Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

How Trump’s Republican Party Went Soft on Communism

This columnist is apparently 30 years behind the times. While this article is intended as a bromide against Trump’s foreign policy, it actually makes him sound a lot better than he actually is. While Trump’s lack of Russophobia, only mild Sinophobia, and willingness to engage in diplomacy with the DPRK is a a good thing,Trump has been more pro-Israel than any US President to date, escalated hostilities with Iran, backed away from Obama’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba, and provided billions in arms to the Saudis while they are waging genocide in Yemen and in the Eastern Province.

By Stephen Chapman


If you had told Ronald Reagan in 1988 that in 30 years, the president of the United States would be chummy with communist dictators in China and North Korea, eager to please a brutal Kremlin autocrat, and indifferent to the needs of our military allies, he might have said: That’s what you get for electing a Democrat.

Today’s Republicans make up a party he wouldn’t recognize. For decades, the Russians and Chinese dispatched spies and enlisted American sympathizers to try to harm the United States and tilt its policies in their favor. Under Donald Trump, they don’t have to. They have a friend in the Oval Office.

It’s the most astonishing reversal in modern American political history. Over the past century, the right accused liberals and Democrats of excusing the crimes of Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Fidel Castro. Often, the criticism was well-founded.

Harvard’s John King Fairbank, the dean of American China scholars, spoke for many on the left in 1972 when he said the communist revolution was “the best thing that has happened to the Chinese people in centuries.” President Jimmy Carter, who spurned Americans’ “inordinate fear of communism,” was shocked by the invasion of Afghanistan. Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, he lamented, “lied to me.”


2 replies »

  1. The meaning of the term, “soft on Communism”, is somewhat vague in an era in which “Communism”, itself, has gone “soft”. Russia doesn’t claim to be Communist anymore, nor Eastern Europe, but the former is still somewhat authoritarian. Cuba still claims to be Communist, but has/had become on Venezuela oil assistance. North Korea labels itself as Communist, but it’s really just a hereditary extreme-totalitarian state. “Red” China still calls itself “Communist”, but its adopted of a quasi free market is what has turned it into an economic powerhouse. And it is a NON-hereditary authoritarian state.

    To these facts, how does one beecome, or stay, “hard on Communism”?

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