Republican politicians had best be careful of what they wish for as they mercilessly attack Democrats’ Green New Deal (GND).
Just what are the Republicans railing against? The targets of their wrath pertain to clean air and water, a carbon-free environment, energy efficient buildings, universal access to nature, dominance of clean, renewable energy, and full employment. Also health care, economic security, and higher education availability for all. These noble goals are at the crux of the GND, which was introduced by congressional Democrats in the form of a non-binding resolution. It’s safe to say the aforementioned aspirational goals would be popular with most Americans, regardless of political persuasion.
This dissent from the eager scrum of Republican GND critics is ready made to set off a backlash.
From President Trump to congressional backbenchers, the rhetoric to defame the New Deal is so outlandish as to be an insult to the American people’s intelligence. Republicans challenge credulity by accusing the GND of calling for an end to airplanes, cows, hamburgers, ice cream, and oil and gas so as to curb pollution within a ten year time frame. No sane politician would advocate this, even if they somehow believed it, knowing full well they would be laughed out of town before being run out of it.
Sure enough, these wild assertions are not in the Resolution, which is light on attainment details in the hope of triggering congressional debate. The document does suggest that use of aircraft and curtailment of cows’ methane discharges to combat greenhouse gas pollution be modified “as technologically feasible”. Implicit in the Resolution is that short airline commuter routes should ideally be replaced by high
Global Horizons Syndicate February 26, 2019 Washington DC
speed rail to save energy and reduce atmospheric emissions. It goes without saying that the cow flatulence problem can be solved without doing away with livestock. Innovation through diversification of cattle’s grass diet, addition of a gas—purging algae to the feed, and gradually shifting humanity from meat to a more plant-based menu are
“ ... ‘Ah, but a
at least partial solutions.
The ten year time frame is clearly a baseline but not a hard and fast deadline as evidenced by the caveat that desired change should occur “as soon as possible”. Drafters of the Resolution thus concede that the professed goals can only be achieved at
his grasp or an incremental pace. It must be undertaken as urgently aswhat’s a heaven possible of course, but through gradation nonetheless.
for’.” The GOP assertion that the GND abolishes the private sector in some sort of socialist purge doesn’t square with the language in the Resolution. The document reads that the GND must be developed through
“cooperation with business”.
So how did the GOP dredge up these preposterous charges? The catalyst was some unfortunate wording in a GND fact sheet released by the office of Rep. Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. Out of carelessness and/or naivite, the authors of the fact sheet inserted the ridiculous statement that air travel and livestock should be eliminated to reduce pollution. To top it off, the fact sheet touted economic security for all, including those “unwilling to work”. Public financial support of freeloaders and deadbeats is toxic to American cultural and moral DNA, and like the plane and cow references is nowhere to be found in the GND Resolution.
Republican politicians should ditch their shabby denigration of the GND’s visionary set of laudable objectives and instead draw inspiration from the famed British poet Robert Browning. In the words of this venerable bard, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for”.
Perhaps embracing that philosophy would help slow the Washington GOP crowd’s dizzying downward moral spiral.