A very good friend of mine just returned from spending several weeks in Thailand. In exchanging emails on his return he happened to say...
"Getting out of the US and looking back, taking the cultural blinders off, always an important 'wake-up' call."
This seemingly simple statement stopped me in my tracks. "Cultural blinders" - what a phrase. Let's all stop and examine for a moment if we are wearing them.
I'm sure, as we spend untold hours of news time and our own time going over issues we thought were history, like birth control and a woman's right to choose, many parts of the world must be laughing at us. But for two very different reasons. Some laugh at how backward the most developed country in the world can sometimes be, digging up advances made in the past and now trying to undo them. And others laugh that we would give up hard-fought freedoms they can only wish they had. Either way we look rather stupid. The country based on freedoms frantically trying to take personal choices away. Ridiculous to all except those in the middle of the political fray who have their cultural blinders firmly (and it would seem permanently) glued in place.
Cultural blinders. If only more Americans would a) travel and b) be willing to take off those cultural blinders when they do. The world might not be a better place because America is no longer anywhere near as important in world affairs as it once was, but America would be a better place, more able to occupy its proper place in world affairs with an electorate making smarter choices leading to progress rather than regression.
It has been established that even 98% of American Catholic women (the only religion that specifically is anti birth control) use some form of "artificial" contraception (ie something other than the old, and seriously flawed, rhythm method). So what the hell is the GOP trying to achieve? If it wants to operate outside the American mainstream it is well on its way to fulfilling its dreams. But will lose all political credibility en route.