Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So Why Isn't Mao Politically Toxic?

With regard to the Anita Dunn/Mao controversy, Philip Klein of The American Spectator writes:

It's unfortunate that Mao, a man who is responsible for the deaths of 70 million people, isn't as politically toxic. Part of this is a legacy of the romanticized portrait of Mao conveyed by Edgar Snow, Mao's propagandist to the West, in the 1937 book Red Star Over China, as well as subsequent liberal apologetics for him in the decades that followed, and general ignorance. American elementary and high schools teach European and Cold War history, but don't tend to emphasize Chinese history, meaning that people who want to learn more about the world's most populous nation generally have to seek out that knowledge on their own.

I can also think of another reason Mao isn't politically toxic. Let's not forget that Richard Nixon travelled to China in February 1972 and met with both Mao and Zhou Enlai resulting in the Shanghai Comminqué which led to formal diplomatic relations seven years later. Let us also not forget the Joint Comminqué on Arms Sales to Taiwan issued in August 1982. This, of course, took place during the Reagan Administration. Needless to say, Ronald Reagan never referred to China as an evil empire.

The point here is that if Mao had the political toxicity that Hitler has to this very day there would be no Presidential visits, no normalization of relations and no agreements to leave Taiwan spinning in the wind.

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