If there’s one thing Republicans hate is a self-deprecating freeloader.
“Quit yer’ crying and pull yourself up by your own damn bootstraps,” they say. “This is America for God sakes.”
From the unemployed cashing their insurance checks to the mighty corporations sullied by recession, Republicans are not inclined to doll out favors. From the Republicans point of view there is no replacing hard work, determination and ingenuity and any coddling on the part of the government would only serve to diminish these human, these American qualities. Markets should be set free where economics can mirror the drama of nature. And at the heart of Evolutionary Economics, the mechanism which moves the species forward through mutation and reward, is adaptation. Adaptation and rather positive evolution should be a pillar of the Republican platform. Why then, with all we know about climate change, CO2 and coal are Republicans slamming the pulpit in defense of something so crude, archaic and deadly, a Dickensian energy which puts both its captors and its consumers in harm’s way?
Today alternatives aren’t World’s Fair imaginations that could, in theory, one day become useful. Solar and wind energy are both being rolled out in industrial degrees, linked to utility grids and used independently and several European countries are demonstrating that these alternatives are less expensive than fossil fuels. Renewable energy should rightly unseat fossil fuels.
Republicans rely heavily on donations from corporations like Koch Industries and ExxonMobile and bend their ears toward their lobbyists. It’s not confusing why so many Republicans will undermine their own intelligence, or at least that of 97% of climate scientists, on TV and Capitol Hill and pass legislation that favors polluting companies over their constituency’s wellbeing.
Lately, the war on coal, like all of the economic and environmental rhetoric from the GOP, has centered on jobs. The EPA’s new ruling, which will cut carbon emissions from power plants 30% by 2030, according to Republicans (and some Democrats in coal producing states) will kill middle class jobs and destroy the economy. The laissez faire hand does not offer an open palm to those in need. Why are Republicans fighting for an industry that shouldn’t have existed in the first place? No, EPA regulations are not laissez faire, but neither is legislation which creates hurdles for emerging clean industry and penalizes its consumers.
These aren’t exactly jobs worth fighting for in the first place. Coal mines collapse. Coal mines are unhealthy and miners often work unwittingly deceived by their employers. Coal is toxic and is the most carbon rich fuel on the planet. What’s more, the public doesn’t even want what their selling anymore, preferring alternative solutions for their energy needs. Shitty job or not, people need jobs. But they don’t need coal. The “Green Economy” is on a tear compared to its sluggish whole, four times faster.
So where’s the tough love from the GOP? Where’s John Boehner’s pride for his walks to school in the snow, uphill both ways? Deep snow! But he’d tell you no deeper than today. This is America, and Americans aren’t scared of a fight, unafraid of the fish that drags them out to sea. Americans defy convention and are leaders who define the status quo. Republicans taut these laurels with drums, challenging the meek to matches of patriotism. They call liberals socialists and socialists un-American. They sing of our founding fathers and their rebellion against the old guard, the royal governers, the tyrants who controlled the capital and the colonies. So why are they calling to rely so heavily, for energy and jobs, on such a caustic industry? Because it’s making loads of money for their donors and America is exporting more coal than ever before. Business is good and Republicans’ allegiance is clear. Republicans are today’s royal governors and we are still the people.
As for Americans, for coal miners, for job seekers, let coal die. Let it wane like, like asbestos, lead paint, and mercury as medicine. Adapt, evolve and flourish. Call them Patriot Panels, call them Wind Freedom Farms, whatever it takes. There is a new path to forge and it’s becoming well-trodden. Anything else would be un-American.