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Fred Reed breaks down the differences between the US Empire and the stable, growing, and the proud and coherent nation of China.

In a democracy the rabble, sensing their numerical advantage, will always try to pull their superiors down. They will not make an effort, probably futile, to rise. A central strain in American culture is hostility to elitism, which means a preference for the better to the worse. The deep resentment of the superior leads to a celebration of inadequacy seen in affirmative action, the abolition of standardized tests and advanced placement courses for the bright, and the lowering of academic standards. We call this “inclusiveness.”

I suspect the Chinese call it “lunacy.” China finds its very brightest young and sends them to the best schools in China or the US. The notion that virtue requires that a country suffer mildly retarded brain surgeons or barely numerate physicists is peculiarly American.

Elections, inevitable in democracies, are a terrible idea. An election is a competitive shooing of fools in directions profitable to those doing the shooing. Democracy is thus a mechanism for the promotion of rogues and rascals. It works. America now has a most wonderfully ineffectual and embarrassing government.

The holding of elections–these being combinations of raffles, vaudeville, and popularity contests–every two, four, or six years ensures that the beneficiaries will concentrate their thoughts more on shooing than doing.

Mr. Reed must not be aware of the stellar events of say, Iowa, last week.