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China Commentary– Youthful Musings on the Environment, Culture & Development

Media Bias: Bogus Balance & American Insecurity

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Thomas Friedman’s article on one-party autocracy versus one-party democracy caused quite a stir online.  I linked to the story in my last post, noting that I, too, believe China’s–err– unique form of government offers great possibilities.

I say this knowing full well the shortcomings of the system.  But as I have discussed at length with many friends across the globe, why is it that American Brand Democracy is the only viable option for governance?  If anything, our US government has shown tremendous flaws over the last eight months.  How can a president elected with a clear majority lead a Congress in which his party controls a clear majority– all elected by the voice of the people– and still not pass crucial, popularly-supported legislation in a timely manner?

There needs to be alternatives, more than just deciding between a congress or parliament.  Countries’ unique social/economic/political/historical variables necessitate complex systems of integration into government.  American Brand Democracy exports to South America and Africa have mostly lead to countries mired in poverty, with political elites fattening pockets off of exported natural resources.  Is that what were talking about here?

So why is it impossible to write about China’s system making progress without mentioning it’s faults if those faults are not applicable to the story?  Must they always be?  Do we mention the historical failings of American regime building efforts in every piece of news on Afghanistan and Iraq?  Would that not be tedious and redundant?

The Friedman article brought to light an interesting argument in a tongue-in-cheek way:  Why does China seem so much more capable of major reform than the US?  That’s a question that needs an answer.

Here’s another:  Why are Americans so reluctant to offer any iota of praise for China?  Is the fear that palpable?  Is our identity as Americans jeopardized by the fact that our paralysis is allowing others to stand?

Follow this link to read a very insightful analysis of this banal media bias.

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  1. […] When seemingly common-sense bills get hung up in the sticky bureaucratic web that constitutes our legislative process, it makes me think of the irony of our American brand of democracy.  China is an autocracy, but they can swiftly pass legislation to increase the funding for green energy and scientific research.  In fact, this legislative maneuverability they have is a huge part of why China is growing so quickly, and is currently leading the world in green energy technology.  We can’t get an energy bill off the ground.  NYT columnist Thomas Friedman frequently writes columns (and books) on the subject, and a friend of mine recently posted this. […]


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