The NYT has two good op-eds about the U.S’s form of Government today. The first is an interesting op-ed, Why China’s Political Model is Superior” which discusses the culturally different attitudes about the function of Government in the U.S and in China. It concludes, of course, that the Chinese attitude toward Government and the Government that results from it is better than what the U.S. has.
Really looking at our Government from another point of view is an interesting exercise. Is the Chinese way better? Is it better to have a small group of people doing central planning for over a billion people? The overwhelming majority of Americans would answer no without hesitation.
But this second op-ed, Electoral Wasteland, on who’s actually voting in the Republican primary caused me to wonder if we don’t in fact have a system that is in fact closer to the Chinese system than we would like to admit. Does the U.S. have a Government that is run by a small group of people? Sadly, it would seem the answer is yes.
Less than 11% of the total population of the states that have held Republican primaries so far participated. The people who did participate are not representative of the U.S. population. They were, by and large, old, white, conservative Christians. They do not reflect our growing racial or cultural value diversity. The op-ed points out that in fact it is more representative of the U.S. in the 1890′s than today.
How did that happen? Simple, the American people don’t take their responsibility for participating in Government seriously. By not voting we give control over our Country to those few that do vote, those few that might not reflect our beliefs and values. By not voting we weaken the democracy our forefathers fought to give us.
So maybe it’s true that the Chinese form of Government is better than what the U.S has today. If it is true, it’s only because the American people allow it to be.