- - Monday, April 26, 2021

If there is one thing that the first hundred days of the Biden administration has made clear, it is that America is not a serious nation. Domestic and foreign dangers are not merely being neglected by an administration and elite culture focused on the absurd; they are being driven by them.

As Barbara Tuchman wrote in “The Guns of August,” at the onset of World War I, as it became clearer that France was in deep trouble, the minister for War suggested that their soldiers might survive longer if they stopped wearing bright red uniforms. Officials rebuffed his proposal, with one of his predecessors crying, “Eliminate red trousers? Never! Le pantalon rouge c’est la France!” 

And yet the degree of flippant, haughty incompetence symbolized by this decision, one of so many that would lead to calamity in that war and afterward, is nothing compared to our current situation. Our elite’s inability to face much less solve the threats confronting us is greater by degrees.

Take for example the climate confab of foreign leaders held digitally at the White House last week. It was easy to spot our president, who was the only one wearing a face mask lest he contract COVID-19 despite vaccination through his computer.

Amid record deficits and chaos inflicted on our workforce, everyone agreed America should raise energy costs for its citizens. Mr. Biden duly announced a plan to achieve 50% carbon emission reductions from the 2005 level by 2030. Doing so would require shutting every coal power plant in America and radically increase the cost of food, housing, heating, cooling, transportation, manufacturing and just about everything that uses energy. As for displaced coal and oil workers, presidential envoy John Kerry previously said they should “… go to work to make the solar panels.”



Speaking of things that help China, amid persistent cyberattacks on the United States directed by Beijing, the destruction of the autonomy and freedom China promised Hong Kong and steadily more aggressive military posturing against democratic Taiwan, the Defense Department deployed an additional 500 U.S. troops to, of all places, Germany.

Having cancelled a draw-down planned at the end of the Trump administration, this new addition will bring our total troop level there level to 35,500. No matter that Berlin often works against on us on trade and foreign policy, is colluding to enrich Russia with an oil pipeline and hasn’t been relevant to deterring Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. At least a sizable part of our newly woke military will get to enjoy Oktoberfest. 

One country that can help thwart Russian mischief is Turkey, nominally a NATO ally. However, to indulge in a little virtue signaling, Mr. Biden just officially declared the 1915 mass-murder of Armenians by Ottoman Turks to be a genocide. Certainly it was, but as the event occurred more than a century ago, before the United States had any involvement in the region, it was probably best left to historians. Now it may make Turkey an even better customer of Russian arms. 

Turkey also has a role to play in resisting Iran’s diverse ambitions, although allies like Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are more important. But Mr. Biden’s focus is on cutting another deal with the terrorism-exporting, American-killing Iranian regime over its nuclear weapons program.

Administration officials have hinted that even sanctions related to terrorism will be dropped to get Tehran into a warmed-over update of the 2015 nuclear deal, which left the pariah state with the capability it is currently using to enrich uranium far beyond the degree that is necessary for peaceful purposes. 

Closer to home, America is once again the only wealthy nation that seems to have little interest in controlling its borders. A government that each year spends more than $700 billion on defense and another $70 billion on homeland security has decided, against the wishes of the its people, not seriously to defend or secure the southern border, or take steps to deport aliens in the United States illegally. 

Last but certainly not least is the McCarthyite woke crusade afoot in the United States and the embrace of anti-Americanism by nearly all of our institutions. When Chinese officials visiting Alaska decided to lecture Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan about America’s supposed racism, the Americans failed to respond, because deep down, they fail to disagree. The greatest, most successful multicultural experiment in human history has been relegated to a self-deluding, self-hating, race-obsessed circular firing squad by its elite. 

How can Chinese leader Xi Jinping and other American opponents around the world not look at this situation and thank their lucky stars? The greatest force of freedom in human history, the place where anyone with guts and grit can make it regardless of his background, the country that most worries tyrants, is embracing adversaries, alienating allies, putting its economy at risk and allowing a vocal minority of cultural Marxists to falsify its history and character. Under Mr. Biden and our current elite, America just isn’t a serious nation. 

• Christian Whiton was a senior adviser in the Trump and George W. Bush administrations.

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