Ted Turner is notorious for saying stupid things. His latest verbal regurgitation is that men should be “barred from political office. They could do everything else, be president of universities, business leaders, but they just couldn’t serve in any elected position for 100 years.”
Sally Ranney, serving as the moderator at the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit in New York, brings up the statistic that “only . . . 20 percent of the parliamentarians in the world are women.
We have quite a few women in politics in the United States. Some are very bad (e.g., Nancy Pelosi, Patty Murray, Elizabeth Warren, Diane Feinstein, Sheila Jackson Lee) and some are very good (e.g., Marsha Blackburn, Martha Roby, Nikki Haley, Sarah Palin).
Gender isn’t the issue; it’s all about a person’s worldview, and it’s in the worldview category that Ted Turner has some real problems:
- “The reason that the World Trade Center got hit is because there are a lot of people living in abject poverty out there who don’t have any hope for a better life.” Asked moments later if he would allow public access to his vast landholdings in Montana, Turner replied: “Can I live in your home with you? We believe in private property in this country.”
- “There’s too many people. That’s why we have global warming. We have global warming because too many people are using too much stuff. If there were less people they’d be using less stuff.” He warned that if we don’t combat global warming now, the results “will be catastrophic… We’ll be eight degrees hotter in 10, not 10, but in 30 or 40 years, and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals.”
In addition to the above statements, Turner had this to say about the Ten Commandments when he addressed the National Press Association in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1988:
“We’re living with outmoded rules. The rules we’re living under [are] the Ten Commandments, and I bet nobody here even pays much attention to ’em, because they are too old. When Moses went up on the mountain, there were no nuclear weapons, there was no poverty. Today, the Ten Commandments wouldn’t go over. Nobody around likes to be commanded.”
A number of those original commandments protect his life (No. 6: “You shall not murder”) and his vast land holdings (No. 8: “You shall not steal”). I’m sure that if he ever went to trial, he would like to know that the 9th commandment was operating: “You shall not bear false witness.”
Turner’s dismissal of the Ten Commandments led him to develop his own set of “new” commandments that he called “Voluntary Initiatives”:
- I promise to have love and respect for the planet earth and living things thereon, especially my fellow species — humankind.
- I promise to treat all persons everywhere with dignity, respect, and friendliness.
- I promise to have no more than two children, or no more than my nation suggests.
- I promise to use my best efforts to save what is left of our natural world in its untouched state and to restore damaged or destroyed areas where practical.
- I pledge to use as little nonrenewable resources as possible.
- I pledge to use as little toxic chemicals, pesticides, and other poisons as possible and to work for their reduction by others.
- I promise to contribute to those less fortunate than myself, to help them become self-sufficient and enjoy the benefits of a decent life, including clean air and water, adequate food and health care, housing, education, and individual rights.
- I reject the use of force, in particular military force, and back United Nations arbitration of international disputes.
- I support the total elimination of all nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction.
- I support the United Nations and its efforts to collectively improve the conditions of the planet.
And if you and I don’t “voluntarily” follow these “initiatives,” what will happen to us? Who will enforce them? By whose authority?