The real question here is this.....do our representatives represent Americans and what we want, right or wrong? Or do they represent what they "think" is in our best interests?
In my experience, most personal politics fall on one side or the other of this question. And this is a topic public managers grapple with on a daily basis. Do they use their knowledge and experience (professional experience, experience they were hired to use on behalf of the community) or do they do what the public wants? Even if it will destroy their community?
I tend to believe Americans can choose, and if we choose wrong, we either learn to live with it or change it. Failure is sometimes the best first step toward success.
So what if China passes us in energy efficiency? We'll learn our lesson or we won't.
IMO, a representative democracy should rise and fall on the will of the people, not the "daddy knows best" whim of an elite few.