So says New York Time useful idiot and column filler Thomas Friedman. I am a day late reporting on this, and the sheer lunacy of his column has been subsumed under the background noise surrounding Obama’s address to Congress. Nevertheless, his idiocy is far too stunning to bypass.
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.
And just what might those drawbacks be? Perhaps a horrific record of human rights abuses, forced abortions that have entirely distorted the balance of men and women in the population, constant violations of religious liberty, draconian
Jonah Goldberg comments: I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it’s the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn’t picky in this regard). This is the argument for an “economic dictatorship” pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It’s the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives.
How true Jonah how true. And indeed it should be shocking, but it no longer is. Whatever admiration I had for Friedman has gone up in smoke along with his credibility.
The phrase “useful idiot” has been attributed to Lenin and supposedly references Western Communist sympathizers. Friedman certainly fits that category. Why should a columnist who enjoys tremendous wealth, prestige and freedom seek to praise a system as horrid as that of Communist China? It seems amazingly crazy, but in fact for the leftist, China is doing the right thing. They don’t mind restrictions on religion or abortion or organ harvesting. In fact they prefer it, as they always have, because it is always in service to some greater good to which freedom and liberty are but obstacles.
putting aside Friedman’s longing for fascism (as long as it supports his policies), Friedman’s entire premise is suspect. We haven’t enacted government-run health care precisely because we’re not a “one-party democracy.” Constituents have made their opposition plain to it across the nation, and Democrats understand that Republicans will replace many of their colleagues if they support ObamaCare. Obama’s approval numbers have dropped precipitously as well, because people dissent from the orthodoxy of the Democratic elites. That’s what has Friedman pining for Beijing.
Indeed. I have fallen asleep and awaken in a strange strange world. But I don’t want to live in Friedman’s world of one party autocracy. That’s what America has always stood against. Liberty is more important than universal health care coverage, more important than carbon regulation, and much more important that stroking Obama’s ego. Liberty and freedom are more important than shiny trains, even ones that go real fast.