I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my wife and I were celebrating 40 years of marriage, so we took a trip to China.
From the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing; then Terra Cotta Warriors near Xian; the stunning skyline of Shanghai; and to the Sichuan Province and Chengdu.
Now it was there Janet held and fed a baby Panda. And no, I didn't bring a real one home for the grandkids!
I know that many Americans fear that China might get too strong. I gotta confess -- I'm not worried that China will get too strong. I'm worried that America might be getting too weak. Other nations having a strong economy -- that's not bad for the United States. It's one less hungry mouthed country wanting us to take care of it and its people -- and that's great. So if they have money, maybe they will buy the things that we innovate and make.
We need to be fear that we will quit innovating and making things -- and that happens because of excess taxation, regulation, and litigation. It drives the jobs and the money away from American working men and women. I was stunned that China is becoming more like America used to be, and America is becoming more like China used to be.
While America's infrastructure crumbles, China is busy building its roadways, bridges, airports, and utility systems.
China is still a communist ruled country and we're still a constitutional republic, but they are allowing more and more free enterprise and personal ownership, and we're watching our government take away land rights and personal and religious freedoms at a stunning rate.
Look, I don't want what still remains of Chinese communism, but maybe we could loan them our Constitution -- doesn't appear that we're using it much these days anyhow.
Now, we still have some advantages -- the Chinese exercise strict control over the Internet; they block Facebook, YouTube, and a lot of websites, including the New York Times because they feel like the New York Times is propaganda -- but then, we have members of Congress pushing for greater control over the Internet as well, and I'm not sure, but the Chinese might have it right on the New York Times.
They scrub their history books of moments like the brutal killing of protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989. It's sure a good thing we don't re-write our history just to ignore parts of it that aren't politically correct. But then again, have you seen an American history book lately?
The Chinese are notorious for spying on its citizens and using the full force of government to monitor its people and minimize dissent and religious expression. Thank God the United States would never do that!
Oh yeah, but then our government collects our phone calls, web searches, and tracks us and is systematically scrubbing God from the public square. China's government regulates much of daily life for its citizens, from housing, health care, education, and personal artistic freedom,
Even though one can see a lot of personal freedoms in public parks where people can sing, dance, or do Tai Chai, I'm pretty sure that if people used personal amplification devices in New York's Central Park, the strong arm of New York City would stop that.
China has a history of dealing harshly with those it perceives as its enemies -- some of them just disappear. We have strict constitutional protections in America that will guarantee civil rights -- being able to face our accuser, not having our homes searched or our property seized without a warrant. Unless of course, we happen to be a citizen sitting where a drone drops a bomb or fires a missile at us, but that saves the cost of a pesky trial. And sometimes the people that we kill aren't even our enemies. Sometimes, they are our veterans, who thought we'd give them protection and health care. They gave us our liberties; by mistreating them and killing them, we take away theirs.
I don't fear that China is becoming more like the United States used to be; I fear that America is becoming more like China used to be.