Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 10, No. 5, May 2022
Attorney at Law
Editor’s note: This satire is meant for purposes of humor and should not be interpreted as historically accurate.
Henry Kissinger: Mr. President, I suggest we open up formal relations with Communist China and they will be our allies against the Soviet Union.
President Nixon: Do you feel we can trust their leader, Mao Tse Tung?
Henry Kissinger: Mao Tse Tung is the greatest mass murderer in history. He is responsible for more deaths than Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. He is a ruthless unscrupulous tyrant. So my answer is a most resounding yes.
President Nixon: Yes…I think I understand and can work with someone like that.
Henry Kissinger: A big challenge will be how we deal with Democratic and free Taiwan. They have been great friends and allies. Communist China regards them as a renegade state and China will not rest until they conquer Taiwan and take away their freedoms. China will subjugate them to unspeakable brutality because they dared to have freedom of speech, freedom of press, and the right to vote for their elected representatives. Mao will never forgive them.
President Nixon: The more I hear about this Mao Tse Tung guy the more I like him. If it ultimately means Taiwan loses its freedom, then that is the way the Chinese fortune cookie crumbles. Chuckles.
Henry Kissinger: Chuckles loudly. It is a pity the American voters will never discover what a great sense of humor you have.
President Nixon: I just thought of something brilliant: all my big corporate contributors have been complaining for years about having to pay workers a living wage with benefits. They have been really on me to do something. We can package this as saying this will help America’s economy because China has a billion consumers to buy our products. People will think we are creating jobs for our products.
Henry Kissinger: I know where you are going with this, Mr. President. We use this opening up of formal relations as a ruse to move manufacturing to China where our corporate contributors don’t have to pay living wages, no health benefits, no workman’s compensation. Moreover, the expensive environmental regulations will not be an issue. And the corporations will make money hand over fist.
President Nixon: Henry you are catching on. But don’t forget the money that will be saved by not having to follow OSHA worker safety guidelines.
Henry Kissinger: Mr. President, another excellent point. You do understand that once more of our manufacturing is shipped overseas, eventually we could be vulnerable to supply chain issues. China can use this to leverage strength if we try to stop them from increasing their attacks on human rights. The American consumers won’t tolerate anything delaying their furniture and electronics shipments.
President Nixon: No problem, Henry. Our corporate donors can then use this as an excuse to charge more money for their products.
Henry Kissinger: Mr. President, you are cunning. I have to say it is truly an honor to work with someone with your intellect and vision. You will repay your corporate donors back with something beyond their wildest dreams. Absolutely brilliant, Mr. President. Absolutely brilliant. But one thing we have to be careful about is the press.
President Nixon: What are you talking about?
Henry Kissinger: Mao will certainly have those sweat-shop workers busy around the clock. There is only so much humans can take before they break. After some point in time workers will surely try to kill themselves rather than work almost every minute of their waking lives. Ultimately, China will have to install nets so when people jump out of the windows, they won’t be able to kill themselves. If the press ever got a hold of that they would have a field day. They won’t miss an opportunity like that to get the public riled up. The circulation of the papers will increase, and the ratings of news shows will rise, resulting in big media profits. The press will be like a pit bull on that one. There is just too much money they stand to make.
President Nixon: Right, we will have to cash in a few of the political chips the media owes us. We must minimize the collateral damage to our sweat-shop policies. Otherwise the repercussions will be so cold we will have to keep our hands in our own pockets.
Henry Kissinger: We both know that this will result in the mass exodus of manufacturing in the United States. That loss will ultimately lead to the destruction of the middle-class. There will be a significant and growing reduction of our standard of living. Our economy will tumble. Our cities will decay and become wastelands of abandoned factories.
President Nixon: Henry, why did you have to say it that way and put a damper on my dinner plans for tonight?
Henry Kissinger: Do you really believe the American public and press are so stupid that they will not see where this new policy is going?
President Nixon: It was once said, never underestimate the stupidity of the American public. Truer words were never spoken. But for Checkers my daughter’s dog my career would have been over in the 1950’s. Chuckles. This adds new meaning to a dog is man’s best friend. Chuckles even more.
Henry Kissinger: There remains one problem, however. Surely, the exploitation of workers for economic gain in sweat-shops will have a chilling effect on American consumers desire for these foreign products.
President Nixon: Henry, if I agreed with you we would both be wrong. You can always count on Americans to do the right thing………after they exhausted all other options. We will both be long gone by the time they discover the correct option.
Henry Kissinger: By the time China’s economic strength will translate to military strength we will both be long gone for that one as well.
President Nixon: It is ironic that I built my political career on fighting communism and ultimately I will be responsible for communism’s defeat of freedom. But Henry, we must ensure this does not leak out to the media. There have been too many leaks to the media already. I have a group that will fix these leaks. They want to talk about some hotel called, Watergate. Secretary Jane, please tell the plumbers they can come in now.
Henry Kissinger: One last thing, Mr. President: is there anything that can change the obvious outcome?
President Nixon: History is something made by heroes. If there is such a leader that arises anything is possible.
T. Anthony Zielinski is an Attorney who was elected to public office for 32 consecutive years. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.