Ex-U.S. Labor Chief Says New, Hot 'Cold War' In the Offing
There has been a quiet understanding that we’re on the brink of a new cold war, potentially even a hot one – which requires that we join together to survive.
Photo Insert: “Putin has brought a fractured NATO together. Maybe he’s bringing America back together too. It’s the thinnest of silver linings to the human disaster he’s creating," stressed former labor US Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
"I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest something that would have seemed utter nonsense as late as a month ago: I’m seeing the stirrings in Washington of a new era of … I’m not sure what to call it. ‘Unity’ is way too strong. ‘Bipartisanship’ is premature. ‘De-partisanship’ is too clunky. But something new seems to be happening, and Vladimir Putin is responsible,” wrote former US labor secretary Robert Reich in a column for The Guardian.
“It’s a subtle shift – more of tone than anything else. I saw it when Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed Congress from Ukraine. When he showed lawmakers a gut-wrenching video of the war’s consequences, many eyes filled with tears. The lawmakers shared, according to Maine’s independent senator Angus King, ‘a collective holding of breath.’ That Republicans and Democrats shared anything – that they were even capable of a collective emotion – is itself remarkable,” Reich argued.
Reich said that looking back, he wondered if the old cold war wonder if the cold war had held America together – gave us common purpose, reminded us of our interdependence. With its end, perhaps we had nowhere to turn except on each other. “If the cold war had not ended, I doubt Gingrich would have been able to launch a new internal war inside America. Had the Soviet menace remained, I doubt Donald Trump would have been able to take up Gingrich’s mantle of hate and conspiracy,” he surmised.
“Putin has brought a fractured NATO together. Maybe he’s bringing America back together too. It’s the thinnest of silver linings to the human disaster he’s creating, but perhaps he’ll have the same effect on the US as the old Soviet Union did on America’s sense of who we are,” Reich stressed.