The American founders believed that prolonged rivalry and conflict abroad would eventually degrade the country’s democracy at home. Today, many of the strongest warnings against a new cold war with China have a similar ring.

The New York Times, the Economist and pundits such as Fareed Zakaria have all warned of a “new Red Scare.” The implication is that geopolitical dangers could again cause a narrowing of political expression, a feverish search for internal enemies and a corrosion of the liberties U.S. foreign policy is supposed to defend.

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