Joe Biden is admittedly on a serious losing streak in foreign policy. The fall of Afghanistan was a blow to U.S. prestige, and the president’s powerlessness to affect the rescue of American citizens still trapped in Afghanistan two months after the fall of Kabul has defined the weakness of his presidency.
But it was a shock to the system when the Chinese completely surprised the U.S. by launching two hypersonic missiles that circled the earth without the knowledge of the State Department.
What was Biden and Secretary Antony Blinken’s response to this threat? Another “strongly worded letter”? Not exactly.
It seems Secretary Blinken had his priorities straight after all.
This week, his State Department responded forcefully and with great clarity to its adversaries and hostile foreign regimes around the world: by recognizing International Pronouns Day. The agency stands in solidarity with people who list pronouns “on their email and social media profiles” through ShareAmerica, the department’s platform for communicating American foreign policy worldwide.
The State Department’s blog brags that “the White House also debuted a website contact form with gender-neutral pronouns and the non-binary prefix ‘Mx.’ And the Department of State announced June 30 that US passport forms will allow applicants to choose male or female gender, regardless of what their other documents indicate, and will eventually include an option for non-binary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people.” Neat!
Nothing to worry about. U.S. foreign policy is in the very best of hands.
Stephen L. Miller asks, “China does not give its new hypersonic weapons pronouns. Vladimir Putin is not concerned about gender-neutral bathrooms at the United Nations. The Taliban cares not about equitable hiring practices. Why does our State Department?”
The fact is, most of the rest of the world doesn’t care a fig about “wokeness” or “gender-neutral pronouns.” The rest of the world — at least the parts of the world that can do us harm — cares about power and influence and wealth.
This odd behavior from the State Department seems to confirm that the Biden administration is more interested in the whims of Twitter users than in diplomacy. These little acts may seem harmless, but they demonstrate how our government prefers to emphasize performative wokeness than to confront the growing threats against our country. They make America seem weak — and there are consequences to that.
Remember how, during the Afghanistan debacle, Blinken and Biden reserved their harshest words for the governor of Florida, while attempting to remind the newly installed Taliban about inclusivity and women’s rights? The Taliban just beheaded a female volleyball coach and is still keeping girls out of school.
It’s inevitable in a democratic republic that foreign policy would, in some ways, become secondary on one level to electoral politics. But the safety and security of the United States is not a political matter — at least, it shouldn’t be. And conducting foreign policy with one eye on the press and the other on Twitter is no way to run a superpower.
Perhaps before they behead the next woman, the Taliban will ask her what her preferred pronoun is to put on her headstone. That would probably satisfy the Biden administration.