The Failed Showcasing of Liberal Democracy
What a study in contrasts Trump’s Asia trip is providing the world. I thought a bit about how especially China views the United States from the outside. What set this line of though in motion was the totally out of place question to Trump during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about gun control. Here we had Trump on stage with another world leader talking about the tense North Korea nuclear standoff, bilateral trade and relations between the US and Japan. What does the US press do? They use this forum for a domestic politically charged topic much better suited for press gaggles happening inside the borders of the United States. This wasn’t the time or place for such questions.
At approximately the same time, the so-called “Resistance” had their fizzled day of protest. We also saw the (what I hope becomes an annual tradition) screaming helplessly at the sky “protest” against Trump. If we view the adversarial relationship the press has had with the country’s elected leader together with the actions of the “Resistance” since the election we have a not particularly persuasive case for freedom of the press and the values of liberal democracy. Contrast and compare with Japan and China. I’ve watched a lot of amateur footage of Trump in Japan and China, and I have to say that they sure know how to keep things clean and organized. Japan had some anti-Trump protests (many were foreginers), but they were small and not in any way disruptive compared with Antifa in the US.
More than anything else, Japan, South Korea and China has shown respect. Respect for the leader of a strong foreign country. Respect that is almost completely absent amongst the media and the left in the US itself. One would think that the political differences between Trump and the domestic left would be significantly smaller than between democratic Trump and totalitarian China. Yet, it is the Chinese that have extended every courtesy and really made sure that the visit would be enjoyable and productive for Trump. What does this say for liberal democracy itself? It certainly doesn’t make the case for the necessity of freedom and free and fair elections as a requirement for getting things done.
China has reformed itself since the heyday of Communism. Through their embrace of controlled capitalism they have avoided the pitfalls of the former Soviet Union. China knows what they want and are working tirelessly towards achieving it. They already have the vast majority of the production of the strategically essential category of raw materials known as rare-earth minerals. Their interest in North Korea can easily be understood taking into account that North Korea has a vast quantity of these valuable assets ready for harvesting. China has also made leaps and bounds forward into positioning themselves in future oriented strategic industries. The US and the West in general seems to lack the will to maintain their historic prominence.
Guilt, Cultural Marxist nonsense and toxicity, crashing morals and ethics and the decline of long-term thinking is desperately plaguing the West. Instead of embracing what has historically made the West great, freedom – both cultural, religious, economic and political, Western countries seem unable to stand up for these values any more. The situation used to be different. Back in the Reagan days, people suffering under the yoke of communism risked life and limb to escape to freedom. A great example of this is the airing of the US TV-show “Dynasty” in then communist Romania. The leaders of that dictatorship thought that allowing the program to air would showcase the decadence and poor treatment of workers in the West. Instead, the people saw how great the poor workers had it materialistically. A car in the garage, vacations, a big house and so on.
If I were a leader of a new country and had to choose a system of governance, I would have to concede that liberal democracy isn’t doing a particularly good job of showing its traditional assets. Bickering, infighting, lying and deception at the hands of a calcified media hierarchy and ravenous outlaws on the left are not great selling points. While I still personally would much rather live where I live now in freedom with such problems, the clean and orderly nature of China combined with their clear vision, strategic thinking and superb execution does have a lot going for it.