But why should the Chinese take any notice when China controls the US national debt? No matter, they'll have to do what America wants. Washington locuta, causa finita. ("Rome has spoken, the case is closed," as Catholics used to say, way back before the sex scandals.)
UNSERIOUS AS the debate was, it showed up a very serious problem.
The French used to say that war is too serious to leave to the generals. World politics are certainly too serious to leave to the politicians. Politicians are elected by the people -- and the people have no idea.
It was obvious that both contenders avoided any specifics that would have demanded even the slightest knowledge from the listeners. 1.5 billion plus Muslims were considered to fall into just two categories -- "moderates" and "Islamists." Israel is one bloc, no differentiation. What do viewers know about 3,000 years of Persian civilization? True, Romney knew -- rather surprisingly -- what or where Mali is. Most viewers surely didn't.
Yet these very same viewers must now finally decide who will be the leader of the world's greatest military power, with a huge impact on everyone else.
Winston Churchill memorably described democracy as "the worst form of government, except for all the other forms that have been tried from time to time."
This debate could serve as evidence.