US-China Relationship

As China grows in power and influence, are US and China headed to a collision? Is there anything we, as commoners, can do to avoid that future? I believe common people are the only hope, since politicians in both countries are driven by their self-interest to escalate the conflict, and rational thinking is the best pre-emptive strategy. Hence this blog. I'll try to keep it as free and open as possible. But any and all racial bashing will be deleted immediately upon notice.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Our Democracy Has Failed

Iraq, Katrina, bin Laden still alive and getting his kidney medicine and surgeon general's recommended daily supply of vitamins and minerals, skyrocketing deficit threatening the fundamental strength of dollar and the long-term viability of US economy, increasing economic disparity between rich and poor threatening the very foundation of our civil society, surging tide of religious fundamentalism (only Christian branded), divisive closemindedness and hatred emerging in multitude while hiding under the righteous label of "moral clarity," rapidly disappearing middle in everything from economic status to political standing...

Are these all Bush's failures?

Maybe, but only in a very superficial sense. This "defense" shouldn't be taken lightly, considering that I've been a staunch "Bush hater" ever since 9/11. In case you're wondering, I had been almost equally apathic between Bush and Gore before but Bush's cowardly behavior on the day of 9/11 thoroughly disgusted me. And it's gotten increasingly worse ever since.

I mean, our system is supposed to withstand the impact of a few colossal idiots or even "evildoers." How can it fail so completely?

Underlying all the colossal failures are a type of structural failure. There has to be. Terrorists not only brought down World Trade Center, they also knocked down the entire check-and-balance mechanism designed by the founding fathers.

If bin Laden's goal is indeed to destroy our way of life, then he's managed quite a success, with the unwitting but sweeping cooperation from us, the American people.

Let's do a technical analysis on the collapse of American democracy on the tragic day of 9/11.

Failure of the Media

The first structural failure point is the media. Mainstream media have largely and immediately abandoned their unoffical yet pivotal societal responsibility of being the ultimate checker. Under the pretense of "war time," all dissent were quickly silenced. All criticism, even simple questioning, of the executive branch were effectively banned. Fruitless hunt of the Anthrax culprit was quickly and quietly swept under the carpet. Questioning of Bush's swift decision to shift focus away from bin Laden to Iraq was never given any meaningful exposure. Coverage of the Iraq war debate was heavily skewed against the dissent.

If Bush has failed so phenominally, it's only because the media have given him a free pass to fail.

Interesstingly, rumor has it that Jiang Zemin, the head of Chinese communist party and government and military, held great fascination and admiration on how brilliantly and stealthly the Bush administration managed to manipulate and control the media and public opinion after 9/11. He asked his propaganda people to conduct a thorough study of the mechanism. Indeed, the Chinese government could never have pull it off with such ease and grace.

As a Chinese who lived through part of the Cultural Revolution, the Bush administration sends chills down my spine. The arrogance, the secrecy, the absolutism, all sound frighteningly familiar.

Am I the only one finding the following observations odd? On one hand,

  • the failure to capture bin Laden,

  • the failure to capture the anthrax culprit,

  • the almost complete disappearance of presidential press conferences,

  • the fact that Bush has taken one two disasters(one natural, one man-made) with open-ended spending power and consistently grossly misunderestimated budgets whenever provided,

  • the conspicuous innocence of Kenny boy of Enron,

  • the repeated and persistent unfair (or even corrupt/criminal, quite likely) award of federal contracts to Haliburton and other companies with close ties to the administration

  • ...

got little to no mainstream coverage. On the other hand, we find plenty of headline space for Martha Steward's <4,000 share stock sale.

As everyone has known all along, democracy cannot function without independent, professional media. But now we have living proof.

Failure of the Congress

With the media channeling public opinion with a bias (and manufacturing/shaping public opinion in a self-fulfilling prophacy), the Congress, not surprisingly, quickly betrayed their duty of maintaining accountability of the executive branch. They gave the Whitehouse and Pentagon unprecedented power and said: here, take them, don't bother to report back. Failure to capture or kill bin Laden was never questioned. The pretense for invading Iraq, which has been discredited in its entirety by now, was never questioned.

Fiscally, this is arguably the most irresponsible in the history of this country. Our politicians have finnaly figured it out: it's not my money, and the more I spend it, the more compassionate/powerful I become and, besides, it doesn't hurt to doll out a few hundred million for the Friends & Family plan so why the hell not? Nobody checks or cares anyways.

With the Congress aligned with the executive branch, the marvelous design of the founding fathers has been circumvented.

If Bush has failed so phenominally, it's only because the Congress has given him a free pass to fail.

(To be coninued...
Failure of the Political Opposition
Failure of the Constituency
It's All Because We're Cowards)


Blogger Foobarista said...

I agree that things are bad, and for many of the same reasons, although my take is rather opposite:

1. Starting in 2003, the MSM shifted hard into an anti-Bush stance. Its coverage has been informed by its anti-Bushism ever since, with its take on Katrina as some sort of collosal Bush screwup as the ultimate Bad Take. (See the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the LA Times for good articles on the collosally bad and race-baiting coverage of Katrina.)

2. The Democrats are selling out the country by not being a mature, viable opposition. Between wacked-out conspiracy mongering, race-baiting, and general airheadedness (Feinstein opposes Roberts because she didn't get a feel for him "as a father"? Airhead!), the Dems are missing a big chance for a major realignment in their favor.

3. The rest of the opposition is a wierd mix of aging hippie moonbats, unreconstructed Communists (International ANSWER), "anti-war" pro-suicide-bomber types who seem to be more interested in supporting enemies than opposing war, civilization-hating eco-religionists, and a grab-bag of wierdos of the "Free Mumia" variety. The reaction of many: why vote for someone supported by this group of crazies?

4. Billionaire ego-crats like Soros don't help any. You group him with a bunch of Hollywood ninnies, UN tranzi crooks, "post-modern" intellectuals, and Chomsky-quoting "smart" people and you'll get eight more years of poorly-challenged Republican rule.

Where's the Real Opposition? An opposition who can actually oppose with ideas that can fix things instead of the standard moonbat/leftoid give-me-money litany? If it shows up, I'll vote for it.

2:33 AM  
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