On Sunday’s “60 Minutes” Lesley Stahl interviewed “China’s Real Estate Mogul” who, along with her husband, has tremendous clout in Chinese construction. The full interview was long and fascinating. The reason for making the excerpt above the focus of this week’s journal is because it highlights a fundamental corruption in the way “The American Dream” is perceived.
Early in the interview, Lesley Stahl made a jarring comment that equated the American Dream with material prosperity alone. When Zheng Xin points out that China has produced more self-made billionaires than any other country in the world, Stahl pipes up that it sounds like the American Dream. The url even reads: “…china-new-home-to-the-american-dream”. But towards the end of the interview, Ms. Xin demonstrated her idealistic side.
She compared China’s “efficient” state capitalism to the U.S. brand, where we “need to go through Congress, Senate, and debate.” And she concludes: “… I have to say, for a Chinese living in China… if you ask one thing everyone craves for is what? It’s not food. It’s not homes. Everyone crave for democracy. I know there’s a lot of negativities in the U.S. about the political system, but don’t forget, you know, 8,000 miles away, people in China are looking at it, longing for it.”
Ms. Stahl seemed quite startled — and as the segment’s producer points out, the testimonial was not in response to a question. She didn’t need to make such a courageous and provocative remark. It just “bubbled out.” Because the real American Dream, which gives us the freedom to be who we want to be, is the World’s Dream.
The reason that is so relevant to our WTC focus, is that we started this site a year ago today for one reason: We believe that the failure of democracy at the WTC — the place where we were attacked for being Americans — is pervasive and needs to be thoroughly examined and addressed. Because the only way to be worthy of the blessings of self-determination and self-government is to be true to those ideals and defend them when they are attacked. And that goes double when the place they are attacked is Ground Zero.