Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Perfect Republican

Faithful readers might enjoy this commentary by John Feehery, former staffer to Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other congressional Republicans. Feehery pontificates about the prospects for the country now that Al Franken's victory gives the Democrats (at least theoretically) 60 votes in the Senate.

What's so perfect about this commentary is the way it illustrates one of the prime features that got the Republican party to where it is today: its "We're Proud to be Luddites" attitude.

Feehery complains that the Democrats, now that they have attained a Senate supermajority, can be expected to start enacting crazy, left-liberal policies. His prime example? The metric system. It's his first sentence. Dems are going to impose metric the way they tried back in the 1970s.

See, that's what I mean. The metric system is used by the entire world except for the United States (OK, and Liberia and Burma. We're in such good company.) It's won out over the old British system because it is superior. Heck, even Britain doesn't use the British system any more.

Metric is so easy to use. If you go 17,525 meters, how many kilometers is that? Sheesh, it's 17.525. That took about 0 seconds to compute. Now if you go 17,525 feet, how many miles is that? Let's see, 5280 feet in a mile, so we need to divide 17,525 by 5280, so that makes . . . oh, you work it out.

With the whole rest of the world on metric, U.S. companies suffer in international trade. And we even screw up at home, like when NASA lost a Mars orbiter because of confusion between British and metric units.

Maybe that's why the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, signed by Ronald Reagan, declares that it is the policy of the United States "to designate the metric system of measurement as the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce."

But even though the Republicans' favorite President signed this policy into law, Feehery isn't just against it -- he mocks it. He's proud that the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world in weights and measures. He holds out the metric system as one of those crazy, left-wing notions that the Democrats are just waiting to foist on us.

I doubt that the metric system is really high on the Democrats' agenda. But if it is, it's a good idea. Let's stop being proud of areas in which the U.S. is behind the rest of the world.


Anonymous said...

Do you actually know anything about Metrication in the United Kingdom? Doesn't look like it.
Brits are extremely opposed to the Metric System (78%) and 92% are against the metrication of our roads. We do not even use metric, at all. The EU forces us to use metric units in the sale of loose goods and imperial units ONLY if they are alongside the metric equivalent. However, pretty much EVERYONE sells by the lb & oz. I am 15 and even ALWAYS ask for Imperial Units at school etc. Just by going into the village shops, pretty much every shop selling fruit & veg etc use lb and oz. Yes, they use kg weighing machines, but they have a converter right next to them. The shopkeeper pays no attention to the kg and instantly converts it, and so they should.

Why do you think the most anti-metric party & eurosceptic party, UK Independence Party (who I support), came second, beating Labour (Gordon Brown's Party) and Nick Clegg's Liberals? Only losing to the Conservatives who came first, who incidentally are also anti-metric, and slightly eurosceptic.
Election results here:

Even in maths lessons, we use miles for distance, and both feet & metres for length of triangle sides etc. We use feet, yards and miles on roads. In fact metric units on roads are ILLEGAL! Not even when accompaning Imperial Units. The only reason you believe that we actually use such a stupid and pointless system, is because we are 'offically metric' because of the European Union.

If you don't believe me, even the UK Metric Association believes that the UK is behind the US when it comes to metrication. How I hate metric....

Anonymous said...

In UK metric system has been mandatory in schools since 1974. In 2010 majority (over 52%) of the UK adult population have received a full secondary education in metric units.

Over 90% of world population lives in fully metric world. What's the real benefit to use Imperial units? In a globalized world, there is no room for incompatible products. A lot has changed in the Stone Age, what is difficult in this?