While pluralism is best, it takes years to achieve

newsroom@islandpacket.comJune 22, 2014 

Pluralism is a gift our founding leaders granted us in the U.S. Constitution -- even though they left it to others to deal with slavery.

To make progress toward pluralism, a society must deal with many differences in religion, history, cultural heritage, economic well-being, genetic background, intelligence, etc., of its people. There are a multitude of reasons why individuals, tribes, organizations and nations are different. And our differences usually exceed our desire to be united. That has resulted in a history of wars, unjust slavery, murder and other evil behavior.

Today there is continuing and increasing strife in the Middle East -- but little worldwide interest or progress toward unity (e.g. a more vital United Nations). Usually the most successful countries as measured by economic performance and less strife have less-pluralistic populations.

Appraisals of the Mideast crisis often ignore the reality that most people want to be less pluralistic and that immense differences exist between the Western world and the divided, Mideast Islamic world.

The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who knows this area better than anyone else I have read, wrote about the issue in a column that ran in Saturday's paper. I hope our country and others can learn from his expertise.

Walt Schymik

Hilton Head Island

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