A 'Nation of Wusses' vs. a Rising China?

Author and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman appears on AsiaSociety.org on January 10 at 7:00 pm ET.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell made headlines early last week when he criticized the postponement of an NFL football game on account of a blizzard as an example of how America just isn't as tough as it used to be.  

"We've become a nation of wusses," Rendell told Philadelphia radio station 97.5, before adding, "The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China, do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down."

Does Rendell have a point? Most people would agree that the balance of energy, innovation, trade, wealth, power, and influence are shifting rapidly all over the world—and China and the United States are the two nations most clearly having to adjust to the new realities. But does that make the US "a nation of wusses?"

Asia Society offers its own take on these issues on Monday, January 10 at 7:00 pm ET, when noted New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and long-time China writer and Arthur Ross Director of the Asia Society's Center on US-China Relations Orville Schell meet to discuss China's inarguable rise in the world, and the implications for the US. Details on 'The US and China: How Should Americans View the New Balance of Power?' are here

Tickets for the program are sold out, but the conversation will also be a free live video webcast on AsiaSociety.org/Live from 7:00 to 8:30 pm ET.  

In the meantime, tell us what you think. Were Gov. Rendell's remarks in-bounds? Or are demagogues in the US beginning to cite China's growth as an easy rhetorical ploy?

Also, submit your questions for Thomas Friedman below. We'll pick the best ones to ask him during the event. 

About the Author

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Jeff Tompkins is New York Content Manager at Asia Society.