I guess it's my pessimism in this world. Power of the press and media is so easily manipulated to make good intentions look bad.
Like that phrase "..a good name, like good will, is got by many actions, but lost by one..."...everyone turns our good intentions to look bad. So the power of our "good will" is easily negated by true or even perceived mistakes. I mean, I know we're all out to "make a buck" like every other country, but at least overall I believe we try to do more good as we do so than anyone else...
But the freedoms we espouse are a double edged sword, as we are "beholden to criticism" as well....hence our hands tied behind our back. And people manipulate that because they can.
Which is why I think in China, it's a losing proposition right now for us. They control the media. How can we persuade a populace there that we want to do well, when all they hear is what China wants them to hear? I know many people there are not naive, but still, information control is very influential. (BTW, my ex-gf was from mainland China; she was aware of her country's problems, but very defensive of her country's actions and very nationalistic, and only mildly critical of her government; when she defended it, it sounded like the government proclaimations and responses we hear come out)
And why should their population care about freedom of speech? If studies are correct, close to 50% of China will be in the "middle class" in the next 10 years. So it becomes a clash of philosophies : USA+freedom=prosperity vs China+central govt=prosperity.
And I look at Russia...once well on their way to democracy, now manipulated by press (imho) and other means to reverting back to hardline-central govt.
Is freedom really a requisite for prosperity? The jury is out...Ah, but maybe that's just my creeping pessimism about the world again...heh heh..