90 Miles From Tyranny : Pinkerton: Stand with the Chinese People Against Their Communist Regime

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Pinkerton: Stand with the Chinese People Against Their Communist Regime

The only way that America can unite the world to contain communist China is if it can unite itself. Today, nobody is under any illusions about the chasm of polarization in the United States, and yet that cleft must be repaired, or at least diminished, if we are to withstand the threat from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It’s simple: If China, boasting four times our population, is held together by the iron grip of the CCP, and if the United States is still disuniting, then the communists will win.

To be sure, the U.S. will always have partisanship and division. In a free country, such divides are a feature, not a bug. And yet at the same time, under threat, we must be able to come together as a team. That was the lesson, for example, of the U.S. in World War II.

In the late 1930s, we were plenty split, New Deal vs. anti-New Deal, internationalist vs. isolationist—and yet after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the nation came together to fight and to win. We held elections all through the war, including a presidential election in 1944, and yet neither party, Democrat or Republican, wanted anything less than full victory overseas. And thankfully, that’s what we got because we had earned it.

Yes, it was a painful victory, coming at the price of more than 400,000 dead, but the alternative—a world dominated by Hitler’s aggression and genocide—was infinitely worse.

A similar story of collective national resolve could be told about the Cold War against Soviet communism, which lasted from 1946—when Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech with President Harry Truman in the audience—until 1991, when came the final collapse of the Soviet Union.

So for nearly half a century, the U.S. engaged in what a great Cold Warrior, John F. Kennedy, aptly described as a “long twilight struggle.” And yet while America’s Cold War consensus was sorely stressed at times, as during the Vietnam War, it held together until the successful conclusion of the struggle, during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Indeed, as we think about our national institutions in times of trial—including, today, the coronavirus crisis—we might be reminded of the idealistic motto of The Grange, that venerable American farm organization: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” For our purposes here, we’ll focus on the essential unity—that is, today, the essential of unifying to thwart communist China’s bid for world hegemony.

By now, every American should be familiar with the threat from the CCP’s control of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The CCP’s so-called “hard power” of economic and military might—much of it gained by manipulating and hacking America these past three decades—has surged.

And yet the CCP’s hard power has been joined by “soft power,” which is intangible, but still important, because it affects the human mind and heart. As the philosopher Blaise Pascal once wrote, public opinion is “the queen of the world.” Oftentimes, soft power is thought of as idealism about, say, freedom or democracy, and yet it can be any sort of opinion, including the concern over victimization and racism. Anyone who thinks that these concerns aren’t powerful forces in the world today hasn’t been paying attention.

In fact, incidents of bias and hate, of all kinds, are painfully real. Yes, incidents have been magnified, exaggerated—and sometimes even fabricated—by provocateurs, aided by an often biased and clickbait-hungry media, and yet abuses have been real—and they are nasty, inexcusable, and sometimes, criminal.

It’s in this media-drenched environment that propagandists in Beijing have proven themselves skilled. Skilled, that is, at claiming victim status for China. Skilled also at playing the...

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