Greg Autry

Fighting for space, not over it.

42, America and the Moral Equivalence Lesson

“42” is the feel good movie of the year. Heck, it was even worth watching with rabid Dodgers fans.*

Seriously , Jackie Robinson’s inspiring story reminds me of something I’m constantly trying to explain to my cynical critics who are always quick to produce a list of American historical sins as though some awful thing that happened 150 or 70 years ago in the US should excuse any manner of Chinese misbehavior today via the magic of  moral equivalence.

42

What they miss is that in America we celebrate our errors, not bury them like a Chinese bullet train accident and in doing so we move forward and get stronger. Every player in baseball wears Jackie Robinson’s number on Jackie Robinson Day each April to celebrate his victory over our own evil behavior. There is a giant monument to Crazy Horse being built by the family of an Italian immigrant to celebrate the great native American who stood up to the U.S. Army and killed a famous general. There is a memorial to the four student protesters slain at Kent state.  These days Americans are having an anxious public debate over the role of the state in marriage and whether rights are limited by sexual preference. We will survive this, eventually do the right thing and come out a better and stronger nation. It may seem embarrassing, but it is something to be proud of, because America is not a static concept or even an ideology; America is a process.

America is not great because it is perfect; rather America is great because it aspires to perfection.

The day we see a statue to the fallen at Tiananmen Square on 六 四 is the day we will know there is hope for China and the world. That would take more courage than China’s leadership can muster. Xi Jinping is not half the man Branch Rickey was.

 

Greg Autry serves as Senior Economist with the American Jobs Alliance, Economist with theCoalition for a Prosperous America and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – a Global Call to Action. He blogs regularly at: http://www.gregautry.us/blog  and on the Huffington Post.

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*I’m a die hard Anaheim Angels fan as a distant relative of mine founded the team, but for today I’ll wear blue.

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