RUSH: Now, I wanted to move on to the China situation at present, and we’ll be returning to previous subjects that we discussed when we head back to the phones in mere moments. But grab audio sound bite number 6. Last night, Victor Davis Hanson was on with Laura Ingraham on The Ingraham Angle. Her question: “China has been doing this near criminal behavior,” meaning the trade policy, “for a while now. But companies want to produce stuff more cheaply in Asia, and they don’t want anybody to tinker with the way it has been.”
Exactly the point that I have been making. We have been taking it on the chin to the tune of $500 billion a year for who knows how long ’cause it’s just the way it is. It’s the way we buy peace. It’s the way we keep the ChiComs from getting mad at us. It’s the way we penalize ourselves for being the world’s lone superpower, and everybody’s just gotten used to it now. She said nobody wants this tinkered with, and yet here’s Trump tinkering with it. (summarized) “But what happens, Mr. Hanson, if this dynamic doesn’t change? What is the alternative? If this trade deficit with the ChiComs is allowed to continue and this imbalance is allowed to continue, then what does it mean for us?”
HANSON: He’s doing something that’s normal. He’s sticking up for American interests. But everything has been so abnormal, that now being normal is considered abnormal. We have twice the GDP as China does with about one-third of the population. We have the biggest military in the world, the largest food exporter, the biggest energy producer. And this idea that we’re weak or are gonna lose is absolutely absurd.
RUSH: It’s not that we’re going to, it’s that we should! We should lose. Not lose in the sense of being defeated, but we should be taking the short end of the stick, that that’s the price you pay for being the world’s lone superpower. You have to make sure you don’t laud it over everybody. But he glossed over these stats. These are fundamentally important stats. We have twice the gross domestic product as does China, with one-third of the population.
The Chinese have a billion people, and it is a massive, massive undertaking to get them all provided for. You’re a communist country. The ChiComs have had to infuse their essential communist cultural structure with a capitalist-based — or not based, but a capitalist-tinged economy. They’re doing business. They’re allowing capitalist-based companies to come to China and do business there. They have to keep these people fed. They have to keep ’em occupied. They have to keep ’em busy.
They have to do things to create jobs for all of these people. And despite that, despite the fact that we only have one-third the population, we have an economy twice as big. We have the biggest military in the world. We are the largest food exporter. We are now the biggest energy producer in the world. Yet we have to assume this position of weakness, because that’s how it has been judged by the smartest of the smart, the best and the brightest in Washington to keep the peace.
This is what is required to keep us safe, and we have to run out there and we have to act like we don’t want to be the lone superpower — like Madeleine Albright. We need another superpower so that there is balance in the world. All of this stems (do not doubt me on this) from the idea that we’re not the good guys, that we have our own problems, that we can’t preach to anybody else about the right way or the wrong way, because we have a track record of doing a lot of things wrong.
So the people that have been in charge of U.S. policy, foreign policy, trade policy, economic policy, have never believed unilaterally in the concept that we are the good guys. Now, the American people think we’re the good guys. That’s part of being patriotic Americans. We love our country. We know it’s the force for good in the world. But we have been led by people who think that is nationalism and that is so small-minded. There is no force for good in the world.
There’s just the world, and you have to manage your way through it, and we don’t want the responsibility being the force for good. It just too much responsibility. A lot of people just do not want to see the country that way, do not want to see the country as the good guys. Sadly, they have been people in charge of policy. There have been, except… George W. Bush was an exception. George W. Bush fully believed that United States was the solution, not the problem. But he was up against a bunch of people that didn’t agree with him in his own government and around the world.
Well, Trump is this outsider who’s wandered into this mess, and to him it makes no sense. It makes no sense. Why do we have to apologize for ourselves? Why do we have to act weak? Why do we have to be weak, in light of the truth? We’re the biggest economy. We feed the world. We don’t have the largest population. The ChiComs ought to be outrunning us by a factor of two. But they don’t because there’s communists. They haven’t the ability to produce, inherently, the kind of prosperity, standard of living, and wealth, because communism doesn’t permit it.
But communism can’t feed a billion people. Communism can’t come close to providing prosperity for a billion people or even half that number, or a third of that number. It’s the ChiComs who are weak. It’s the ChiComs who are on the short end of the stick, and this is what Trump knows. But Trump is simply trying to change this imbalance where we’re not the ones that are constantly placing ourselves in second-fiddle position, and we’re not walking around with a back pocket wide open saying to whoever wants some: “Go ahead and take it.
“If you’ll like us, if you’ll say good things about us, if you won’t attack us, go ahead and take what you want. We can afford it.” He doesn’t understand any of this. When you hear him talk about stupid leaders in the past, this is the kind of thing he’s talking about. So let’s go to the audio sound bites. This is the president on the White House lawn making his way to the helicopter before leaving on his trip to Louisiana. He stopped to talk to reporters, as he always does, and said this about the trade war with the ChiComs…
THE PRESIDENT: We’re having probably the greatest economy that we’ve had anywhere, any time in the history of our country. We’re having a little squabble with China because we’ve been treated very unfairly for many, many decades. It should have been handled a long time ago and it wasn’t and we’ll handle it now. I think it’s going to be… I think it’s gonna turn out extremely well. We’re in a very strong position. We are the piggy bank that everybody likes to take advantage of or take from, and we can’t let that happen anymore. The relationship I have with President Xi is extraordinary. It’s really very good. But he’s for the China and I’m for the USA, and it’s very simple. This has never happened to China before. We had a deal that was very close, and then they broke it.
RUSH: They did. They even break deals they’ve agreed to. They break deals they’ve gotten close to because their knowledge is that we’re not gonna do anything. We’ll take it. We’ll accept it. We’ve always accepted it. The Obama years were especially bad for this, because Obama had negotiators walking in with an air of insecurity, inferiority, and the inability to define terms for the ChiComs on the basis that, “Who are we to be defining terms? I mean, our country had slaves! Our country didn’t let women vote. So who are we to preach to other people?”
This just frustrates the hell out of Trump. What does that have to do with a fair arrangement on trade? Besides, all those things have been fixed. There isn’t slavery anymore, and women can vote and much more. All those old injustices have been dealt with, they’re gone, we’re prospering. Why in the world do we have to act like we’re second fiddle and like we can’t get along without them, when it’s the other way around?
The difference is Trump doesn’t want to defeat the ChiComs. He’s not trying to beat ’em into the dust. He’s not trying to wipe ’em out. He’s not trying to steal everything they’ve got and bring it back home. He just wants a fair arrangement that does not result in the ChiComs being defeated on anything. It’s not complicated at all. And he’s just looking for the proverbial level playing field. A reporter said (impression), “On the trade war, Mr. President, do you think you’re winning the trade war, Mr. President?”
THE PRESIDENT: We’re winning it. We’re gonna be collecting over a hundred billion dollars in tariffs. Our people, if they want, they could buy from someplace else other than China, or they can really — the ideal — is make their product in the USA. That’s what I really want. Yeah, we’re winning it.
THE PRESIDENT: You know what?
THE PRESIDENT: You want to know something?
THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to know something? We always win.
RUSH: (impression) I hate when he says that! He’s telling reporters, ‘We always win. We always win.'” See, that’s the kind of attitude that people I’m not talking about hate. The State Department, these career Washington types that have presided over this world order since World War 2 where the U.S. does everything it can to whittle away at its superpower status. This the idea that we always win? “Ooooh, that’s so unseemly to say! We’re not supposed to laud it over people. It is not cool.” Trump can win this like he can win immigration, if he just outlasts these people and doesn’t listen to, in this case, the business journalism crowd.
Some at the Wall Street Journal and others are going nuts over what’s happening in the stock market and the tariffs. “Oh, my God. The sky is falling!” If Trump will just ignore these people when they panic, they wimp out — and they panic and wimp out because all this is different. “This is not the way we’ve always done it. This is not the way it should be done.” Right. We’re trying to change that. Now, interesting. Mr. Hanson, Victor Davis Hanson, had a piece in National Review today on China.
It prints to five pages. I can’t read the whole thing. But I do want to read a little bit from the beginning of it because it states exceedingly well a number of points I have been trying to make over the past couple of days. It’s entitled, “China’s Brilliant Insidious Strategy — Slowly but steadily they build up their economic, military, and technological superiority at our expense The [ChiCom] government does not have so much a strategy to translate its economic ascendance into global hegemony as several strategies. All of them are brilliantly insidious.
“On matters of trade, China is always flexible in responding to critics of its asymmetrical, 30-year mercantilism. In the initial stages of Westernization, China was exempted from criticism…” This is such an important point. When China was seen as finally moving in the direction of the West (that’s us), Western civilization, market economics… When the ChiComs were seen… Thirty years ago, when they were seen making these initial moves toward westernization, we exempted them.
They were allowed to steal copyright. They are allowed to steal intellectual property. They were allowed patent infringement. They were allowed to dump cheap product in America. They were even permitted corporate espionage because, “Western elites assumed that these improprieties were just speed bumps on the eventual Chinese freeway to liberalism.” This is… In other words, “We have to let ’em do this. This is what it’s gonna take to bring them fully to our side.” In other words, they were looked at as a bunch of newcoming incompetents and said, (impression):
“Yeah, they’re kind of thieves and they’re kind of this and that, but — but — but — but we gotta put up with it, because this is what it’s gonna take to bring the ChiComs fully into market economics. And then “the richer China got, the more progressive it would become.” You see, the elites thought that the richer they got, the more like the American left and classic liberalism they would become.
“Huge trade deficits or military technological appropriation were small prices to pay for” the ChiComs coming our way. If you lived in “Palo Alto or Upper West Side,” if you’re one of these elites and you’re looking at the world from your perspective, it’s “perfectly fine” for the ChiComs to violate these ethics and laws ’cause they’re new at it. They don’t quite get it and it’s just no big deal. So we didn’t stop them, and they have been allowed to operate this way with impunity ever since.
Now we’ve got these huge trade deficits. The Chinese are cheating more than they ever have. Now, now all that is become our fault, you see! “The Tom Friedman school of journalism chided our … government as lacking Chinese authoritarian efficiency that could by fiat connect new planned utopias by high-speed rail and power them with solar-panel farms.”
RUSH: So the Tom Friedman point. The New York Times’ Friedman was looking at the way the ChiComs were behaving, and he was envy out that they had this small group of elites that could authoritatively dictate action in China, as opposed to having a messy democracy where everybody got to have a say in it by way of voting. He was really envious of it. He was praising how the Chinese were getting bridges facility faster than we can.
Yeah, but the bridges were falling down half the way after they were built. “The Wall Street–investor version of this,” which the people that would believe a Friedman column would see, “saw flabby, pampered Americans getting their just deserts as more productive and deserving Chinese workers outhustled and outproduced us,” when it wasn’t happening. And it’s all part of this (whatever it is) defeatism that the left and career Washington people have about this country.
That, A, we don’t deserve our superpower status, that we haven’t really earned it, and it’s ill-gotten in many ways. But it’s also just not fair. And so any excesses, any illegalities that the Chinese were committing as they were coming of age were overlooked and allowed to become systemic. And that’s what Trump can’t abide and is trying, after all of these years, to fix and level out. And he’s the first to try it.
RUSH: Farmington, New York. Steve, I want to get you squeezed in here if we can. You’ve got about 45 seconds. Make it count.
CALLER: Rush, it’s an honor.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: My point is I had a hard time believing your caller yesterday, Beverly, that she was a conservative. The reason being, it sounded too much like misinformation. She was thinking her 401(k) is down. Yet the stock market on May 3rd, the S&P and NASDAQ hit all-time highs. My own 401(k) and IRA were at all-time highs.
CALLER: They’re down a little bit now.
RUSH: Time is limited. She called here and said that a lot of Trump voters are getting very nervous ’cause of this trade deal and Trump is destroying their 401(k)s and investments and market’s way down and she’s getting really nervous and I should know about this. I said, “I don’t think you’re describing Trump voters as I know them.” I suspected that it was a liberal plant or seminar caller. It’s easier to do that than to think the caller doesn’t know what they’re talking about, ’cause I’m a nice guy and I don’t like thinking that.