Tom Cotton Only Wants Chinese Students To Learn Real American Stuff, Like Shakespeare

Right Wing Extremism
Tom Cotton Only Wants Chinese Students To Learn Real American Stuff, Like Shakespeare

It's not a sure bet, but the odds look good that our long national nightmare will end in November -- at least the part that involves Donald Trump as president. Let's hope by then we've also dealt with the rest of the nightmare where we can't leave our homes or make bad decisions in crowded bars.

Once Trump is vanquished, Joe Biden has suggested the GOP will have an “epiphany" and suddenly become the Republicans we remember from episodes of the "West Wing." Seriously, look at this. It's adorable.

The West Wing: Ethical

Unfortunately, the next post-Trump generation will more likely consist of craven opportunists like former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and just all-around creeps like Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton. We've documented Cotton's long and dickish history, but he keeps dropping new racist tracts. During an appearance yesterday on "Sunday Morning Futures," Cotton treated the Fox News audience to a heaping helping of xenophobia and racial scapegoating.

Host Maria Bartiromo pitched Cotton the theory that China is looking to “save face" by coming up with a vaccine before the rest of the world, and that that could only happen if China steals it from America. Cotton was happy to play along with this impromptu game of "Let's Just Assume The Worst About Those Damn Commies."

COTTON: The Chinese Communist Party has been stealing America's intellectual property for decades and they're not going to magically stop in the middle of a pandemic [...] In the middle of a pandemic, what's the most valuable intellectual property in the world? It's the research that our great laboratories and life science companies are doing on prophylactic drugs, therapeutic drugs and ultimately a vaccine. So I have little doubt that the Chinese intelligence services are actively trying to steal America's intellectual property as it relates to the virus they unleashed on the world.

Cotton keeps promoting the narrative that COVID-19 was a deliberate attack on the world, rather than a series of bungling missteps with a disastrous result, like Trump's election. Cotton contends China wants “credit" for coming up with a vaccine, which it will use as “leverage" against the rest of the world. It's a ridiculously circuitous plan.

Bartiromo asked Cotton about his racist proposal to deny Chinese students visas to study advanced sciences.

BARTIROMO: They want to get into the Gilead Sciences and Googles of the world to steal that research, is that right?

COTTON: It's a scandal to me that we have trained so many of the Chinese Communist Party's brightest minds to go back to China to compete for our jobs, to take our business, and ultimately to steal our property and design weapons and other devices that can be used against the American people.

Cotton suggested that if these Chinese spies want to infiltrate American institutions of higher learning, they should only learn useless crap like ... theatre and the American system of government. Then they can return home to live in their parents' basements.

COTTON: If Chinese students want to come here and study Shakespeare and the Federalist Papers, that's what they need to learn from America. They don't need to learn quantum computing.

I'm gonna pull my theatre geek card here and suggest that what Chinese students “need to learn from America" is not William Fucking Shakespeare. There might be another country -- perhaps a close US ally -- with a greater claim to subject matter expertise. We can certainly stake a claim to August Wilson, Tony Kushner, and Lillian Hellman.

Germans also developed the fundamentals of quantum mechanics, so Cotton really has no idea what he's talking about. Shakespeare's Caesar believed that men who “think too much" are dangerous. Republicans like Cotton prove that willful idiocy is an even greater threat.

Now enjoy some American-grown Shakespeare!

To Be Or Not To Be - Hamlet (Andrew Scott Full Soliloquy)

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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