This is why the religious right lost the battle on gay marriage. They erroneously believed that the common American value system was their religious beliefs. It wasn't. Our nation's value system is a belief -- often inconsistently held, but one held nonetheless -- that individual rights and individual liberty matter.
As governing systems, both China's autocracy and America's democracy are facing crisis. In many ways, their crises are the mirror image of each other -- and so are the solutions. To fix itself, China needs more re-politicization -- robust popular feedback and accountability to aerate its hidebound mandarinate. American democracy needs more de-politicization --stronger meritocratic, non-partisan and deliberative practices and institutions -- to escape its capture by the populist, short-term horizon of voters, organized special interests and the paralyzing gridlock of its adversarial political parties. Our two political cultures are as distinct as our economies are intertwined. Yet both have much to learn from each other's strengths as well as weaknesses. In short, China needs to lighten up; America needs to tighten up.
The wisdom of privacy is fundamental to the healthy evolution and future of human beings. It is perhaps the most essential ingredient of the natural order and balance in the social milieu and for a healthy human existence on earth. It makes the privacy revolution we are facing real, relevant, and vital to preserving ourselves as societies and individuals.
Conservative Republicans are using the system, because they can, to bring the healthcare bill back on the agenda by refusing to pass the omnibus budget bill for 2014. This is possible by design and a result of the Separation of Powers. That system of checks and balances incorporates the need for agreement and compromise between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.