Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why I Vote Democratic - Part 2

At the beginning of the year, I did a guest post at the now-defunct AskCherlock site, in which I explained the reasons why I vote Democratic.  It was kind of a long piece, consisting of a list of chasm-sized differences between the two parties.  But even though the post was over four pages long (in Word), I felt like I wasn’t getting into the issues deeply enough. 

I also wanted to run the material here too, so I figured I would take each item on the list and flesh it out into its own post.  I posted Part 1 on May 15th and I’ve been meaning to pick it up again ever since.  With the presidential campaign in full swing, I figure I’d better get off the dime… 

Disclaimer:  When I refer to “Republicans” here, I’m referring only to the national party leaders and political apparatus.  The same goes for my use of “Democrats.”  Local jurisdictions may vary and I have no knowledge or comment about them. 

Also, as I roll out these posts, keep in mind that I am not presenting my reasons in any particular order.

Whichever side wins the White House (and controls Congress) this year will have an inordinate effect on your life and that of your children’s.  Big issues are being booted around and with partisanship at an all-time high; the stakes are equally high.  The differences between the party’s ideals are stark, as indicated by the 2nd reason I vote Democratic.

The Republicans are trying to strip away any and all environmental regulations and contaminate the EPA the same way they’re trying to contaminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (by undercutting funding and legal authority).  Adhering to environmental regulations costs money putting it in direct violation of the Prime Directive.  (As written in Part 1, the Republicans’ Prime Directive is to maintain the freedom of Big Business to do whatever they see fit, in support of their bottom line.)

The Democrats are trying to maintain the viability of our planet to support our very existence, by seeking limits and regulation on toxic emissions, into both air and water.  This is more than just hugging trees or saving snails, as the Republicans like to categorize anyone that dares interfere with their grand business plans.  This is a fight to maintain the viability of our own planet and keep it from turning into a more quarrelsome version of Mars.

This is not a new fight; Republicans and Democrats have been squabbling over ecological issues for as long as I can remember, going at least as far back to when I was a kid in the early 70s.  But the fight has taken on new meaning in the last ten years, as the effects of climate change has been unmistakably documented and observed all over the world.

Any rational person would be concerned about continuing to spew contaminants like mercury and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere or water supply.  A rational person might be concerned about destroying the living conditions on which we depend for our very survival.  But somehow there’s a disconnect.  Republicans don’t believe in safeguards for the environment, outside of providing places for the privileged to hunt, fish and play with guns.  Many go so far as to deny that humans have even contributed to our planet’s change in climate. 

A couple of hacked emails was all it took for Republicans to plunge their heads into the sand and overlook overwhelming scientific evidence that the earth is warming and the polar caps are dissolving.  This mantra is driven by the businesses that would be most affected by any tangible change in environmental policy.  In other words, ‘it would hurt profits, so we’re against it.’  And Chapter One of being ‘against something’ is to deny it even exists and more importantly, state that ‘even if it does exist, it’s not our fault.’

Perhaps they have plans for a giant bubble to encase a small homeland for coal, oil and other fossil fuel industry execs, probably somewhere around Branson MO.  It has to be inland because the Smokey Mountains will be the new eastern seaboard once the polar caps melt.

It’s alarming to me whenever someone “disbelieves” proven science because it goes against one’s political platform or costs money.  For example it’s a sad state of affairs when our (prior) highest elected official can ignore decades of physical, provable science and say something as inane as “the jury is still out” regarding evolution. 

No, the jury is not out.  It went out, came back 5 minutes later with the verdict and then went home for dinner, saying something about a “mountain of proof.”  The proof is what makes it science and not opinion

Thank you, Republicans, for ushering in the Age of Ignorance.  Some day, the history books, (if there are any left) will wonder why anyone ever listened to these clowns.  Their insistence that climate change is a hoax and that it’s perfectly fine to belch chemical waste into the atmosphere in exchange for providing factory jobs, is the another reason I vote Democratic.  You should too.

And speaking of ignorance, don’t even get me started on the Texas State Republican platform, which includes a prohibition on teaching critical thinking.  Perhaps they don’t believe in “book learnin’” any more either… unless, of course, the book was approved by the Texas Board of Education.  (Motto: “It MUST be true, it says so right there in the book we rewrote.”)

10 comments:

  1. Bluz, you know I'm a tree hugger. And it pains me so to see how crappy the Earth is taken care of. Sometimes when we get a really awful thunderstorm, I freak out because I think, is this going to be the new normal when my kids have kids? Is this what it's going to come to? I don't understand why more wind energy isn't being used. I don't understand why people only care about themselves and not the millions of others who don't get their pockets lined by oil company's money. I just don't understand selfishness.

    So I'm a liberal. Sue me. I love the Earth, gays, and common sense.

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    1. The Republican leadership is only interested in common sense when it doesn't cost them anything.

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  2. So it doesn't really matter where I live--I'll still be that rather odd person who believes in global warming, Darwin's theory, Deism, and that all people on earth are created equal no matter what color they are. I have to disagree with you though, about the Republicans believing in common sense. The Republicans HAVE no common sense. Everything is ALL ABOUT THEM! Romney really pissed in his chili in London, and it's not the first time. I saw a photo of him in Jerusalem, placing his little piece of paper with a prayer on it into the wall. Could you read that? Well, I could. It said, "Lord, if you will just let me win, I'll never put my dog on the roof of my car again."

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    1. Romney’s European tour has been a PR disaster. Of course, the Republicans will probably spin it to their xenophobic followers as “Romney Stands Up to all those Ferners.”

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  3. Selfishness and short-sightedness are the hallmarks of being conservative, so while it doesn't make sense to me that we wouldn't put the environment before profits, it doesn't surprise me.

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    1. Very well said, Katie. They should just put it right in the party planks… “Me first. The rest’a y’all can go to hell.”

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  4. It's just shocking to see a party that used to stand for conservative common sense turn into a party that ignores facts that don't line up with their faith, values, and mythology. I'm working a post about all the crazy things Republicans must believe.

    Loved that the Koch Brother's bought-and-paid-for scientist crossed over. A few months ago he admitted switching sides and that he now believed global warming was a thing. This week he went even further, saying that he now believed that humans are the main cause. Facts. We haz dem.

    Many well-meaning and thoughtful people in my family believe the mortgage crisis was caused by Democratic politicians making mortgage companies lower their standards for low-income buyers (i.e. black). Their eyes glaze over when I try to explain credit default swaps and mortgage-backed securities to them. "Wall Street would never do anything unethical like that. It must be the Democrats and the blacks."

    Sometimes I can't believe how close the polls are. It just goes to show how closed-minded people have become to the facts. Or they have their pet issue (i.e. abortion, guns, low taxes) and they don't care about anything else.

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    1. I saw that about the scientist… like, the day after I wrote this post. Goes to what I’ve been saying… the moneyed powers contract scientists to run studies that prove what they want proven. The conclusion is written first, then they try to provide some data.

      Fortunately for us, that kind of thing doesn’t hold up for very long in the scientific community.

      Last year, I also posted about how facts no longer change people’s minds; they just harden the pre-existing beliefs. Just goes to show how we’re rushing headlong into a culture of ignorance. Then one day, people will look around and wonder why the country is in the state it’s in. And then they’ll blame the Democrats and blacks.

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  5. Really, I think this reason for voting Democratic boils down to the same reason as the first: The rich guys *know* they'll be able to afford whatever fixes they need if (when) fixes are necessary (breathing tubes b/c we no longer have an atmosphere, bubble houses for the same reason, better tasting recycled urine 'cause we no longer have any water...) and don't give a crap if anyone else can afford it or not. I think both Katie & CB described it well - selfishness & closed-mindedness is what it takes to be a Repub these days, or like CB said, they have their pet issue and won't let go of their iron grip on who they think will uphold it. So flippin' frustrating!

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  6. I think all the reasons I've listed (and will list) to vote Democratic boil down to the same one... the greed involved in promoting unfettered big business. Even the "peripheral" issues are designed to direct attention away from handing more of our dollars over to the rich.

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