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Governor Hogan WSJ Op-Ed: “Don’t Bet Against America”

In case you missed it, as he concludes a two-week trade mission in Korea and Japan, Governor Hogan wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on the importance of projecting unity to the world.

According to Governor Hogan, “It’s easy to forget that the world is always watching us. Perceptions of the U.S. are often shaped by how our leaders behave. Lately that behavior hasn’t been good. In a prime-time speech this month, President Biden attacked millions of Americans who supported his predecessor as a threat to democracy. Former President Trump responded by attacking Mr. Biden as an ‘enemy of the state.’… Despite the rhetoric from the loudest voices, I don’t believe that Americans are tired of freedom and democracy. They are tired of failed leadership. They haven’t given up on the values that make our nation great. They’re just fed up with politicians who put self-interest before the national interest.

When I hear our allies express concern about the future, my message is simple: Don’t bet against America. We aren’t as divided as it seems. The future still belongs to freedom and democracy.”

Read Governor Hogan’s Op-Ed here.

The World Watches as America Squabbles

Our allies worry that the U.S. is too divided to believe in itself. I disagree.

Governor Larry Hogan

Wall Street Journal

I will shortly return home from a two-week trade mission to Japan and South Korea, where I gave the keynote address at the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity. I also met with South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and other government leaders, and negotiated partnerships with multinational business leaders eager to invest in Maryland.

Everywhere I heard a common refrain: While our allies still believe in America, they worry whether America is too divided to believe in itself.

It’s easy to forget that the world is always watching us. Perceptions of the U.S. are often shaped by how our leaders behave. Lately that behavior hasn’t been good. In a prime-time speech this month, President Biden attacked millions of Americans who supported his predecessor as a threat to democracy. Former President Trump responded by attacking Mr. Biden as an “enemy of the state.”

It’s no coincidence that China and Russia have entire propaganda operations devoted to amplifying such strain and disunity. Regardless of who you think is to blame for our divisions, we have to recognize that our enemies are exploiting them to weaken us. Any American ally or adversary watching this circus might be tempted to believe that authoritarianism can offer strength and stability that our democracy lacks.

Developments around the world prove the opposite. In Ukraine, the Russians are in retreat. President Volodymyr Zelensky and his brave countrymen have demonstrated how powerful freedom’s hold is on the human heart. Meanwhile, China continues to sputter amid its zero-Covid policy. Only a few years ago it seemed a foregone conclusion that China would eventually overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest economy. Now, some predict it never will.

A similar pattern unfolded in the late 1970s. The Soviet Union appeared to be at the height of its strength but collapsed a decade later. According to the late Mikhail Gorbachev, “to a casual observer, the Soviet Union seemed to present a picture of relative well-being, stability, and order. The misinformed society under the spell of propaganda was hardly aware of what was going on and what the immediate future had in store for it.”

When tyrants are challenged, they often become more dangerous. When authoritarian governments fear their power is in decline, they tend to lash out. This is happening in Russia and China. As Moscow lashes out and Beijing becomes bellicose, the U.S. is showing anything but unity and strength to the world. Democrats and Republicans alike are too focused on demonizing their political adversaries to articulate the global threats we face together as a people.

I don’t mean to diminish the issues that divide us. They are real and important. But they pale in comparison with the threat from Russia and China. The world is better off led by the U.S. than by Russia or China, no matter who is in the White House. People around the world still yearn to come here and become Americans.

Just ask yourself, even on our darkest days, where on earth would you rather live than the United States of America?

Despite the rhetoric from the loudest voices, I don’t believe that Americans are tired of freedom and democracy. They are tired of failed leadership. They haven’t given up on the values that make our nation great. They’re just fed up with politicians who put self-interest before the national interest.

When I hear our allies express concern about the future, my message is simple: Don’t bet against America. We aren’t as divided as it seems. The future still belongs to freedom and democracy.