New York Times writer Thomas Friedman has never been the sharpest tool in the shed, but he sinks to unprecedented levels of stupidity in this disgraceful column.
In this column Friedman lets slip a position way too many on the Left share, a position warned against by Paul Johnson in his excellent book Intellectuals. Here Friedman boldly rips the mask off and shows the world what he believes: that we are better off being ruled by an enlightened elite of intellectuals than submit ourselves to the filthy plebian democracy of the great unwashed.
Think I’m exaggerating? Try this:
There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.
Friedman then goes on to compare the American system unfavorably with the Communist dictatorship in China:
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. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.
Oh yes, it’s so much easier to get things done when you have an elite few with the power of life and death over 1.3 billion slaves.
Friedman’s point, if you can call it that, is that the Republicans are not helping President Obama achieve his goals. He’s confused by this since he insists that Obama is simply a centrist politician looking to do the right thing, not a socialist Leftwinger out to push an agenda. Because the Republicans aren’t helping, they are essentially creating a “one-party democracy.” Leaving legislation up to the Democrats, Obama is a victim of the different factions within that party while the Republicans just stand on the sideline, smirking. Let’s shed a tear for poor Barry, trying to govern with a large majority in the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. It’s so tough. Of course, Friedman should be aware that according to The Hill, Obama and the Democrats have shut the Republicans out of the health care debate since April, so I don’t know why he’s complaining that the GOP isn’t helping.
Of course, what Friedman means by “factions” is you. People are rising up against the goals that Friedman wants to see achieved. You proles are spoiling his Utopia, dammit!
This causes Friedman, a beneficiary of living in the most free country on Earth, to wax nostalgic for a dictatorship by “reasonably enlightened people” like…like…well, like Obama and Thomas Friedman.
Climate change has long been one of Friedman’s pet concerns, though in light of this column one can’t help wondering if he views global warming as merely a stalking horse for a completely centralized takeover of the country. Hey, he’s the one with a soft spot for a regime that crushes dissent, forces abortion, imprisons or murders dissidents and suppresses free speech. Friedman pines for an American government that pays no mind to the babblings of the little people who probably don’t read the New York Times. Friedman desires an American government that imposes the will of the few on the backs of the many, with all decisions made by a star chamber of the “reasonably enlightened.” I’m glad to see the paper that published Walter Duranty (and still has his Pulitzer award on display) is keeping up with their grand intellectual tradition.