The Tea Party and the Rise of China

I got involved in some on line arguing about whether the rise of the Tea Party would strengthen America or do it down. Here are some of my side of the conversation. The other side was mainly rhetoric about liberty and the US Constitution that I didn’t find had much substance but it did provoke this:

As Abraham Lincoln may or may not have said: the Constitution is not a suicide note. Extreme individualism, inability to bridge partisan divides because of fundamentalist takes on what the Constitution means, and the resurgence of GOP isolationism (mirroring that of the GOP in the 1930s), and cuts to defense spending that are not just eliminating waste (I am all for value for money in all private and public spending being personally a tight wad) all hand the world to China.

I am a pragmatist and no country in the world my UK friends who live in Beijing tell me is more delighted by the rise of the Tea Party than China. They see the Tea Party as ignorant of world affairs and as weakening America by dividing it politically. And China in the 19th century lost its world standing through internal divisions, so why not wish the same on its current rival for world dominance.

China has immense problems and I don’t like it, but its hybrid of capitalism and state strategic direction seems to be working better than anything the Tea Party has come up with. And once China is the biggest economy in the world, its being the dominant military power will soon follow as happened when the US overtook the UK economically in around 1900 and then militarily in 1942. I am hoping not to be around when that happens; but if it does historians (I trained as one) will see the Tea Party as symptomatic of America losing its way and failing to understand reality, mired in pseudo strict constructionism and seeing the Constitution as indeed a suicide note. Thanks for your views on this topic which I find provocative and set me thinking about my own views.

Almost all science is a team effort these days. Take a look at where patents originate: Silicon Valley, Seattle, Denver, Rayleigh, Austin, New York, Massachusetts, San Francisco: all liberal bastions. There are no conservative bastions producing patents by the boatload that I know of, and that is what will compete with China, not rhetoric about liberty. American power came out of the US military, the Manhattan Project, the GI Bill, the Eisenhower Defense Education Bill and government funding of long term scientific fundamental research corporations are just not interested in. And yes it came out of strong business too but not business without the right strategy for the country as a whole. It certainly didn’t come out of stopping food stamps or unemployment pay.

Eisenhower is turning in his grave at today’s GOP. And you haven’t answered the question why China is so much in favor of the Tea Party if it is the solution to US strength? Fox loves the Tea Party, Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch. Rupert Murdoch is a tool of the Chinese paradoxically. And you sound like an isolationist; let China have the rest of the world until it feels like interfering with the Monroe Doctrine eh? The Tea Party unwittingly seems to me is the US branch of the Chinese government, which is a tragedy because we do need push back on government spending and government intrusion but of a sane sort not insurrectionist extremism and we need bi-partisan cooperation in a dangerous world.

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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