In India the Hindu practice of Sati or Suttee used to be that, if a husband died, they'd throw all his leftover living wives onto the funeral pyre with their husbands - alive. The horrible British, when they conquered India and made it a protectorate, banned this practice. An Indian leader approached the British general who enforced this law and protested.
"But," the Indian leader complained, "This is our custom, our culture, our religion."
"And it is my custom, culture and religion," said the general, "To hang people who throw innocent women onto funeral pyres."
One forgets that several million widows who lived out their lives in the past century, many of who are still living alive and well in India, owe those lives and some thanks to the British whose laws altered the custom and culture so they did not meet a fiery death simply because their klutzy spouse fell off a train or died in a car crash. Some call this sort of thing "Cultural Imperialism." I call it making the world a better place. The Brits did do some awful things in securing their empire, no question. But in introducing British law to their colonies, they did change some pretty awful "cultural" practices. The status of the so-called untouchables in India, for instance, is far better now than it used to be when being an untouchable was worse than slavery. Also, remember, that the Brits outlawed slavery long before we did and outlawed it throughout the empire, ending a whole lot of misery for a whole lot of people and managed to confine this barbaric practice to non British countries and Islamic states, where it is still practiced to this day.
What we need is a president who is not intimidated by ISIS or the threat of jihad. We need leaders who develop a little righteous anger, when told by ISIS mullahs that stoning women who have been raped or who have the temerity to drive a car should be the law of the world. When confronted by people who fling homosexuals from the tops of tall buildings, who find nothing wrong with pedophilia, who murder those who leave Islam for another religion and who behead Christians for their own amusement, we need leaders who don't just shrug and pretend it's not happening. We need leaders who will tell such monsters in no uncertain terms, that it is our American military's custom to protect innocent women, homosexuals, converts to other religions and Christians who have the misfortune to simply live in Islamic ruled countries.
Who knows? Maybe we have such a president. Perhaps we should start taking actual refugees from those countries that Obama, himself listed as threats to our security. But we should first take those who are Christians, abused women, converts from Islam to other faiths and homosexuals, transsexuals, bisexuals and anyone else that Muslims might want to throw off a building. We should put them way up front in the line. Just saying. Refugee status is for people threatened in their own countries and people who want to be Americans so bad they are willing to go through what it takes to get here legally and become American Citizens.
What do you think? Me, I think America's cultural imperialism through our books and movies, our Internet and music, our goods and fashions is a very good thing. English has rapidly become the lingua franca of the world which improves everyone's communication dramatically across cultural lines. You see the way the culture works my precious snowflakes, is that cultures that bump up against each other share the good things and often to everyone's surprise start eliminating practices that appall their neighbors due to their contact with another more civilized culture.
Cultures are meant to appropriate good things from other cultures. Those which do not almost invariable become aggressive and attack their neighbors. The Brits culturally appropriated from everyone. India gave them a taste for curry. India and Southeast Asia gave them a taste for tea. There are a thousand things the British absorbed into their culture and way of life and many positive things that British subjects absorbed from the Brits themselves.
One thing that is not being absorbed by British culture is the vast stream of Islamic refugees pouring unchecked across their borders from the EU. Europe is experiencing an Invasion that is set upon, not learning from European culture, but upon burying it and wiping it from the face of the planet. The Islamic nations have on many occasions invaded Europe seeking to take the wealth of the West for themselves. This time they may succeed.
Our own forefathers came across the sea to escape the government by the nobility nonsense of the Old World and created the greatest nation ever seen on Earth - the wealthiest, most energetic, diverse and peaceful nation every. America also unique in that government derives its power from the people and not vice versa as it is in the Old World where the Queen or the politburo bestow rights upon the citizenry at their pleasure. This government of the people idea resulted in the rise of the first dominant nation in history to reject the idea of conquering our neighbors to expand our borders. Well, after the uncalled for war with Mexico which wasn't a terribly just war, even though we bought the land we took from Mexico - land that was just about to break away from their Mexican overlords anyway. The Spanish American War did break Spain's stranglehold on Central and South America, but their influence was almost broken already. Probably because we felt guilty about waging that sort of war, we turned loose the territories we had won in that war - those that wanted to go at least. If Puerto Rico wanted to go, it could have gone independent like Cuba and the Phillipines, but they keep voting to stay an American protectorate.
We Americans aren't without sin in our conduct around the world, but we're as close to sinless as any powerful nation has ever come. The Islamic nations know that they must silence the voices in the West if they are going to keep their young people fired up about world conquest and creating a Worldwide Caliphate in order to fulfill Mohammad's prophecy.
I think we should not shut up. I think we should not silence the Voice of America broadcasts, but ratchet them way up and throw in some free TV and Internet programs while we're at it. Let's make some friends and be friendly so that we stand in contrast to the vile power-mongers of the First and Third Worlds.
And like the good general, once in a while let us remind them what American custom is. We think we should kick bad guys' butts. The world paused a bit when we had a genuine cowboy in the White House. They'd seen Westerns and they thought they knew what cowboys were like. Maybe it's time we make them believe we've got another one living on Pennsylvania Avenue. I don't think it's a bad thing that America makes some world leaders nervous.
Maybe that's just me.
© 2017 by Tom King
© 2017 by Tom King