Sunday, September 4, 2016

GOP's 2016 Platform wishful thinking over substance.

I wrote the following for the September issue of the Four Corners Free Press, it's a sequel to last month's "Calling out Trump's Rev. Burns and GOP absolutism." Since I retain the copyrights, I can share it here, and I invite anyone, if you want to, copy and use any of it.  

Another privilege I retain is that I can keep on editing and since most of serious writing is rewriting and editing, this isn't exactly the same essay that appears in the FCFP.  (You know what they say: The project is never finished, you just meet deadlines!)

July 19th Ben Adler at reported on the GOP Platform’s environmental goals, he compiled a list of eleven highlights. Republican’s call for:

Cancelation of the Clean Power Plan - Abolish the EPA as we know it. - (barring that) - “Forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide” - Stop environmental regulatory agencies from settling lawsuits out of court - Revoke the ability of the president to designate national monuments - “Oppose any carbon tax” - Kill what minimal federal fracking regulations exist - Expedite export terminals for liquefied natural gas - Turn federal lands over to states. - Halt funding for the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (IPCC) - Build the Keystone XL pipeline and more like it.

To begin with, what’s up with the GOP’s seething hostility towards our government? If not our current government, what else? Regional power struggles? The problem with our government is the outside power-brokers who are only concerned with their own immediate self-interest. State governments are easier to own by ruthless interests, so where would that leave We The People’s interests when it comes to divvying up the last of our unmolested landscapes?

Then there is that adolescent GOP contempt for regulations. 
Can’t we be a bit pragmatic? What would driving be like without regulations? Regulations are necessary for a structured society and to protect people, property and our wellbeing.

Also, lets not forget we exist in an increasingly crowded country and world. The only people who want to deregulate, are people who want the freedom to run-over whoever gets in their way.

Everyone’s self-interest steps on someone else’s self-interest. A healthy society requires give and take, mutual respect, a touch of empathy, a touch of self-deprecation, humor along with Rules Of Order. 

This GOP rejection of rules mixed with xenophobia and hostile absolutism can only lead to breakdown and chaos and the unraveling of the Social-Contracts that make a complex society possible. 

Unfortunately it seems that’s exactly what some of them are after. 
Who is there to oppose them?

Every bit as incomprehensible is the GOP’s hostility towards our Earth’s “environment.” It’s as if they still haven’t figured out that our complex society would be impossible without Earth’s bounties. 

Their obsession with ever increasing profits and thoughtless defense of the fossils industry blinds them to everything else going on out there upon our planet.

That this, fossil fuel addiction is significantly increasing our planet’s atmospheric insulation, thereby warming, energizing and altering the global weather system upon which we depend.   But these folks deny it all with a faith-blinded ferocity that beats all. Pursuit of profits seems all they have eyes for. The GOP platform’s preamble offers no better than: 

“The pursuit of opportunity has defined America from our very beginning. This is a land of opportunity. The American Dream is a dream of equal opportunity for all. And the Republican Party is the party of opportunity. Today, that American Dream is at risk. Our nation faces unprecedented uncertainty with great fiscal and economic challenges, and under the current Administration has suffered through the longest and most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. …”

Empty bromides and stupefying claims. 
Our ‘opportunities’ are founded on our resource rich lands, not by someone’s moxie! 

The 2008 crash was created under eight years of the Bush/Cheney Administration, not that plenty of Democrats don’t share blame along the way, but Obama?  Really?  (Hey, Mr/Ms GOP what's with the obsessive finger pointing it's worse than adolescent, it's downright kindergarten!?)

This dramatizes the real problem, the Republican refusal to recognize their own mistakes, so we remain in cycles of destructive choices leading to more destructive choices.

Every couple years we have an election, it’s the only time the average US citizen’s opinion actually matters and it’s amazing how many rational American citizens flake-out on their privilege and duty. Then they wonder why our government is going the wrong way. Every other election it’s big time, when the Executive Branch of our government is at stake. 

Our democracy’s survival demands an informed and engaged citizenry. 
Where are you?

This year it matters more than ever. At least to us who believe in rationalism and confronting challenges with learning about and understanding the situation at hand - then working in cooperation with others to deal with it.

Senator Sander’s fans would do good to understand that only if Clinton becomes the President will Sanders be able to wield the power of his supporter’s convictions as they give strength to his voice. 

Remember Mr. Sander’s understands the nut and bolts of government like few others. He has also shown humility and realism, he shunned the pull of demagoguery where others have fallen. He is a man of substance and constructive pragmatism, a man capable of going the long haul. He could be a force to be reckoned with. But only if his supporters now make the effort to vote in Hillary Clinton and the Democratic ticket!

I’m not saying Democrats have all the answers, they certainly don’t, and yes they are as trapped within the world of super-donors and lobbyists as Republicans are. But, they are the only show in town!  Give up on them and you give up on the American Way.  No matter what some self-certain faith-based clown parrots at you.

What I am saying is that at least Democrats acknowledge the need for fact-based learning and that matters a great deal as the GOP sinks ever deeper into delusion and a worldview that’s profoundly disconnected from our down to Earth realities.

I suggest this year’s Presidential election can be boiled down to one simple question: “Do you believe dogmatic faith should trump objective observation, evidence and learning?” You must realize a vote for Mr. Trump, or a no-show, is a vote for facade and threatening hostility laced bluster over thoughtful substance and constructive engagement.

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