Boy Scouts a Compelling Metaphor
Boy Scout membership has plummeted 42% since 1973 and has dropped 16% in the last ten years. Boy Scouts are white. Boy Scouts are homophobic and ban gay membership. Boy Scouts ban atheists and while no religion is officially preferred, keep the Koran at home. Surprise, the organization was ordered to pay $18.5 million in damages to a man who had been abused by a scout leader as a boy. Sometimes what happens in the woods doesn't stay in woods.
The struggle of the Boy Scouts mirrors that of the Catholic Church and the GOP, clinging to obsolete views in a world that has moved beyond them. New realities and new ideas (the earth revolves around the sun, or in today's versions, global warming, evolution, acceptance of diversity including sexual preference, economic interdependence and importance of oversight) have arrived and will stay. It is painful to watch them resist tooth and nail. Indeed, we have whole segments of society that just scream, “NO!”
The insight so needed and so overdue for all of these groups is that one fights ideas with better ideas, and better ideas must be grounded in facts. If you don't like the health care legislation, offer better legislation that passes muster with reality. The same goes for financial reform, immigration reform, and climate change legislation. Solid fact, not fiction, has now cemented that if you have a problem with the gay or those brown people, there's not much cheese down those tunnels in the workplace or the ballot box.
I am not saying conservatism or the GOP are dead or obsolete. There are Republicans who ask intelligent questions in the context of generating real solutions. Consider the Tucson Choices blog.
I am saying that we require solid thinking and reasoning that reflects this century, that takes into account everyone and everything, and not solely the short term gratification of the interest groups representing the ultra rich.
“HELL NO WE CAN'T!!!” won't work for the Boy Scouts, the Catholics, or the Republicans.