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I just returned from China where I had plenty of opportunity to look at their media. It is always good to see things from another point of view.

In a country where I was warned not to enter a crosswalk before the signal changed because there were face-recognition cameras, and people can supposedly lose privileges by being “antisocial,” the media, if anything, is more informative than our own.

While the Chinese media needs to be careful to be in harmony with its government, and some sources are blatant propaganda, our media bows deeply to whatever the political correctness of the moment happens to be. There are stories they will not cover and words they will not use. They engage in an echo chamber, repeating over and over the same thing in the same words, which could not be more harmonious if they were reading a script from a commissaire.

China is careful to present itself as a peaceful nation that cares about its people and their welfare. With a quarter of the entire world’s population within its boundaries, order and stability are seen as virtues. One of their editorials read, “Messy world needs China’s stability.”

They seem to genuinely like America and Americans, but distrust our government; a position in which I find agreement. They obviously do not like Trump, but unlike 90% of our own media, they seldom attack him personally.

The Chinese media covers world business in detail, and world sports with more emphasis on the games themselves than creating gossip outlets for overhyped athletes.

Yet it is always a relief to be back home. Being away reminds us of how fortunate we are to be Americans. Once after being out of the country for some time teaching a class for a sister university, I was going through customs when an agent looked at me and smiled. “Happy birthday!” he said. I told him that it was not my birthday, but he only smiled and said, “It’s the 4th of July.”

Being away also reminds us of how negative our politicians have become, a negativity no longer aimed at solutions, but towards individuals and groups. Almost all of the 1,473 Democrat candidates for president have identified what is wrong with America, and it boils down to two things. America needs to be punished for its sins, and the American people need to have their evil tendencies reformed.

We are racists, misogamists, homophobic, haters of everyone not like ourselves. Our history needs to be re-written to fit the political correctness of the hour. Religions of other countries must be honored; religions of our own country should remain hidden behind closed doors.

If anything, denouncing our country and punishing citizens seems more important to them than defeating Trump. Meanwhile, the very real problems with America, much of which have been created by the very politicians telling us how bad we are, go unaddressed.

In all the political hysteria about the border and immigration, none of these so-called leaders and their toadies in the media seem interested in telling us why people want to come to America, and why half of the teenagers in China are wearing clothing with American slogans on them.

Contrary to the negativity of our politicians, others know that America created something of great importance that they want to experience and emulate.

We need to conserve and honor the aspects of America that draws so many from all parts of the world. We need to maintain and protect those cultural values that made us what we are.

No culture is perfect, but ours has created something very special.

Yes, and it is always nice to be back in America.

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Dennis Clayson is a business professor at the University of Northern Iowa. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not reflect those of the University of Northern Iowa.

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