Art in a Functional Form  The Nanjing Bridge

I’m going out on a limb to make a prediction.

I foresee that the entire political debate will change after 8/8/8.

That date marks the opening of the Chinese Olympics in Beijing. American will be wrenched from their deep sleep REM’s and realize that as a nation, we are no longer a first class nation.

Do some of you remember your Sputnik moment? Back then, after reading of our nation’s failure after failure to send a object outside our troposphere, suddenly looking up in night sky, or listening to a certain frequency upon our am radio, was proof that our “enemy” had the capacity to drop an atomic bomb on any one of our cities…..We were inferior.

Modern day America is about to have its Sputnik moment as television crews crawl over every element of Chinese society looking for a new angle on the China story.

We all have images of China. But what we will see in our living rooms this summer, unfortunately will not be reinforcing those past images of China which we carry in our heads..

City of Jinan, Shangtong Provence, China (never heard of it)

Some of you have been to Japan? One of the best descriptions of Japan, coming from one of our state’s military heroes, is that country is similar to the United States, except it lacks ghetto people and redneck hillbillies weighing them down. Everyone is well dressed, polite, intelligent, and very, very clean….But as Americans when we visit Japan, we feel non threatened because it is a small country. Our nation has almost three times as many people.

Not what your were expecting, No?

The new China is like Japan in cultural modernity, but so much bigger. It has three times our number of inhabitants. A couple of examples: I was amazed to learn that the Chinese bring a full scale new power plant on line every week……That they grow a power grid the size of Germany’s, every year. That whereas some our our cities are proud to have a beltway around their center, some Chinese cities have 8 beltways ringing their metropolitan area…….

But my greatest surprise was learning just how much they owned America. Investing not only in our government bonds, but also in our businesses as well. We are about to find out just how far behind the Chinese we actually are…….

And it will shake us up….It will make things more difficult for the United States upon the world’s stage. For as China’s properity rises, and that of the United States falls; as the US begins to cut back aid to starving countries, and China steps up to increases their share, the Democratic model we have so eloquently held up as our example, will appear somewhat tarnished when it is stood up and compared to the Chinese model….

For the argument goes, if a totalitarian government is endemically bad for a nation, how is it that China is wealthy, and the democratic US is bankrupt? How is it that the Chinese people appear to be happy, happier than most Americans, even though their government is totalitarian?…..From the perspective of a third world country searching for a model in this day and time, following the path of democracy looks economically unstable.

To the rest of the world, China did the right thing, The US did the wrong. You may argue otherwise, but China has got the money to prove it….

Which means after 8/8/8, we will have an entirely different campaign than Iraq and Iran.