Biden’s response to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will almost surely be along the lines of what Congress is now debating, contingent upon whether Mitch McConnell is prepared to accept what comes over from the House.
A trillion-dollar package seems baked in the cake, as the country would not long tolerate congressional inaction if the pandemic were still raging through the population as it is today.
As for racial inequality, the pandemic has exposed, deepened and widened it. The surge in shootings and killings in major cities during the pandemic is hitting the Black communities hardest.
The decline in test scores at schools where kids have been kept away from formal classes since March is most pronounced among minorities.
If half a century of social progress after the civil rights revolution of the ’60s and eight years of the first Black president have failed to reduce racial disparities in income, wealth, employment and incarcerations, does anyone believe Joe Biden has the solution?
But the truly formidable challenge for a President Biden will be China, which is not the China of 2016 that Vice President Biden recall.
While the U.S. refuses to recognize China’s claims to disputed islets in the East and the South China Seas and has committed itself to defend the Japanese and Philippine claims, Beijing has not backed away from its claims and, indeed, has grown increasingly bellicose in making them.
The U.S. has also been thickening ties to Taiwan.
Yet, what many Americans see as a democratic island of 25 million whose defense is a moral obligation and strategic necessity, China sees as a breakaway province, and signals in every way that it would fight a war rather than let Taiwan go.
It is hard to see how the U.S., 7,000 miles away, with a slowly shrinking share of the world’s economic and military power, would prevail indefinitely over a China that has the advantages of proximity and population, and whose power is steadily rising in relative terms to that of the United States.
Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.
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