As the U.S. heads into the July 4 weekend, one might take the time to reflect on, say, the liberties that we enjoy, or the shared values that we embrace. One might think it odd to use the occasion to lament that independence from Great Britain means we can't get a decent cup of tea; we have many other days in the year in which to embrace the glass-half-empty philosophy.
Yet the leader of a well-known Steampunk band chose to retweet the following: "In the US, the idea of a female president still weirds many out. Iceland's female prime minister just married her girlfriend." Perhaps the first sentence is true, though it lacks any firm empirical basis. Personally, I'd be delighted by a competent female President, though choosing a political leader on the basis of gender (or race, I might add) seems to be a poor method.* Let me concede that gender (or race) matters to some voters. There's no accounting for tastes. (This explains why Air Supply was once popular.)
The second sentence of the tweet was news to me, but let me applaud briefly and say "Yay, score one for love." I don't care for politicians, but that's no reason they shouldn't get married, whether here or in Iceland. But what am I to make of the juxtaposition of the two sentences? That the U.S. should be more like Iceland because voters in the latter country are willing to elect a woman? Or a lesbian? Or that Iceland permits gay marriage? Perhaps I'm reading too much into two brief sentences, but this seems an example of an unhealthy line of thinking that seems all too commonplace. "I dislike my country because many of its residents don't think like me." How sad for those people.
Now excuse me while I brew myself an all-American cup of Assam tea in my Caledon tea mug.
* Not to digress too badly, but I find it disconcerting when pundits suggest that women and racial or ethnic minorities are supposed to vote according to gender, race, or ethnicity. It's demeaning. We have an African American President precisely because the racial majority did not vote according to race, yet the minority is supposed to let skin color factor into the decision? Tsk, tsk.