The World's 2 Great Powers Choose Their Leaders

By James Fallows

OK, I mean the U.S. and China. We make our choice, in the embarrassingly slipshod and sometimes deliberately unfair democratic way we have. They make their choice in the next couple of days, in a process that is embarrassing and unfair in a host of other ways.

Here's a nice immediate reminder of the comparison and contrast. The brand experience manager for Timbuk2 in San Francisco, who is also my daughter-in-law, just put up a post of various get-out-the-vote activity in her office. She includes this picture of her own "I voted!" sticker.

IVoted.png

My two simultaneous thoughts:
  • Good for America (and California, and San Francisco) that is has the spirit for that kind of button. My one guiding insight about America over the years is that our openness to the world's talent, through immigration, has been and remains the strategic advantage we have over anyplace else.

  • Not so good for China that lots of people in America can wear buttons saying "我已 投 票!" while almost no one (apart from those in the upper reaches of the Communist Party) can do so in China itself. For more, check out again this interview with Chen Guangcheng.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/the-worlds-2-great-powers-choose-their-leaders/264630/