Don’t blame China for America’s decline

Two things seem certain in modern presidential campaigns: Candidates will spend more time attacking each other than offering constructive alternatives, and one or both will attack China.In 1992, Bill Clinton accused President George H.W. Bush of coddling Chinese dictators. In 2004, John F. Kerry assailed “Benedict Arnold CEOs,” and by extension their allies in President George W. Bush’s administration, for shipping jobs to China.

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Obama and Chinese President Meeting Should Cover New Topics

When President Obama sits down next week with Chinese leader Hu Jintao in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the two are likely to cover the familiar terrain that has marked relations between their nations: the global economy, currency and trade disputes, carbon emissions and the upcoming Copenhagen summit, and, of course, Taiwan.

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Look to Beijing

A hundred years ago, London would have made sense as the spot where the world's leaders should gather, as they will this week, to grapple with a spreading economic crisis. The city was the early 20th century's nexus of finance and power, and Britain straddled the globe as the only true superpower. But we're in the 21st century now, and the G20 heads of state should not be plotting in the shadow of Big Ben. They should be sitting across from Mao's Tomb, near the Forbidden City, in the meeting halls off Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

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Means of Ascent

Some presidents shape their times more than others. The 1830s are known as the Age of Jackson, but few people think of the 1920s as the Age of Harding. The 1960s and 1970s were too dynamic and cacophonous to be defined by any one person, but Lance Morrow suggests that they were marked by three men who occupied the Oval Office during these years: John F. Kennedy, whose sudden death transformed him into an icon of progress and optimism; Lyndon B. Johnson, who managed to represent both the best of us with his commitment to civil rights and the worst of us with his mismanagement of the war in Vietnam; and Richard M. Nixon, whose fateful involvement with the Watergate break-in ended the proverbial innocence of America.

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The Turning Point for a Reluctant White House

When many people think about the March on Washington 40 years ago this week, and the civil rights movement in general, the images that remain strongest are of Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of grass-roots activists who took to the streets, organized protests and fought county by county in the South to force change.

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