Sunday, June 05, 2005

Even the Swiss?

Switzerland. Not my favorite country.

I suppose I have to live less in the past. The problem is that I firmly believe that one must know history if one is to be on guard against repetition of the wrongs of the past. Sadly, much of the errors of recent years in this country are quite recognizable from our own past. Still, there's a difference between remembering history's lessons and being bitter about them.

This brings me to an article I just read about voting in Switzerland. Aside from their well-known involvement with the Nazis in World War II, helping the Germans hide vast fortunes they stole from people they had murdered, the Swiss did quite well manufacturing weapons for Germany.

So Switzerland hasn't been my favorite country, but perhaps I should set a lot of that aside. It has been a long time since all of that, and I suppose they have made efforts at being good citizens of the world. I've read that, in many ways, their recent human rights record has been better than that of my own country.

Considering that, maybe I shouldn't be surprised at these results. Put to a national vote, about 58% of the Swiss voters "were in favor of increased rights for same-sex couples, namely that registered same-sex couples are treated the same as married couples for tax and pension purposes."

I love my country, but we've really gone astray. Bigots are getting their way today. Eventually, better people will change this. Many of the people supporting the current Administration and its allies are doing so because they've believed lies that were fed to them. Eventually, the better natures of the average people will fix this. I just hope too much damage isn't done to good people before that day comes.


Will said...

I'm glad to hear this about the Swiss. Because of my overseas teaching, I've been in Geneva and Zurich a fair amount and have always found the Swiss almost insufferably self-satisfied and conventional. Not a "questioning" or progressive group, I would have thought.

But then, neither is the bulk of the U.S., sadly.

David said...

I am honestly holding on to the hope that after Bush, the USA will turn around become wonderful again. :) Go Switzerland though on the Gay Rights law.

Scott said...

Funny you should write this, because many people are comparing what's happening today with what happened in Germany prior to the Nazi movement. It makes you wonder...

Andy said...

The best thing about the Swiss development, as I pointed out in my humble blog, is that this legislation was passed by popular vote. No idiot politician gets to scream, "Activist judges!" Right-wingers here in the US can't really accurately cite this as an example of Europe's decline because of secularism, either -- have you ever tried to sleep in in Switzerland on a Sunday morning? The church bells ring for hours and are deafening. When I got my residence permit, I had to register my religious affiliation so that a portion of my taxes could go to the right church. Seriously! And these people gave equal tax and pension status to registered gay couples.