The Corner

It’s Like He Does it On Purpose

Thomas Friedman does it again. He literally fantasizes about American becoming like China — but just for a day! From Meet the Press yesterday:

MR. FRIEDMAN:  Well, David, it’s been decimated.  It’s been decimated by everything from the gerrymandering of political districts to cable television to an Internet where I can create a digital lynch mob against you from the left or right if I don’t like where you’re going, to the fact that money and politics is so out of control–really our Congress is a forum for legalized bribery.  You know, that’s really what, what it’s come down to.  So I don’t–I, I–I’m worried about this, it’s why I have fantasized–don’t get me wrong–but that what if we could just be China for a day?  I mean, just, just, just one day.  You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment.  I don’t want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness.  But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions.

Can someone please tell Tom Friedman that China only produces “suboptimal solutions” too. That’s all humans can ever, ever do. The beauty of our system is that it takes this reality into account. All of those checks and balances aren’t a bug of the system, they’re a feature!

I’ve tried to tell him that, really I have.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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