Stop Messaging for the Enemy

During the existential ideological struggle of the Cold War, the United States and her allies were acutely aware the Soviet Union presented both a strategic threat and a rival model of governance.

Today, most observers recall the Cold War’s kinetic proxy wars, including those where one side had their military engaged with the other nation’s proxies, such as America in Vietnam and the Soviets in Afghanistan. Equally, the ideological struggle, though less sanguine, was no less intense.

The Free World was engaged in a whole-of-society approach to counter the Soviet Union’s propaganda: namely, how America and the West were imperialistic, capitalistic, decadent and in terminal decline; and how communism was the science-based, equitable, liberating wave of the future, creating workers’ paradises for the oppressed masses.

America and our allies countered this lie in word and deed. Despite periods of domestic turbulence, notably in the 1960’s, the Free World proclaimed the universality of people’s yearning to breathe free. The communist bloc mistakenly decried as signs of decline the freedoms inherent in the West’s democratic processes and practices. Yet, these were in fact strengths that allowed free societies to consensually evolve, thrive and survive. Conversely, the Soviet Union’s totalitarian regime and its puppet communist satellites stultified and died, and now reside in the dustbin of history.

Unfortunately, while some individuals like Francis Fukuyama precipitately announced the “End of History,” whereby the Free World’s democratic-capitalism had eternally triumphed, the communist menace did not die with the Soviet Union. In brutal fact, what died was the Chinese people’s hope for a similar emancipation from communism, one that was crushed beneath the murderous boot of the barbarous Chinese regime in Tiananmen Square.

Anyone with an ounce of sense, a scintilla of a moral compass, or a semblance of a survival instinct recognizes the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a strategic threat and rival model of governance to America and the Free World. The leaders of this communist regime certainly do, which is why they have variously declared a “people’s war” using “unrestricted warfare” against the U.S. and her allies. In sum, for communist China’s regime, nothing is off the table in its aim to bend the world to its dictates.

In its servile response, America and the West are enriching the regime and messaging for our enemy. The instances are rife wherein greed is proving the communist dictum accurate that “the capitalists will sell us the rope we use to hang them.”

So, too, cosseted in its freedoms, the West’s domestic communists and socialists condemn the societies whose very freedoms allow them to do so, all the while purblind to the disastrous consequences of their radical extremism, hubris, and hypocrisy. It is, indeed, a bitter irony that in Tiananmen Square, Chinese youth were killed for reciting speeches of America’s founders, while today on our streets, America’s youth are celebrated for razing statutes of America’s founders.

But these are two examples of the willful appeasement and abetting of communist China. What of those who are unwittingly messaging for the enemy?

While ostensibly designed for domestic consumption, the Democrats’ mendacious, paranoiac talking point of “our democracy ends if Trump wins” and the slanderous disinformation that “America is systemically racist/imperialist/inequitable” echo the propaganda of our nation’s enemies, who guilefully amplify to serve their own nefarious aims. After all, communist China’s regime espouses that “liberty is the enemy of stability and prosperity.” If democracy in the United States has wrought a systemically racist, unjust country teetering on the brink of implosion, it merely buttresses one of the PRC’s core deceits.

Ironically, so too does the left’s proposed solution of imposing the DIE cult’s (diversity, inclusion, equity) secular religion upon Americans as a replacement for our foundational principles of liberty, equality, and pluralism. If the only means of saving our republic is to “fundamentally transform” it by imposing an ideology rooted in the communist ravings of the PRC’s Cultural Revolution and Mao’s Little Red Book, the American experiment in self-government has already effectively ended. Game, set, match to communist China and their cohorts in the authoritarian axis.

The American Right, including many GOP and MAGA voters, is also claiming the republic may be on its last legs. Unlike the left’s duplicitous projection of its own political sins upon its victims, the right’s specific complaints are legitimate. Like the Obama administration before it, the Biden administration has brazenly abused the presidential power of executive orders to advance its disastrous policies and has institutionalized and weaponized the prosecutorial and investigatory powers of the federal government against dissenting voices to infringe on and endanger constitutional rights and further the Democrats’ partisan aims.

What is concerning, however, is the right’s pessimism that the republic can only be saved through the concentration of power at the federal level. Consequently, the right’s pessimism about the state of the republic’s foundations not only echoes those of the left, so does the right’s proposed solution. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Mr. Trump, in his typically hyperbolic fashion, has stated he wishes to govern as a “dictator” through executive orders and further volunteered to be his supporters’ “retribution” against the left. Whether this is merely campaign rhetoric or a governing paradigm remains to be seen. But what is disquieting is how many on the right have embraced the possibility and wrongly determined that the expansion of the federal government’s power at the expense of federalism and individualism is the remedy for what ails the republic.

In consequence, our republic faces calls from vocal factions on both sides of the political spectrum for a “fundamental” change: from the right for a restoration; from the left for a revolution. Both factions have a latent contempt for their fellow citizens, and, not surprisingly, each agrees America stands at an existential crossroads, where the expansion of federal power is imperative and the victory of their opponent spells doom.

At another turbulent time in our nation’s history, in his 1967 inaugural address, the Governor of California, Ronald Reagan, famously stated:

Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.

This ominous passage occurred early in Governor Reagan’s speech. What is often rarely mentioned is his concluding, optimistic assessment of freedom’s future:

I have every confidence that we…a little older, who have lived through three wars and a cataclysmic depression, I believe that we’re capable of fulfilling our destiny. We can pass this [American] dream on, so worthy of us and worth passing on to the next.

What Mr. Reagan understood was that the loss of freedom was one generation away, not one election away. He believed the republic’s foundations were solid and that upon these foundations of freedom, the courageous, sagacious American people would transcend their challenges at home and abroad and, in doing so, would pass on the American dream to their progeny.

This was not a call to curtail democratic discourse but to celebrate it. Mr. Reagan did not myopically allow the messiness of democratic discourse to distract from the transcendent beauty of democracy—one that allowed the oppressed of the world to dream of a day they, too, could live in liberty. Never messaging for the enemy, it was President Ronald Reagan who championed democracy, denounced the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” to the world, and proved instrumental in ending that communist regime’s totalitarian nightmare and winning the Cold War.

In today’s new Cold War with communist China and its Authoritarian Axis cohorts, such as Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba, the path to victory remains the same: believing in one’s fellow citizens and freedom’s foundational principles, America and her allies can again lead in word and deed and call out the PRC’s lie that “liberty is the enemy of stability and prosperity.”

For the truth, America and the West must knowingly, eternally, and thankfully message and exemplify these truths: “liberty is the enemy of tyranny” and “freedom is the future.”

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) served Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003-2012, and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars; and a Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Radio Show,” among sundry media appearances.

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About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: flags of USA and China painted on cracked wall

Notable Replies

  1. I have a problem when a distortion of what Donald Trump said of his plans for his second term forms the basis of a thesis the Right wants to turn the country into a dictatorship. When he was asked if he intended to become a dictator, Trump laughingly said, “only for day one”. This had been morphed by the Left and the anti-Trumper Right as FROM day one. Anyone using the distorted quote as basis for anything loses both my respect and attention. Just stop it.

  2. Avatar for task task says:

    The left will take one word out of context and use it to create a thousand narratives to fabricate a hoax that purports the complete opposite. The Don, with a smile on his face, was being facetious. How is it possible to miss that? When BO wants to fundamentally change the country what do we hear? An explanation stating he wants to do so for the better. Really? How?

  3. Distorting anything Trump says is something I expect from the Left. What frosts my cheerios is when the lie is repeated by someone purportedly on the Right. Worse still, the distortion is then used to advance a flawed thesis. It is criminal journalistic malpractice.

  4. Avatar for task task says:

    “It is, indeed, a bitter irony that in Tiananmen Square, Chinese youth were killed for reciting speeches of America’s founders, while today on our streets, America’s youth are celebrated for razing statutes of America’s founders.” That is a powerful statement. It speaks volumes. I plan to use. Keep in mind that Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I am not easily flattered.

  5. Avatar for cdor cdor says:

    I was just about to paste that same quote from the article. Mr. McCotter nailed that one beautifully.

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