Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meetings with his Chinese counterpart Director Yang Jiechi in Anchorage, Alaska, last week demonstrated the devastating national-security price of Democrats’ embrace of identity politics.
To their credit, Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan entered these meetings intent on continuing President Trump’s unprecedented four-year record of challenging China’s actions on multiple, vital global-security fronts. In his brief public statement kicking off two days of closed talks, Blinken indicated that he would “discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyberattacks on the United States, and economic coercion toward our allies. Each of these actions threaten[s] the rules-based order that maintains global stability.”
Sullivan echoed those concerns, and, again building on Trump’s strong record, noted the importance of the Quad countries’ alliance of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia in “realiz[ing] the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.” This was exactly the right tone to set.
Yet what happened next simply would not have happened to any previous administration of either party. Yang proceeded to lecture Blinken and Sullivan on the U.S. record on human rights.
“[T]he fact is that there are many problems within the United States regarding human rights, which is admitted by the U.S. itself as well,” said the Chinese diplomat. “[T]he challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter. It did not come up only recently.”
Yang concluded that the United States’s record on human rights disqualified it from pointing a finger at China, whether on its abuse of the Uyghurs, the clampdown on Hong Kong, or so many other areas of Beijing’s malfeasance.
Rather than dismiss this argument as absurd on its face, both Blinken and Sullivan retreated into a partial agreement with Yang’s premise. Blinken cited a “constant quest to, as we say, form a more perfect union. And that quest, by definition, acknowledges our imperfections, acknowledges that we’re not perfect. We make mistakes, we have reversals, we take steps back.” Sullivan agreed.
“[A] confident country is able to look hard at its own shortcomings and constantly seek to improve,” the NSC chief said. “And that is the secret sauce of America.”
Imagine if Yang had tried that on Team Trump. First, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien never would have given the Chinese Communist Party officials an opening to do so, since they represented a president who flat-out rejected the new conventional wisdom of America as bigoted to the core and in desperate need of a moral overhaul.
Trump spurned this un-American outlook in the strongest terms. In his Mount Rushmore speech last July 3, Trump marked Independence Day by noting this radical push from the left:
In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished … Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but that they were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies, all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted, and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.
Blinken and Sullivan are not entirely to blame for their inability to resist the absurd comparison of China’s human-rights record with America’s. Once Democrats decided to embrace identity politics, the party’s officials simply lost the tools to challenge accusations of U.S. moral decay. Blinken and Sullivan could do little more than nod in partial agreement, lest they offend their party’s base.
The Democrats’ embrace of wokeism carries another steep price. Biden and his team have repeatedly refused to confront Chinese Communist Party leaders for unleashing the Wuhan virus across the Earth, and for continuing to cover up this global atrocity. They also have failed to demand answers on how the Chinese Communist Party will compensate the United States for foisting this plague on our people, killing 550,000 Americans to date, and inflicting multiple trillions of dollars in economic devastation.
As health care scholar Betsy McCaughey noted, nowhere in Biden’s 200-page COVID strategic plan does he mention China or the pathogen’s genesis. There is only one reason for this: Woke culture frowns on connecting COVID-19 with the Chinese Communist Party. Accordingly, Blinken and Sullivan were silent on CCP officials’ culpability in this worldwide microbial carnage and any price they should pay for letting it impoverish, infect, and kill close to 3 million people worldwide.
One thing is certain: Democrats’ embrace of cultural Marxism has imposed a high price on America’s ability to conduct foreign policy so long as Democrats are in charge.