A World Order, If You Can Keep It

February 21st, 2024 9:56 AM

With the exception of Pearl Harbor, the Western Hemisphere escaped World War II mostly unscathed. It also led, to paraphrase Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto's alleged quote, a sleeping giant to wake up in the form of the United States. With Europe and Asia in rubble, the threat of the Soviets replacing the Nazis, and China falling to the communists, men like Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, and George Marshall forged a new world order, placing the West in the hands of the United States.

On June 4, 1940, standing in the House of Commons as the Nazis turned toward a possible invasion of England, Winston Churchill delivered one of many famous speeches. He said, "And even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old." He, and the leaders in the aftermath of World War II, knew the "power and might" of the New World, in the form of the United States, would need to rebuild the world order.

Now, almost 80 years after the end of World War II, progressives who have long harbored a hatred of American world order and the reactionary right with its disdain for American global leadership are joining forces to undo that world order and hand it to the Communists of China, the Islamofascists of Iran and the tyranny of Vladimir Putin.

Though Americans are still struggling financially at the microeconomic level, the United States outperforms every other nation at the macroeconomic level. China is in a depression. Canada and Europe have both higher interest rates and higher inflation. Germany is economically stagnant. The United Kingdom is struggling. Americans are best situated because the world trades in dollars. As the world's reserve currency, the American dollar benefits Americans with relatively lower inflation, lower transactional costs globally, and better currency conversion deals.

While progressives and the reactionary right vilify American foreign aid, it amounts to about 1% of the federal budget. With our foreign aid, we earned goodwill without placing our troops on the same global footprint the British required to prop up their empire. We earn stability in shipping and trade that keeps our costs down. We ensure China's expansionist tendencies are curtailed in much of the world. It is no coincidence that as the progressives and reactionary right in this country try to gut foreign aid, China has expanded its aid programs.

Our investment to fund Ukraine's war effort is part of this spending. Those who say "we just cannot afford it" seem fixated on ending support for Ukraine as opposed to a vast array of ridiculous programs like government subsidies for battery chargers or massively wasted programs in elementary, secondary, and collegiate education programs. CNBC notes the United States government made $247 billion in improper payments in 2022. The United States Senate is proposing $95 billion to help Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine militarily. Perhaps the far left and reactionary right could focus more on misspending by Washington instead of the much smaller investment in preserving an American world order. It is far better for us to help Ukraine and Taiwan kill commies than for us to send our own military to do it.

Too many people reacting to Democrats and slick charlatans opposed to an American world order insist our foreign aid and efforts abroad drag us into "endless wars" and foreign intrigue. Those who know better have a difficult but necessary task to explain what it would mean to give up the American led world order to our enemies. The costs we pay now would be chump change compared to the increased costs of goods and services if the United States slipped out of global leadership, not to mention the inevitable wars that would come. If the tired American giant sets aside its power and goes back to sleep, its enemies will work to make sure it can never wake again.

To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.