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A Tale of Two Rulers

November 13, 2020

Once upon a time there were two rulers on this planet, Xi Jinping of China, and Donald Trump of the United States of America. In late October, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party met to confirm the position of Xi Jinping who has no identifiable rivals or successors. Amazingly, there was no discussion of "China's Chernobyl," the outbreak of the corona virus in Wuhan, which despite an attempted cover-up, was eventually solved by draconian lockdowns and tracing measures. As shown below, the New York Times image of Xi's meeting seems pretty calm and controlled. Shortly after the Central Committee meeting, President Trump faced his re-election process which the Chinese foretold would be a farce with allegations of voter fraud.  
The prophet Xi was correct regarding the voter fraud allegations which followed Trump's defeat. Perhaps Xi had studied a bit of history from the 2016 U.S. presidential election. At that time, it was alleged that millions of undocumented immigrants voted illegally which caused Trump to lose the popular vote. The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, undertook the research but found no basis for the claim.  

Subsequently, the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. accessed the Heritage Foundation's database to analyze the data gathered. I can speak to the capability of Brookings as I had the privilege to participate in one of their outstanding programs some years back. On June 2, 2020, Elaine Kamarck and Christine Stenglein published their findings entitled Low Rates of Fraud in Vote-by-Mail States Show the Benefits Outweigh the Risks. The Brookings analysis of the Heritage data for the five states that have been using vote-by-mail prior to 2018 showed that there were 44 cases of voter fraud relative to 49,917,586 votes cast by those states representing a meaningless percentage.  

Accordingly, where do we stand with China? Recently, Foreign Affairs published an article entitled China Thinks America Is Losing. China's rulers believe that the United States is rapidly declining due to Washington's efforts to suppress China's rise. Trump's trade war, technology bans and determination to blame China for his own mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic have all confirmed that the United States is determined to marginalize China. Prior to the U.S. election, there was a China view that both parties were destroying the Americans' trust of elections and bringing political and social division to a higher level. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see the media coverage of our electoral process in a modern Hong Kong shopping mall.
Back on mainland China, primitive coverage is provided with a newspaper encased in glass and mounted on a frame in a park. Therefore, China may be critical of our system, but their people take a keen interest in it. Moreover, there is no doubt that democracy would be the clear winner of any choice offered to the masses.  
In a very strange cross-cultural manner, there are similarities between the two leaders-they both command abject loyalty and devotion even though their own intelligence may not measure up to that of others around them.  
Recently in China, a wealthy real estate developer, Ren Zhiqiang, a.k.a., "Big Cannon Ren"called Mr. Xi a "clown" during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak. He is now serving an 18 year prison term. Even the famous and immensely wealthy, Jack Ma shown below, had his $37 billion public offerring of Alibaba's Ant Group pulled following critcisms he had made about the China banking system.  

So, where are we? Emperor Xi has everything under control and will be emperor for life as long as he is alive. The weakness in China is just that-a one-man band who is not infallible. Meanwhile, Trump is trying to defy legal gravity relative to unproven voter fraud. Perhaps he is merely trying to keep his base energized to work through the Georgia senatorial runoffs in early January so as to maintain Republican control of the Senate. As fragile as it may be when our leader is a former television showman with a standard line of "You're Fired" which he continued into his government life, we have the best system on the planet. Our democracy does enable us to vote our elected office holders out of office.  
Abraham Lincoln is often cited with the below quote: 


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