Wednesday, September 5, 2012
On Message: Obama Really Likes China- Again
By John Ransom
I’ve hit Barack Obama so many times for being only partially formed person that it seems almost trite for me to bring it up again. It’s not just that his personality is rather plastic, but it’s also that he seems to want to conceal the real man deep inside of himself.
This duality of Obama has been so well-documented that it needs little exposition.
But over the weekend, the Big Zero made such a startling admission for one seeking the presidency for a second time that it’s notable for what it reveals about Obama’s true feeling and what it reveals about our country.
Speaking with a reporter in Colorado, Obama gave himself a grade of incomplete when asked to grade himself on the economy. And then, in almost an aside, he made an admission of a very different order.
While most commentators are focused on his grade, it’s not his admission of the economic failure of the administration alone that disqualifies for a second term.
Rather it’s his admiration for one of the most despotic, authoritarian regimes in history that should give every American pause.
“You know I would say incomplete,” Obama told us about his economic performance. “Historically after these big financial crises, where a lot of people are dealing with debt or a collapse of a housing market you know that creates a bigger challenges and we're seeing this not just in the United States but around the world. I mean Europe is going through a difficult time, parts of Asia, even China [Editor’s emphasis] are going through a difficult time right now."
Nothing displays the disconnect between Obama and most of the country than the phrase “even China.”
At what point did China become the measure of all things American? Or economic?
Oh, yes: It was the moment we elected a guy who thinks the American Dream is a government-sponsored sleep experiment conducted by the National Institutes of Health.
This is not the first time that Obama has mentioned China wistfully, either.
As the New York Times reported in March of 2011: “Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, ‘No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.’”
Yeah, it would be so much easier if Obama didn’t have to self-censor his comments either. That way, he could just be himself and let it all hang out. Instead he thinks things that we will likely never know.
Because the biggest problem Obama has isn’t his poor handling of the economy. It’s that many voters don’t trust that he believes in things that historically have made America great, like industry and entrepreneurship; self-reliance and innovation.
I mean here’s a guy who has dusted of the antique economic theories that were relegated to the dustbin of history in the last 25 years of the 20th Century.
“Many of the bedrock assumptions of American culture -about work, progress, fairness and optimism,” writes David Leonhardt, “are being shaken. Arguably no question is more central to the country’s global standing than whether the economy will perform better in the future than it has in the recent past.”
And as usual Obama has the equation all wrong.
China lives- as does the rest of the world- off the engine of the American economy, not the other way around.
For the rest of us besides Obama, there really isn’t much to admire about China except sheer population numbers. Their population of 1.3 billion people – 4 times the population of the US) produces a GDP that’s roughly half of the output of the United States. While the growth rate of GDP in China over the last decade is certainly impressive, it’s a measure of how communism mostly missed the developments of the 20th Century, rather than a spectacular feat of economics or innovation by China.
China is still a country where mass arrests happen and forced labor is a punishment meted out for political dissent.
And unlike Obama, I believe that China faces a reckoning because of the rapid transformation that is taking place in the country. No country can take the great leap forward that China is trying without a certain amount of dislocation. And in a society where freedom is hampered as severely as is the case behind the bamboo curtain that dislocation will come with all the warning of an earthquake and many times the force.
We, in the United States, used to know these things about the wages of tyranny and freedom.
Imagine if Harry Truman had said: Sure, things are tough in the United States, but even the Chinese are struggling?
Every time Obama steps from behind the protection of his teleprompter shield and reveals what’s really on his mind, we find a man not in sympathy with his times
But the applause of the ruling elite that rings in Obama’s ears when he says such foolish things however is of more moment.
One day we shall be rid of this president- by term-limit, if not election. But the attitudes of our new nobles will be much, much harder to shake.
To read another article about China, click here.
To read another article by John Ransom, click here.
Posted by Brett at 1:03 AM