American Hannitys: The battle is engaged. Right now the Hannitys of both countries are battling each other for world supremacy. Who is #1? The Middle Kingdom or the City on a Hill? To some extent, they are not in direct conflict with each other, since each appeals primarily to a domestic audience. In this regard the Chinese probably have the advantage. They are aware of the criticisms of China in the international arena and are responding to it. They also know that the United States is dependent on China for medical supplies and that the President continually praises the Chinese leader.
The United States
Turning to the American position, it doesn’t look so good at the moment. During World War II, the United States was an arsenal for democracy. It initiated the Lend Lease program including aiding China. It was the go to country for world leadership. The United Nations was headquartered in New York, the center of the universe. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States became the world’s only superpower. So how did America do during the era of baby boom Presidents?
When the history of the era of baby boom Presidents is written, it doesn’t seem likely that the United States or that generation will fare too well. It is unlikely that after the first Iraq war that anyone predicted that less than 30 years later the United States would have self-destructed its world leadership position from internally caused actions (second Iraq war, Afghanistan, 2016 elections). We are no longer an arsenal for democracy. We cannot provide material assistance to others. We abandon global organizations instead of creating and/or leading them. We only have transactional relationships where every other country is a foe in a zero-sum relationship with us. There is no more win-win. Our simple-minded immature child President lacks the mental necessities to even understand yet alone propose a global identity for the country.
The COVID-19 crisis has exposed America’s abandonment of being a City on a Hill. “Disease in a World without a Leader” was the headline of an article in Time (Yuval Noah Harari, 3/21/20).
“(W)e are now facing this crisis bereft of global leaders who can inspire, organize and finance a coordinated global response.”
The Ebola crisis of 2014 and the financial crisis of 2008 were two recent examples where the United States took a leadership role.
“But in recent years the U.S. has resigned its role as global leader…(T)he U.S. no longer has only real friends, only interests.. The void left by the U.S. has not been filled by anyone else.
Our former friends laugh at the ignorant and immature American President to his face at the U.N. and behind his back at international meetings.
The NYT headline, “In This Crisis, U.S. Sheds Its Role as Global Leader” (3/22/20) delivers the same message. The World War II era is over. There is no Franklin Delano Roosevelt to lead the world. Instead the American President seeks to liberate Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia and has withdrawn from the WHO. He cannot rise to the occasion. His followers are perfectly willing to cheer “We’re #2. We’re #2. We’re #2.” They have no interest in the United States being a City on a Hill that the eyes of the world are upon.
Still hope springs eternal. In an op-ed piece, Samantha Power, former American representative to the United Nations, put her heart on the line in the hope that one day the United States will be #1 again (NYT 4/9/20). Despite the actions of the American President to withdraw from the international arena and weaken America influence throughout the world, that world still looks to the United States for leadership. She decries the zero-sum approach the simple-minded President brought to the efforts to obtain necessary medical equipment. She dismisses the idea that China can create a global crisis coalition, a goal that China has not yet attained. She yeans for America to take a leadership role in the COVID-19 crisis, but that can’t happen until January, 2021, at the earliest.
So America and the COVID-19 crisis have handed the Middle Kingdom an opportunity on a silver platter. While the United States is still the financial capital of the world, China has replaced it as the manufacturing capital of the world. It makes what the world wants. It binds the countries through purchases of the natural resources needed do manufacture goods. China has become a leading trade partner practically everywhere. Its Belt and Road Initiative works to bind the countries of the world to it as vassals, not colonies. Hollywood would not dare defy it. There is no more Taiwan on American airlines. Who would criticize China’s handling of the CORVID-19 crisis?
Now we have the competing stories. The China Hannitys praise the great leadership of Xi Jinping. He acted swiftly, boldly, and decisively. First he rescued China with his lockdowns. Now he stands ready to aid the world. He will save the world from the scourge unleashed by American military personnel when they visited China. What America has wrought, China will repair. All we have to do is put our trust in China, its superior system, its superior leader, its rightful place as the Middle Kingdom in the cosmic center as the world leader.
The American Hannitys take issue with China’s position. China is the source of the scourge. China is the one who acted dishonestly. It did not reveal the truth of the extent of the virus and that it could be transferred from person to person even when there was no sign of the infection. It is China who owes the world for the damage and destruction it has inflicted on it. It is the American President who acted swiftly, boldly, and decisively as he learned the truth that China tried to hide.
The American Hannitys have a track record of success it can draw on to convict China of its guilt in the court of world opinion. Remember how they uncovered Seth Rich at the center of the Russian contacts. The American Hannitys exposed the Russian collusion as a hoax. The American Hannitys exposed the Ukranian extortion as a hoax. The American Hannitys exposed the CORVID-19 as a hoax. With all these successes behind it, exposing the China fraud should be easy.
And the Winner Is….
So here were are. America on its own has abandoned its position as world leader. China is rushing to fill the void but is falling short. Its restrictive currency and racist xenophobic society make it an unlikely choice for world leader. It can dominate vassals by economic force but there will never be a line of people seeking to emigrate there. When people vote with their feet, they still vote America.
While we are no longer #1, we could regain that position. We can do so partly because there still is no alternative to American leadership: either it is us [post WWII] or no one [now]. In my last blog on the topic of World War IV, I wrote of America’s ace in the hole, its soft power. The blog was written after the unexpected death of Kobe Bryant (Kobe and Coronavirus: Meaning for World War IV 2/4/20). It wasn’t that long ago and it was a global event when it occurred.
Now we are witnessing another example of American leadership: the free press. The China Hannitys operate as the propaganda arm of the government with no alternative voice. By contrast, the American Hannitys have to face domestic competition. Try as he might to turn his press conferences into political rallies, our Dear Leader still has to face the press. Now he can’t hide behind the noise of a helicopter. In fact, with social spacing, he faces fewer reporters. It has become harder to escape questions from people who know he is full of bull trump and just playing make believe with the facts.
The net result is neither the American nor Chinese Hannitys can prevail. While we may not know the truth of what happened in China for years to come, we already know the truth of what happened it America. If We the People decide we want an adult in the White House, we can regain our position of world leadership and with the thanks of countries who have been waiting for it.