Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rock, Paper, Scissors: A Korean tradition we Americans should pay attention to

I write a monthly article for the website The Only Orthodoxy. Last September, inspired by the way Koreans use rock, paper, scissors to resolve all kinds of conflicts, I wrote an article laying out the reasons why rock, paper, scissors works so well and comparing the legitimacy enjoyed by rock, paper, scissors to that enjoyed by a healthy, functional democracy.

Last week, I wrote a follow-up article in response to the destructive behavior of opponents of Proposition 8 in California. My unfortunate conclusion is that rock, paper, scissors just wouldn't work in contemporary America. Too many Americans today refuse to accept losing, even if the contest itself was completely legitimate. Too many of us no longer have the discipline or sense of honor to be good losers. We're
increasingly a country of sore losers -- except that when it comes to matters of policy, the sore losers can wreak all kinds of havoc. Many of the things that a lot of the anti-Prop. 8 folks have been doing have been despicable, plain and simple, and if such behavior isn't checked and repudiated, it will destroy American democracy.

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