07 February 2005

New World Order

Over the past few weeks, I've received a number of (at best) snarky e-mails from various individuals criticizing some of my commentary for relying excessively on non-US news sources and other information. Some of them have been amusing; some of them have left me shaking my head at the shallowness of the gene pool; and some of them… well, leaving aside that it's anatomically impossible, it wouldn't be a very good idea, even if advocated by the Vice President of the United States on the floor of the Senate, as a solution to political opposition.

Whether y'all like it or not, the US is in an increasingly transnational world. (What this says about the continuing advisability of the states' rights movement is unclear, but probably not favorable.) Unless we peel off this continent and move it to, say, Mars, we're just going to have to put up with them furriners. More to the point, we're going to have to recognize that sometimes them furriners come up with some pretty durned good idears. Like pizza. And chocolate. And real football (not that pansy-ass game with all the sissy protective gear and coffee breaks every ten seconds that captivated the country last night). And the printing press. And decent beer. Sometimes they're right and we're wrong, too—remember that slavery was abolished in England a looooong time before it was abolished over here.

This doesn't mean roll over and do everything the way they do it in Strassbourg; for one thing, we'd have to put up with even more supercilious French assertions of their (dubious) moral superiority. It does mean, though, that we can't ignore it. If the EU says that Microsoft is a monopolist, we need to reexamine our own conclusions—particularly in light of evidence turned up over there that we have ignored. If we expect our commercial sector to compete in an increasingly transnational environment, we need to equip it to do so. Perhaps most important, if we expect others to care about our opinions on, say, global warning, we'd better listen with open ears and a willingness to be convinced. I beseech thee to consider that thou mightst be wrong. Or something like that.

So my eye on activities and issues outside the borders of this nation is going to stay there.