US Elections: Win Votes With China Scare Stories

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 10/10/2010 04:29:00 PM
Or so they think. In the video game Fallout 3 I wrote about during Christmastime when I have time and hardware to actually play video games, there is a scenario of "Chinese Invasion" in which the Red Army takes over a seemingly idyllic suburban American town. It's all quite tongue-in-cheek since, unlike the Guantanamo Ghraibers, the Chinese do not have a history of colonial expansion. Fast-forwarding these prosaically whitebread fears to today, I just wanted to point your attention to the latest fad in American politics with midterm elections coming up; perhaps an inevitable one of painting electoral opponents as being too cosy with the reds. It's so very McCarthyite, dahling, except the commies in question are Chinese not Russian and are more state capitalist than command economy:
With many Americans seized by anxiety about the country’s economic decline, candidates from both political parties have suddenly found a new villain to run against: China. From the marquee battle between Senator Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina in California to the House contests in rural New York, Democrats and Republicans are blaming one another for allowing the export of jobs to its economic rival. In the past week or so, at least 29 candidates have unveiled advertisements suggesting that their opponents have been too sympathetic to China and, as a result, Americans have suffered. The ads are striking not only in their volume but also in their pointed language.

The ads are striking not only in their volume but also in their pointed language. One ad for an Ohio congressman, Zack Space, accuses his Republican opponent, Bob Gibbs, of supporting free-trade policies that sent Ohioans’ jobs to China. As a giant dragon appears on the screen, the narrator sarcastically thanks the Republican: “As they say in China, xie xie Mr. Gibbs!”

In an ad featuring Chinese music and a photo of Chairman Mao, Spike Maynard, a Republican challenger in West Virginia, charges that Representative Nick Rahall supported a bill creating wind-turbine jobs in China. And on Wednesday, Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, began showing an ad that wove pictures of Chinese factory workers with criticism that Republican Sharron Angle was “a foreign worker’s best friend” for supporting corporate tax breaks that led to outsourcing to China and India.

The barrage of ads, expected to total in the tens of millions of dollars, is occurring as politicians are struggling to address voters’ most pressing and stubborn concern: the lack of jobs. “China is a really easy scapegoat,” said Erika Franklin Fowler, a political science professor at Wesleyan University who is director of the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks political advertising.

Polls show that not only are Americans increasingly worried that the United States will have a lesser role in the years ahead; they are more and more convinced that China will dominate. In a Pew poll conducted in April, 41 percent of Americans said China was the world’s leading economic power, slightly more than those who named the United States.
The story linked to above has more fun factoids alike the 19 Democrat and 10 Republican candidates airing anti-China ads. At least more Yanks know their inevitable place in the global pecking order given current dynamics of a country headed for ruin at warp speed. It's so typical of your modern-day American: make excuses instead of doing something constructive. Meanwhile, you'd better get down on your knees and see if there are reds under the bed. With Christmas approaching, I can't wait to play Fallout 3 again. Unlike many, I try to separate fact from fiction.