“#The looming China-America split and other commentary”
June 25, 2020 | 5:05pm
Trade issues, COVID-19, Hong Kong and other issues are forcing the US and China into an economic decoupling.
For years, China and the United States were in “a period of unconscious economic coupling,” but no more, observes The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman. The two are now headed for “divorce” — and China’s “overreach” is largely to blame: Under President Xi Jinping, the country has persecuted Uighurs, “aggressively” projected its power in the South China Sea, limited journalists’ rights, curtailed freedoms in Hong Kong and “hammered countries” that seek an independent inquiry into the coronavirus’ origins. The United States, meanwhile, has “underperformed,” reducing investments in infrastructure, education and “government-funded scientific research,” among other things. America and its allies now have to force Beijing to “accept new rules” on trade, COVID-19 and other issues. Alas, Beijing “respects one thing only: leverage.” And “today, we have too little and China has too much.”
Libertarian: Farewell, Journalism
Many elite journalists now argue that journalism should aim for “moral clarity” instead of “neutral objectivity” — a swap, Reason’s Matt Welch contends, that means “consciously elevating narrative ‘truths’ over verified facts.” Pulitzer Prize-winner Wesley Lowery, for one, wants journalists to “positively identify individuals and organizations as ‘racist’ ” — but how could they know? “Do ‘civil rights’ include the individual right to keep and bear arms, or to grow your own medical marijuana for personal consumption?” The new standard will let left-wing media showcase their “ideological sympathy,” inevitably leading to “journalistic sloppiness” or even “actual malfeasance.” If the journalists take “refuge in subjectivity” instead of aiming for objectivity, as media historian Tom Rosenstiel warns, “journalism will be lost.”
From the right: Trump’s Good Immigration Move
The last thing America’s pandemic-wracked economy needs is more foreign workers, argue National Review’s editors, so President Trump was right to issue a “new proclamation restricting many types of immigration through the end of the year.” Trump plainly had the requisite authority, since “current law gives the president incredibly broad authority to restrict immigration he deems ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States.’ ” And policy-wise, “the pandemic has temporarily changed America’s immigration needs. Seeing the jobless rate elevated throughout the economy,” the president correctly concluded that we have need of far fewer foreign workers. “If Congress doesn’t like his decision, it is free to change the law at any time.”
Culture critic: Drawing a Line on Statue-Toppling
Back in 2017, recalls The Washington Post’s Megan McArdle, President Trump “came in for much derision” for suggesting that efforts to get rid of Confederate statues would soon lead to targeting of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Three years later, “Trump looks prescient, and his critics perhaps a touch naïve”: “The iconoclasts, having largely defeated the rebel army, are turning on the Founding Fathers.” Trump understood that “you cannot credibly declare that some revolution in social affairs,” from gay marriage to toppling statues, “has a natural stopping point unless you personally commit to stopping it when it goes too far.” Otherwise, “you will cede issue after issue to the radicals” — and “end up with something very different” from your original “idealistic vision.”
Media watch: Freaking Out Over VOA Pick
Ignore the Voice of America’s “dysfunction and criminality,” snarks Curtis Ellis at American Greatness; “the usual suspects, The New York Times and The Washington Post among them, are sounding the alarm” over President Trump’s choice to head the agency, Michael Pack, because he “is — gasp! — a conservative” with ties to Stephen Bannon. The VOA, they claim, will become “an arm of the Trump re-election committee.” Most “amusing” is how these “corporate media overlords” see themselves “as exemplars” of “objective reporting”: They’re basically saying if the VOA doesn’t do what they do, it’s “prima facie evidence” of interference. The truth is, given their own failure to be “reliable and authoritative” and to present a “balanced” picture, we need — “now more than ever” — an independent Voice of America, “at home as well as abroad.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board
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