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Free Minds & Free Markets

How Trump's Republican Party Went Soft on Communism

It’s the most astonishing reversal in modern American political history.

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."

Conservatives saw Carter as a starry-eyed dupe. "The most flagrant offenders of human rights including the Soviet Union, Vietnam, and Cuba have been the beneficiaries of administration good will, while nations friendly to the United States have suffered the loss of U.S. commercial access and economic and military assistance," said the 1980 Republican platform.

"The evidence of the Soviet threat to American security has never been more stark and unambiguous, nor has any president ever been more oblivious to this threat and its potential consequences," the platform added. "The president's failure to shoulder the burden of leadership in the Western alliance has placed America in danger without parallel since December 7, 1941."

All these charges have deafening echoes today. But this time, the credulous appeaser failing our allies is a Republican president. For communist dictators such as Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un, Trump exudes admiration and amity. To the anti-Western Russian President Vladimir Putin, he offered congratulations for winning a rigged election.

When it comes to Canada's Justin Trudeau and Germany's Angela Merkel, by contrast, he seethes with resentment. With Trump, it's better to be a long-standing American adversary than a faithful ally.

That about-face strains belief. More incredible still is that the Republican Party has chosen to follow his lead. GOP leaders and conservative commentators have turned themselves inside out praising behavior they would have torched had it come from a Democratic administration.

This new outlook might be defensible if it were the product of a conscious, informed reassessment of our role in a changing world. But it's not. It's almost entirely the product of the takeover of the Republican Party by Trump. Anything he says immediately becomes its semiofficial policy—no matter how deeply it contradicts past doctrines.

The pattern is uncannily reminiscent of the Communist Party USA in the years leading up to World War II. First it opposed President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a capitalist lackey. Then, as fascist movements rose in Europe, it joined with noncommunists on the left in "popular front" organizations that aligned with FDR in opposing fascism.

An abrupt turnabout came in 1939, when Stalin signed a nonaggression pact with Adolf Hitler. American Communists jumped to defend this cooperation with the Nazis—and condemned Roosevelt for providing aid to Britain, which was at war with Germany.

When Hitler and Stalin proceeded to divide up Poland by force—putting millions of Polish Jews under Nazi rule—the party defended the dismemberment. When Hitler shocked Stalin by invading the Soviet Union, American Communists shifted yet again, getting behind Roosevelt and calling to help the countries fighting Germany.

Many members of the Communist Party USA couldn't stomach these grotesque reversals and chose to leave. But many remained loyal, quickly changing their beliefs to fit whatever the Kremlin did.

"Both the CPUSA leaders and the rank and file absorbed Stalin's ideological hatreds as their own," wrote the peerless historians Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes. These Communists wore "special glasses that allowed them to see only what Moscow saw and that rendered all else invisible."

Republicans of 50 or even five years ago would be appalled at how Trump has reshaped American foreign policy. But then, they weren't wearing special glasses that warped their vision. They were seeing clearly.

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  • buybuydandavis||

    "Nuke the Chinese Now! We have always been at war with East Asia!"

    This "Libertarian Moment" brought to you by the Trump Derangement Syndrome of Reason.com.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " But then, they weren't wearing special glasses that warped their vision."

    Hahahahaha!

  • hello.||

    It's helpful when you italicize your own spelling mistakes for us like that but you missed one.

    Also you might want to let CPUSA know what a grave mistake they made in working to elect Hillary Clinton.

    Or you could just repost the same idiocy you've been spamming for 2 years because you're too senile to realize what year it is while you slowly die of brain cancer in a Medicare nursing home leaching off the taxpayers.

  • hello.||

    How does it feel to know that you will soon die alone on the public dole and the only record of your sad life will be error-riddled copy-and-paste posts on this website?

  • TGoodchild||

    In old man voice:

    let me tell you the story of Michael Hihn...dumb as an oak! People say he had three hands, and he used them all to type at once!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano pulling out the cheeseboard whining again.

  • Devastator||

    I think you mean "Common Sense Reaction to Trump Cocksucking" don't you? Being chummy with dictators who assassinate dissenters is not a good thing. Worried more about moderate socialism in Europe than Despots? Not a good move buybuydanddavis.

  • hello.||

    So fun to watch the same people who spent 30 years calling Reagan a jingoistic ignorant cowboy and roasted Mitt Romney for his 1980s foreign policy now shitting their pants this hard about Russia and China. Lol.

  • Kongming||

    I have gotten a few of my liberal friends to admit that, in hindsight, Romney called that one correctly. I haven't yet gotten them to make the leap and say "Obama's foreign policy was a total failure" but we'll get there.

  • ThomasD||

    I don't think we can judge Obama's foreign policy a total failure without determining what his goals were.

  • Jay Dubya||

    ronald reagan was interviewed by reason magazine on the campaign trail. he offered a surprisingly prolibertarian message. while many libertarians would grow skeptical of reagan as the result of iran contra & the growth of fedgov under his administration, few in these pages took reagan to task for ideological reasons. Read the interview here:
    https://reason.com/archives/ 1975/ 07/01/ inside-ronald-reagan

    or ignore history & essential libertarian ideas while pretending those on the right who speak out against the Trump are somehow "liberal" despite the administrations love affair with progressive-era trade policies, totalitarian state leaders, unaccountable law enforcement & a sadistic immigration policy that could have been written by the Knights of Labor 130 years ago.

  • NashTiger||

    What about Iran-Contra is so especially illibertarian? We didn't invade Nicaraugua, we used Capitalism to allow them to fight for their own freedom from Marxism. Win-win

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano has another stroke-like aneurysm, thinks Iran-Contra = DOMA.

  • I can't even||

    This may be the dumbest thing I've ever read here - which is really saying something.

  • MasterThief||

    This is a bit of a stupid take...
    Trump seeks to ease relations with a former superpower and a current economic power. He has talks with NK to ease tensions after a bit of intimidation to get them to the table. He speaks poorly of world leaders who are, at the least, communist sympathizers seeking world governance.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it does seem like he is executing policy with the intent of favoring America first (say what you will of his tariffs.) I continue to not like the man and doubt he has a strong ideological opposition to communism, but it's clear that he's far better at opposing communism and despotism than the previous occupant.
    Chapman needs to drop some of the TDS and lay off the Democrat koolaid

  • bacchys||

    You're very wrong.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Well, I'm convinced. Who can argue with such a sound, logical, well reasoned argument as that?

  • Jay Dubya||

    trumps brinksmanship escalated an already volatile NK situation earlier this year while appointing pro-invasion lunatics like Bolton to the cabinet. now you award him plaudits for holding a meeting with NK that accomplishes *nothing* while fraying our nearly century-long military alliance with SK by nixing joint exercises wout discussing the issue with them or even our own military. short of a complete troop withdrawal, the exercises were the *only* viable bargaining chip we had with NK for disarmorment. meanwhile, trump nixed the iran deal

  • Jay Dubya||

    ... resulting in the iranians announcing they will fast track enrichment. bottomline: we lose our influence over both iran & NK & guarantee they will proceed posthaste with their respective nuclear agreements, while telling the world the US is incapable of being an honest broker for long term negotiations & that this president does not give a single fuck about even the most extreme consequences of global instability so long as he can produce a narrative that will protect his domeatic interests.
    this is behavior we have seen from 3rd worlders. having it come from the US drives home the message to other world powers that the US must be displaced as global hegemon if a sane framework for global trade & order post WWII is to survive.

  • Let freedom ring||

    It was Kim who brought Trump to the table, not ice versa. Kim did what he had to do I.e. build a viable nuclear threat. The meeting in Singapore was all about "freeze for freeze" not disarmament. The US-SK military exercise were deliberately times to coincide with DRNK ice planting and harvesting, causing NK to mobilize their troops to high alert, instead of rice production. The mitral exercises were used to help starve NK, just like the KSA and UAE attack on Yemen is using starvation as a weapon of war.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Interesting point, Let Freedom Ring.

  • perlchpr||

    DRNK ice planting and harvesting

    I know this was supposed to be "rice", but there's a sick joke about the North Korean diet to be made here somewhere.

  • ThomasD||

    The joke is a nation so poor that, when the army does not, the people starve.

    The bigger joke is acting like this is somehow an external problem inflicted upon the NKs.

  • ThomasD||

    ...does not farm...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That North Korean soldier that defected and was shot crossing the DMZ was infested with tapeworms.

    If that is true, NK has more problems than we can imagine.

  • sarcasmic||

    I used to think this song wouldn't apply to the presidency once Obama left office.

    I was wrong.

    America was once a nation of free people who held a healthy distrust of government. They relied on cooperation, not force, to get things done.

    Now the domesticated descendants of those free people worship at the alter of their rulers, demanding that force be used to solve all their problems.

    The American experiment in liberty is over. It will be a blip on the history pages, if it is remembered at all.

  • JoeBlow123||

    What a dumb post.

  • ThomasD||

    "The American experiment in liberty is over."

    We survived Woodrow Wilson, and we are still waking up from Obama, give it time.

    That we still deal with the suffocating pall left by FDR and Johnson doesn't make it any easier.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There is something to the adage that generations need to personally experience hardships to learn from them.

  • mortiscrum||

    Egads, the article doesn't say "gee, I really wish we were actively courting war with Russia and China like the good ol' days." It says that Trump has a distressing admiration for dictators and strongmen, and has somehow led the Republican party in to defending the very leaders and countries the Republicans used to be suspicious of. It's not that complex of a point. Further, Trump needlessly antagonizes the countries that we've historically been on very good terms with. Yah know what's a good precursor for free trade between countries? Being on cordial terms and not slapping tariffs on allies for.....reasons, I guess?

    I don't understand what libertarian point y'all think you're making by blasting the article.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    Hi Steve.

  • ThomasD||

    What the article "says" and what you "don't understand" are related by their lack of credibility.

  • ||

    Further, Trump needlessly antagonizes the countries that we've historically been on very good terms with.

    Sure. Leftists pointing to those countries and saying, "See? Gun control works!", "See? Democratic Socialism works!", and "See? Open borders work!" had nothing to do with it. Every single last American loved Germany and Brussels right on down to the last Nazi and Antifah protester until Trump took office.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano pimping his gun ban fetish again.

  • Jay Dubya||

    @mortiscrum well argued. there is no libertarian point being made in critique of this article here, only the typical hogwash from trump partisans, who are not libertarians. opposition to tariffs was the literal foundation of both modern economics & the libertarian movement. the libertarian interest in things like human rights were reasoned outward from this point. Trump has no coherent policy framework, yet in the few areas where he has been somewhat consistent he has argued the exact opposite of the libertarian rationale. His stance on both tariffs & immigration are based on the notion that the state can & must command markets in both labor & goods & this interest is so extreme that it justifies the most horrific uses of state violence (eg the armed kidnapping children). Trumps stated views oward the expansion & fundamental lawlessness of the executive branch stand in stark defiance of not just libertism as a whole, but also the nonstop criticism of the growth of the imperial presidency expressed in these pages for at least the 17 years I have been reading.

  • Cyto||

    Are you sure this is "the most astonishing reversal in modern American history"?

    Reagan wasn't exactly in the mainstream with his laser-focus on fighting communism. He had plenty of detractors in his own party on that front.

    And the Democrats had been the party of free expression, opposition to war, the war powers act and civil rights. And they lined right up behind Obama as he not only supported the PATRIOT act, he re-upped and expanded it, spied on American citizens, invaded and bombed several countries without going to congress or international bodies.... and then they jumped in line behind Hillary Clinton, former anti-Nixon leftie crusader who seemingly thinks Obama was a pacifist piker. OK, there's a huge reversal... in one person! HRC, formerly a Watergate investigator involved in corrupting and controlling the DNC... and during her campaign her party's White House not only was spying on the opposing party for an evening, they had their phones tapped, sent in spies to infiltrate the campaign and used the IRS to block the political organizations that supported their opponents.

    That's a pretty huge reversal, I'd say.

    Or the DNC of the 70's and 80's who proclaimed that any mention of "welfare reform" was a racist dog whistle nominating Bill Clinton, who ran on a platform calling for "welfare reform".

  • Cyto||

    Or lest you think I'm only picking on the (D), how about Bush II going from semi-isolationist "we are not going to be nation building" to "regime change" in just a few months? Or how about his immigration reform package? That managed to take team (D) from pro-immigrant to anti-immigration in about a week (and back again as soon as it was off the table). He wasn't charismatic enough to drag along his party though.

    Trump doesn't exactly have the full-throated support of his party on any of this. The only thing they seem to really agree on with respect to Trump on this issue is that the whole "colluded with Russia" thing is a pile of horse manure designed as window dressing for a political purge. Other than that, they seem to be a mess.

    Remember, #NeverTrump is a Republican thing.

  • Cyto||

    I think the only thing you can glean from this mess is that Huxley and friends were optimists.

  • sarcasmic||

    It is a known phenomenon that followers will change their heartfelt stances on a dime when the people they follow change their minds. Probably has a name.

    Applies to Democrats and Republicans alike.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    It's almost like partisan hacks are gonna partisan.

  • Ariki||

    Ideologues love someone else's ideology.
    Thinking for oneself is hard.
    Outsourcing thought is easy.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Nixon(R) imposed wage and price controls.
    Nixon(R) went to China.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

  • ThomasD||

    Funny how (R)s become more reviled the more they horn in on (D) turf.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Oh, for that you pretty much have to reach back to the 19th century (with the occasional name change).

  • ThomasD||

    People also forget that the Republican party was an early home for progressives, or that they remain part of the party today.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You can be part of the GOP if you want to be. Nobody is kicked out.

    Same thing with the Democratic Party.

  • Mock-star||

    I've been told that the Chinese and North Koreans aren't REAL communists though.

  • section9||

    True communism hasn't been tried yet, silly.

  • TGoodchild||

    Obviously not - true communism hasn't be properly implemented yet. My college garbage degree-required class taught me that.

  • perlchpr||

    I don't know that an argument can't be made that they aren't. Not because there's some ideal communism that wouldn't suck that's theoretically possible, but just because those countries don't necessarily fit the definition of "communism".

    China has billionaires now. They allow some measure of private property. Therefore, they aren't really communist any more. They certainly pay lip service to it, and operate on some communist principles, but they're not even pretending to be serious about it. This is not to say that China's government is good, just that it's not really communist per se any more, no matter what they claim.

    North Korea is just a miserable slave state.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "They allow some measure of private property".

    This literally means that China is still Communist.

    China only allows certain things because they feel that they have to give a bit to appease the people, or some people. Most Socialist regimes do this to forestall the inevitable collapse of Socialism.

    China is a Communist slave state with some relaxed policies.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano is mad that his care provider Consuela got deported, so he no longer can sexually harass her while she changes out his colostomy bag.

  • bacchys||

    It's sad to see so many Trumptards in the once-great comments section of Reason.

    Why do authoritarian scum read a libertarian magazine?

  • Shirley Knott||

    In a better world, it would be because they are trying not to preach only to the choir.
    Given the current editorial mix, it seems mor likely they are trying to replace one choir with another.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I registered as a libertarian when I was 18. I have never liked Republicans, my first President was George Bush, a horrible and terrible man. I definitely do not like Democrats, they are socialist-lite.

    So what am I? A rather moderate conservative leaning person, likes a lot of things libertarian, but will not swallow the red pill uncritically. I find the constant drum beat on open borders ridiculous and question unlimited free trade and unlimited free movement of capital. Ultimately, however, I do recognize trade and exchange make people better off and autarky is a road to ruin. I think if you looked around you would probably find a lot of people like me, dissatisfied with Republicans who will never vote Democrat and will reliably vote Libertarian despite some of the things published here that I find utopian nonsense divorced from reality and history.

  • Kongming||

    I know. I can't decide if they were all always so anti-free-trade, or if their love of Trump has caused them to abandon it. Either way it is, as their Dear Leader would say, SAD!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump moved the USA from free trade to managed, of course!

  • Devastator||

    there is still plenty of #resistance in here. don't give up just yet. Not all of us are Trump cock suckers.

  • section9||

    This article can't be serious.

    Trump is restoring Taft Republicanism and Reason has a problem with this?

  • TGoodchild||

    Matt Welch is moonlighting as Steve Chapman.

  • ThomasD||

    Can't imagine that pays too well. But hey, a side hustle is often more about what fits the rest of your lifestyle.

  • Brian||

    Or, Trump really isn't a republican.

    We were in a moment ripe for parties to try something new, and the Democrats were too busy bearing down, trying to pass Hillary.

  • Devastator||

    I don't agree with you, but that is a hilarious metaphor.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Clearly this sort of blind partisanship would never happen if literally anyone else was president.

  • ThomasD||

    Funny thing is I'm pretty sure Trump won because he was " literally anyone else."

  • Devastator||

    Yeah, I even knew a couple of staunch Democrats who were like "anybody but fucking Hillary Clinton" and voted for Trump

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Okay I think this article is a little bit silly.
    I don't think Trump is "soft on communism".
    I do think however Trump's base have revealed themselves to be far more collectivist than they claimed to be all these years. That's not communist per se, but it certainly so-called "rugged individualism" either.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    People reveal themselves to be people, news at 11.

  • ThomasD||

    "I do think however Trump's base have revealed themselves to be far more collectivist than they claimed to be all these years."

    All these years? All what years, Trump isn't exactly an established politician, with an established political base. He's an interloper who is mainly extemporizing. That's why the establishment hates him.

    The idea that Trumps 'base' has, or has had any sort of stated platform - consistent or otherwise - is, as is typical for you, a straw man projection.

  • Devastator||

    Most of trump's acolytes are mindless sheep who readily toss out their moral compass and follow him with a cult-like worship.

  • Jerryskids||

    The GOP didn't go soft on communism, they went soft on Trump.

    If you've watched FOX the last few days, you know the biggest news story on FOX is that FOX got Trump to come out of the White House and talk to them as they were standing on the lawn. They were peeing their pants with excitement, so proud of themselves for this accomplishment. (FOX News: We have a great relationship with Trump, we kiss his ass and he magnanimously allows us to kiss his ass.) During the impromptu press conference Trump talked about the IG report that had come out the day before and remarked that "most importantly" the IG report had "totally exonerated" him.

    FOX played that clip every 15 minutes for the next 2 days, frequently with the chyron "Trump: IG report 'totally exonerated me'." And nobody at FOX said shit about that statement - except one anchor I saw who kind of rolled her eyes at the camera and said "No it didn't" and left it at that.

    So now comes Chris Wallace asking Trey Gowdy, "Did the IG report totally exonerate Trump?" and Trey Gowdy didn't bat an eye in replying that there were a lot of things in the IG report that supported the idea that there was a lot of anti-Trump bias in the FBI and the whole Russian collusion thing was a pile of garbage.

    So here we are - Trump says some crazy thing, his worshippers on FOX repeat it so that the faithful now know the Truth, nobody who values their position has the balls to say it just ain't so. Welcome to the cult.

  • ThomasD||

    People who claim to be shocked by Trump's apparent inconsistencies are also exactly the same people who were "shocked" to discover that the Tea parties were not real big on eliminating Social Security.

  • NashTiger||

    I know of no one who has taken a position on "eliminating" Social Security, and why would anyone who has been forced to pay into it for 30-40 years ever do so? I think Privatizing Social Security has been up for plenty of discussion. But stocks went down that one time, so we couldn't possibly...

  • Flinch||

    The IG report had the same mindset as Comey did about Hillary: after listing all the bullet points indicating complete and total guilt, it claimed the bias revealed could not be poltitical. That's another institutional coverup, albeit a slightly different character. I don't think the FBI needed it, and it may actually serve to damage them more in trying to recover from a cabal of about a half dozen or so higher ups being steered by a few ethical cripples at the helm of the DOJ. Trump disgreed with much of the IG conclusions as we know, and it seems that there is no part of the bureaucracy infected by the 'just us/justice' schism on parade of late so typical of power unchecked by a congress exercising proper oversight.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its what the government does to cover itself.

    Police investigate themselves and typically find no harm done.

    Judges decide on actions of government agents and typically find no harm.

    Inspector Generals investigate the actions of government officials and agencies and typically find no harm.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It's the most astonishing reversal in modern American political history....
    Republicans of 50 or even five years ago would be appalled at how Trump has reshaped American foreign policy.

    Chapman needs to read a book on his iPad that does not confirm TDS for him.

    FDR met with Stalin. JFK met Khrushchev. Nixon met with Mao. Carter met Anwar El Sadat and Menachem Begin.

    Reagan was an actual Democrat who remained a Democrat even while being an informant for FBI against actual Communists in Hollywood. He later became a Republican but spent like a Democrat. Reagan met with Gorbechev.

  • ThomasD||

    Democrats Libertarians hate it when Republicans triangulate to that big squishy middle.

  • Flinch||

    Squishy middle is a good description: politics is the realm of the agitated which means... the middle is something to be pushed around for the most part. Not forcibly, but rather they move to be on the "winning team" at the end of the day - it's the crowd most likely to take a position based on polls. And that's why the crown jewel for progs is network news: by choosing what polls to report/not report, they steer the sheeple. They will never give up, even as their ratings slide into oblivion as more and more people have wakened to the idea that their intelligence is being insulted on a daily basis.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly. Trump can float around on the political spectrum of issues because he is a populist.

    He is also one of the most Libertarian-ish Republicans in a long time. Maybe ever. This scares the shit out of LINOs who have their positions hijacked by Trump.

  • ThomasD||

    It's not so much that their actual positions have been hijacked. More like their poses masquerading as positions have been revealed to be nothing more than an act.

    Progressive lever pullers hiding behind libertarian curtains.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    FDR met with Stalin. JFK met Khrushchev. Nixon met with Mao. Carter met Anwar El Sadat and Menachem Begin.

    ... Reagan met with Gorbechev.

    You don't get it, Trump meeting with Kim Jong-Un is totally different because... IT JUST IS! YOU'D UNDERSTAND THAT IF YOU WEREN'T SUCH A TRUMPTARD! /sarc

  • Flinch||

    Right. I would add one more, perhaps: Clinton met with Arafat, who is one of the godfathers of modern day terrorism. Many of the madrasas teaching people to hate from kindergarten up were under his watchful eye, and who knows how many Al Qaeda types were birthed in that environment.

  • Let freedom ring||

    Sorry, but Israel is the father of modern day terrorism Ever hear of the Stern Gang, the Irgun, the Naqba, etc.? The letter bomb was a Zionist invention.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I know. Its like Gillespie knows nothing about historical events and expects people to buy his TDS bullshit.

  • Devastator||

    No one is criticizing his meeting with KJU, people are criticizing his fellating of Putin, Jinping, and that Phillipines guy.

  • Mickey Rat||

    It is strange seeing calls for an aggressive foreign policy against dictators and strongmen but the Iran deal should be considered sacrosanct. Or do Muslim theocracies not count in those categories?

  • ThomasD||

    Cuba, Venezuela, I'm sure there are others that could be added to the list of 'no-go' zones.

  • Iheartskeet||

    ^This. I get the feeling they put up articles like this as some kind of traffic scheme, and we're just being trolled.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Yep. Come back later today and compare the number of comments this article gets compared to others posted today. That'll tell you everything you need to know.

    Although they screwed up the timing of it. They should have waited until later after the AM Links Reason Roundup comments had slowed down. As it it they're not gonna get half the number comments/ clicks as they could have gotten. Fuckin' amateurs. They can't even troll right.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Some of the resident trolls are absolutely Reason staff to drum up website visits.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Wow... just... wow...

    This might be the dumbest thing Chapman has written. So we're not supposed to try to make peace with countries with "icky" governments like N. Korea? OK then...

  • Seamus||

    It's the most astonishing reversal in modern American political history.

    You seem to have overlooked how the Left is now trying to out-do Joe McCarthy in seeing Russian dupes and fellow travelers under every bed.

  • Flinch||

    Uh, hate to break the news, but the GOP went soft on communism under Obama dealing with his maoist appointees: almost zero oversight, and couldn't even think about impeachment when Eric Holder was found in contempt. The party is so weak it's nearly dead, and... the 45th president was going to be dealing with that condition regardless. Trump picked his spot - and it's a mighty tough dance card. Did anyone say Clinton "went soft on communism" when he gave a nice package of fissionables to North Korea?
    So, Trump didn't have a "hyet" moment like Reagan last week. I think it's too soon to care about that. More importantly, since NK is starving and the "dear leader" has overfished the coastal areas to compensate for the incredible central planning skills, he is putting regular army on fishing boats for long trips [afraid the peasants will seek asylum] and that means... we could take his army one fishing boat at a time with a couple of submarines and a few determined seals.
    But walk away from the label of communism for a moment: purist central planning is always a disaster because there are too many voices to listen to, and the response time for any need is much too slow.

  • mtrueman||

    "But walk away from the label of communism for a moment: purist central planning is always a disaster because there are too many voices to listen to, and the response time for any need is much too slow."

    The Korea deal is a part of communist China's central planning. It's called the belt and road initiative and involves trillions in infrastructure development over decades. Part of it is to connect all of Eurasia with gas pipelines and high speed rail. Previously US presidents would work to stymie such plans, but now Trump is facilitating them.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Another part of China's plan is to keep free nations away from China's borders. Its better to have an tyrannical regime buffer adjacent to China's national boundaries.

  • mtrueman||

    That's not part of China's current five year plan. You can see for yourself if you are interested. Wikipedia has information on these plans going back to the 1950s.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny. There is nothing in China's [Twelfth Plan (2011–2015)] and [Thirteenth Plan (2016–2020)] about China demanding Taiwan reunite with Communist China and what the man-made islands in the South China Sea are purposed for either.

    Is there a secret wikipedia for those things?

  • mtrueman||

    China's claim to Taiwan is no secret. The purpose of man-man islands is not difficult to discern. They are constructed to firm up claims of sovereignty over international waters. The Japanese have done much the same thing with their pouring tonnes of concrete over partially submerged out croppings of rock.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Thousands of miles into the ocean? China is building man-made islands from non-existent islands. Not extending islands to make them bigger.

    China's plans are no secret alright. The Japanese tried to create a Japanese co-prosperity sphere in the 1930's and 40's. It plateaued with the Japanese defeat at Guadacanal.

  • mtrueman||

    "Thousands of miles into the ocean? "

    Especially thousands of miles into the ocean. The Chinese don't shy away from grandiose construction projects.

    I think the Japanese analogy is inapt. I think China's plans might envision a second coming of the Mongolian Empire which saw the Silk Road at its peak with goods travelling across from China to Europe pretty much unimpeded thanks to the security provided by the trade friendly Mongols.

  • Let freedom ring||

    and well he should! We can't have thes underdeveloped countries recieving their gas and goods from authoritarians when they could be vassals of Western democracies, buying and selling only in US central bank issued dollars!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Uh, hate to break the news, but the GOP went soft on communism under Obama dealing with his maoist appointees:

    Fuckin' John Brennan voted for an actual CPUSA member.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This is a very under-mentioned fact.

    Obama and Congress nominated and confirmed a person who supported the Communist Party in the USA.

    The media covering for Brennan is more evidence that many of the media are treasonous shitbags that hate a free America.

  • DJF||

    I am confused, I thought that Reason Magazine was pushing the idea that the Chinese were good Communists. That trade with Communists equals Free Trade?

    Now Reason comes out attacking a Republican who officially stops a long standing war against a Communist country

  • vek||

    Well, Reason doesn't seem to use a lot of reason lately... It's more just anything with the right feelz or that is sufficiently anti Trump will work for them.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Is there a competition among the Reason writers to see who can write the most deranged anti-Trump propaganda?

  • mtrueman||

    A demilitarized Korean peninsula ie with no US troops or activities has long been a Chinese goal.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    After the Chinese troops swarmed into Korea to win it for the North Koreans, you mean?

    I don't agree that demilitarization of surrounding nations that are friendly to China is a priority for China. Keeping Americans and their allies from toppling the Communist Party of China is.

    China is building man-made islands in the South China Sea for a reason and its not for better sun tanning locations.

  • mtrueman||

    "After the Chinese troops swarmed into Korea to win it for the North Koreans, you mean?"

    The goal was and is 'yankee go home.'

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Me thinks that is only part of the strategy since Yankees were only in The Philippines part of the Pacific until Japan attacked the USA. China asked for help and we helped them fight the Japanese.

    After America wanted to leave the Korean peninsula following WWII, North Korea's invasion (backed by the USSR and China) got South Koreans to ask for American help.

    I would bet its more about conquering like most wars have been about.

  • mtrueman||

    "I would bet its more about conquering like most wars have been about."

    If this were about North Korea conquering anyone, they wouldn't be giving up their nuclear and missile capabilities, and the South wouldn't be cooperating. Rather, it's about China's plans to integrate infrastructure from Korea to Eastern Europe.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I certainly mean China conquering.

    The only North Korea is only concerned about is conquering South Korea.

    If what you say is true about China's long term plans, why build man-made islands as military bases to extend your territorial waters into previously uninhabited ocean?

    Communists take by force. Chinese Communists have found trading useful to build a huge military force. It does not change the fact that modern Chinese participated in taking Tibet from the Tibetans.

    China also threaten Taiwan with war if they get to uppity about remaining non-China.

  • mtrueman||

    "China also threaten Taiwan with war if they get to uppity about remaining non-China."

    The Chinese are sensitive about their territorial integrity. That whole great wall thing is a dead giveaway. It's not just communists either. The nationalist party has even more expansionary view of the Chinese nation, swallowing up Mongolia from their own.

    "Communists take by force. Chinese Communists have found trading useful to build a huge military force. It does not change the fact that modern Chinese participated in taking Tibet from the Tibetans."

    They won't need a huge military force to do what they want to do in North Korea. They need money and the willingness to spend it, on building factories and infrastructure.

  • NashTiger||

    A demilitarized Korean peninsula with no US troops or activities has long been a Libertarian goal

  • Let freedom ring||

    Yes, those inscrutable Chinese! We lost China! The yellow peril is seeping all around, draining us of our precious and pure bodily fluids!
    Just because the West is composed of "democracies" I.e. oligarchies, doesn't mean we are the good guys. The US, UK, Israel with its vassal states France, Germany, Poland , KSA, UAE are the Evil Empire. It's not about democracy within countries anymore. It's about democracy between countries, ie sovereignty now.

  • ThomasD||

    Hank, is that you?

  • Ron||

    I quite reading after the 2nd paragraph this articel is just crap every president has worked with many world leaders that we detest but we are not alone on this planet and sometimes workng with is better than eteranl war

  • texexpatriate||

    Baloney. It's not Trump's Republican Party that went soft on Communism. Republicans have always been soft on Communism, always eager to negotiate American liberty away with the Democrat Party, America's real Communist Party. I know it is popular to sanctify Ronald Reagan, but Reagan worked hand-in-glove with Democrats when it suited him, selling American liberty piece by piece down the river.

  • gphx||

    SUCH TEARZ!
    SO SHINY!
    MUCH THIRSTY!

  • vek||

    LOLz

    Let's be honest, Trump is a little clumsy. I'll grant that. But the fact that he's not foaming at the mouth to nuke China and Russia is not exactly a bad thing. The fact is we've worked with horrible dictators since forever. French monarchy helping us out during the Revolutionary War ring any bells???

    The truth is we should be trying to work with these assholes to at least somewhat keep the peace.

    Also a big part of why Trump has been antagonistic towards "so called" allies of ours is because they've been antagonistic towards him!

    Merkel is a horrible shit bag globalist. Trump believes in sovereign nation states. The EU has done nothing but shit on him because he's NOT a shit bag globalist. Why should he smile and grin at them while being shit on??? He shouldn't. He should call them out on their BS, as he has done on several occasions.

    I think the globalist versus nationalist thing is probably the biggest single struggle in the world right now. I personally believe in nation states, because the more central authority there is the worse it will be. So does Trump. Insofar as that goes I am 100% on his side. The EU and most of its member states are not really our friends, at least not with their current actions/policies. They're in it for the globalist agenda, and their own personal gain, like having us continue to pay for their defense. Fuck that. He can shit on the bad leaders in Europe all day long as far as I'm concerned.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    "Going soft on communism" is a hell of a stretch, Chapman, even for your brand of spin.

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