Having seen the Soviet Union disintegrate into 15 nations and fearing the ethno-nationalism of Tibetans and Uighurs, Beijing floods her border provinces with Han Chinese. America, declaring racial, ethnic and religious diversity a strength, invites the world to come and swamp its native-born. And mostly poor, unskilled and uneducated, they are coming by the millions.
China puts savings ahead of spending, production ahead of consumption, manufacturing ahead of finance. Embracing free trade, Americans declare that it makes no difference who produces what, where. What's good for the Global Economy is good for America.
Before the financial collapse, the U.S. savings rate stood at zero percent of family income. In China, it ranged between 35 percent and 50 percent.
Since the Cold War, the United States has been playing empire -- intervening to punish evil-doers and advance democracy in Panama, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
We have expanded NATO to include Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and much of the Balkan Peninsula. We have not let a single alliance lapse from the Cold War. And we have fewer friends and more adversaries than at the end of the Cold War. What has all this intervention availed us?
China, having fought no one, has rapidly built up her military power and developed ties to the growing number of nations at odds with America, from Russia to Iran to Sudan to Venezuela.
The Chinese of 2010 call to mind 19th century Americans who shoved aside Mexicans, Indians and Spanish to populate a continent, build a mighty nation, challenge the British Empire -- superpower of the day -- and swiftly move past her in manufacturing to become first nation on earth. Men were as awed by America then as they are by China today.
America seems a declining superpower. She cannot defend her borders, balance her budgets or win her wars. Her educational system at the primary and secondary level is a shambles. In the first decade of the century, she lost one of every three manufacturing jobs. In this second decade, she is looking at trillion-dollar deficits to 2020. The world is losing confidence in her ability to manage her surging national debt.
While we are finally extricating ourselves after seven years from an unnecessary war in Iraq, we are heading deeper into an Afghan war that has lasted a decade, the end of which it is impossible to see.
During the Cold War, China was in the grip of a millenarian ideology that blinded her to her true interests. Today, it is we who are captive to a utopian ideology that is becoming perilous to the republic.
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