China should be punished, not just because of the pandemic they thrust upon the world (by keeping it secret and allowing it to spread), but also because of spying activities, predatory business practices and their massive military expansion and belligerence.
And they are being punished. Their credibility in the world is rapidly waning. They are no longer trusted. This will turn into a massive loss of industrial strength, and shrinkage of economic power for a rapidly expanding population that desperately needs it (Not that the Chinese Communist Party cares about the latter much…).
But perhaps they did us a favor. Perhaps they have not destroyed us, they have merely exposed some weaknesses, weaknesses that we can now address. Perhaps addressing these will make us much stronger and much less vulnerable in the future. Here are some:
1. We now know that in the face of a pandemic that the fear feeds on itself and confinement makes people restless. These are a huge weakness. And we know something about the momentum of this fear and restlessness, and the timing.
2. We know that some Democratic mayors and city councils have no clue how to maintain order in the face of a fearful, restless population, and we can observe the breakdown of leadership in the face of crisis.
3. We have exposed dark forces who would take advantage of the fear and restlessness to push an anti-democratic, anti-freedom, anti-American agenda. We may not yet know who the leaders are or the structure under which they operate or their sources of funding, but we know of their existence and that is a place to start.
4. We know that shutting down our economy to fight a pandemic is not a good tradeoff. We know that it is hugely more expensive than we first thought, costing multiple trillions to maintain our economy, not just the few hundreds of billions one might have first suspected.
5. We know that the media quickly adjusts and continues with its political agenda, that an existential crisis is not enough to make them be honest brokers of the truth.
6. We know that politicians are cynical enough to take advantage of the situation, willing to shake down the country, proposing huge bailouts that in reality are merely funding a radical agenda for the next ten years. And that these politicians will delay legitimate solutions while the American people suffer for it.
And of course, some strengths:
7. We know that there are some heroes and patriots in the country who will rise to the occasion, that medical professionals, police and many others will continue to provide critical service to America, even in severely adverse conditions. These are people who can be counted upon.
8. We know that a good leader, in conjunction with patriotic industrial leaders, can push technology to its limits and can, for example, produce a vaccine in mere months where it usually takes several years.
9. We know that a good leader can save a couple of million lives by acting early, acting responsibly and drawing upon the full medical and industrial resources of America.
But we are not out of the woods yet.
Has China destroyed us?
I guess we will see in November.