reply to post by Snarf
Except for women until around 1920
Except for black people until around 1968
Oh, and in the 1940's, Japanese American's weren't "equal" either
We could go back and forth all day about what is wrong with the United States and what is right. In the end we would both be admitting one thing about
Every government is run by people and people make mistakes.
But if we were to compare these atrocities (and yes, they were such) to other countries and other cultures, we would see a difference. True, women
could not initially vote. But they were not sold into marriage as a type of slavery. They did not undergo forced mutilation (female circumcision).
They were not looked upon as a type of property the wealthy accumulated in harems.
Black slaves were not regularly tortured either; that is propaganda. It did happen, and I agree that even one time is one time too many, but the
majority of slaves were treated with some modicum of civility, although not required by law. Again, it does not make slavery 'right', only
emphasizes the difference from other cultures where defeated opposing tribes had their men slain in cold blood or forced into brutal slavery, the
women were raped, and the children were thrown out like garbage and killed.
The real measure of any society is not perfection; if that standard is used, none of us, not you, not me, nor anyone reading this, can ever hope to
succeed. That bar is simply too high. The real measure of success for a society is the mean standard of living for its people. In that respect, no
other country can claim to have made the progress we have in the time frame we made it. In a scant 200 years we went from a rag-tag band of colonists
just trying to survive the winter months, the summer heat, and the indigenous animal life, to a superpower with one of the world's strongest and best
equipped military forces, a country where poverty was so far above the global definition as to be unthinkable to the latter, a food producer the likes
of which the world had never seen, and a technological giant.
Name one other country who did that.
Since that pinnacle, we have forgotten our way, and that is what this thread is about. We have abandoned the societal mores and customs and
philosophies that made us what we were, in return for material goods and societal acceptance. Where once we saw a challenge and rushed to meet it, now
we cower back from such and concern ourselves with regulations that, according to the founding documents, should never even exist.
Once upon a time, a person married with the expectation that this spouse would be their life mate. Now it is a matter of convenience, and is tossed
aside at the slightest detail. the children, once nurtured above all else, are left with emotional scars to repeat the process next generation in an
Once a person would look at a need and try to determine how to fill it themselves. They would work hard, long hours and accept great risks to provide
a need for their fellow man and be richly rewarded should they succeed. Now we see a need and we post on a message board on the Internet, write our
Congressmen, or apply for government help.
Once a person who succeeded was upheld in society as a shining beacon of hope that yes, it can be done, and with enough work, enough foresight, and a
little luck, I can succeed too. Now those who are successful are scorned, reviled, punished through taxation, and despised as somehow the thieves of
that American Dream they achieved.
The country has changed, not in it's structure, but in its ideals. And when we lose those ideals, we lose the advantages they have wrought us in the
past. Just as the farmer with the goose that laid the golden eggs, who became greedy and killed the goose to get the eggs inside and succeeded only in
losing all he had, so we have focused on the ends and forgotten the means.
That's what this thread is about, not the mistakes men do. I think we are all familiar with that.