Saturday, April 30, 2011
Hu Jintao Is Awesome
In Japan, when people screw up, they resign – sometimes permanently - from everything. At the very least, they say, “I’m sorry” and ask what they can do to make amends. This would not work in the U.S., primarily because we have taken the concept of ‘failure’ off the table. We no longer know what ‘failure’ is. Nor do we know ‘success’.
We use these terms loosely as carrots and sticks, depending on whether or not we like any given person. ‘Liking’ or not becomes the ultimate criteria that dictates how we respond. If we like somebody and they do something bad, we either ignore it or shift the blame to someone whom we do not like. Similarly, if we hate a person, and this person then does something good, the credit for it gets shifted to someone we consider ‘good’ (even if he had nothing to do with it). In short, individual action – no matter what the result – will never be judged other than in light of one’s standing within the assumed hierarchy of liking or not liking.
That’s how we got to the point where anything a Democrat does is always good and anything a Republican does is always bad. The concept has now been expanded to include race, gender and religious affiliation. We have been told over and over again just who the bad guys are. Performance has very little to do with it, though we still use performance metrics as a club to enforce politically assigned assumptions.
We have since learned that a nation does not run itself; that competent leadership is essential. In fact, we have learned that things can always get worse. Bush wasn’t so great – or so we were told. ‘Anybody but Bush’ would do just fine. Many of us are still trying mightily to prove this theory right. After all, we’ve done exactly what we were told we should do. We’ve elected (good) Democrats to run the most important offices in the land. Things haven’t exactly worked out. We might even say that things have gotten worse. Now we are struggling with the notion that this is how things should actually be.
Katrina was easy. It was Bush’s fault all the way. Bush hated black people and wanted to give them their comeuppance. Now, with the tornados in the South, we can’t exactly blame Obama. He’s doing the best he can; besides, he has come out against ‘global warming’ which would presumably assure that nothing like this ever happens again. It’s only Republicans who continue to stand in the way of his ‘green power’ initiatives that’s keeping this president from solving our weather problem for good.
It’s pretty much the same thing with everything else. Life has become entirely too complicated for representative government to work. The leaders of China have a much easier time of it.
They can build dams, roads and cities at the snap of a finger. They can build high-speed rail and carrier battle groups. They can move populations. They can stifle opposition. No wonder President Obama thinks Hu Jintao is perfectly awesome.