Would an Honorable President Please Stand Up?

Would an Honorable President Please Stand Up?
Chinese leader Xi Jinping (C) with U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a joint ratification of the Paris climate change agreement at the West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou on Sept. 3, 2016. (How Hwee Young/AFP/Getty Images)
Anders Corr

How would America’s stature be in the world, and among Americans, if men of true honor stood as presidential candidates in 2024? How much greater would our global leadership be? Imagine a modern-day Ronald W. Reagan standing against a contemporary John F. Kennedy. There would be policy disagreements, speeches about the highest of American principles across both parties, and respectful debates about U.S. values, sprinkled with humor.

All candidates who took part would agree on at least one premise: For the sake of our United States and the world, let the best person win even if he or she isn't me. The American voters choose that person, and I would have the humility and honor to serve him or her, and the American people, as a citizen if he or she's elected.

This is what true conservatives should be aiming to bring back to America. This would be liberal, in the sense of supporting freedom, and progress from the current sad state of affairs. This would be stability of the ship of state for moderates.

Some American politicians, sadly, have lost the sense of humble service to the republican, liberal, conservative, moderate, and democratic ideals of our country that President-elect John F. Kennedy spoke of in 1961 when he said in his inaugural address, “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

Our lack of pure public service, devoid of even the slightest hint of corruption, has applied in the worst of times to our highest elected politicians of both parties, as evidenced by family business with dictatorial China by not only the Bidens, but the Trumps, Clintons, and Bushes.

At the best of times, all of these presidents have served America and our ideals well.

Nevertheless, considering all of China’s business across nearly all of our recent American political dynasties, one must deduce that “Houston, we have a problem.”

Given the opacity of side deals by American presidents, one would think the odds are that similar revelations about the Obamas are only a matter of time. But surprisingly, their potential links to China money, for example through the former president’s Illinois pension and possibly via a Netflix show that addresses the culture clash of American workers in a Chinese-owned factory in Ohio, don't make the cut for inclusion in the rogues gallery of corruption.

In comparison, President Barack Obama looks squeaky clean when it comes to China. The Obamas certainly didn't come close to the millions of dollars of what appears to be largely legalized corruption enjoyed by other presidential families from Chinese sources.

Nevertheless, President Obama was no faultless angel. His foreign policy of weakness, between 2009 and 2017, corresponded with the transition of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from the strategy of “hiding strength and biding time” to Xi Jinping’s “wolf warrior” tactics.

President Obama presided over major giveaways to the CCP, including almost no defense of exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea, for example, of our treaty ally the Philippines. Philippine sovereign territory at Mischief Reef now hosts a new People’s Liberation Army air and naval base just 150 miles from the Philippine shore.

Given later revelations of Chinese business deals with the Biden family, and the foreign policy “expertise” brought to the White House by Vice President Joe Biden, one wonders how much influence the VP had over giving China the leeway necessary to make the leap from developing country to aspirant of global hegemony.

If President Obama and Mr. Biden sold America’s global leadership and honor to China, they did so on the cheap.

As the great humorist and anti-communist President Ronald Reagan noted in 1977, “It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession, and I've come to realize over the last few years, it bears a great similarity to the first.”

He said it just six years after President Richard Nixon’s infamous and disastrous opening to communist China. For the sake of America, and democracy globally, we need new candidates from both parties, and these candidates should have nothing to do with the old and corrupt. They should have one characteristic in common: true honor and service to this great country and set of values we call America.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Anders Corr has a bachelor's/master's in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. His latest books are “The Concentration of Power: Institutionalization, Hierarchy, and Hegemony” (2021) and “Great Powers, Grand Strategies: the New Game in the South China Sea" (2018).