Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why democrats are responsible for where we are today

Everybody knows that the US was once the world's largest oil exporter. And we were an insanely rich country because of it. Oil flows through an economy like water through the root system of a thirsty plant. It gets into everything. But alas such things do not last forever. US oil production peaked in 1970 and we've been importing more and more ever since.

Now we've got all these people blaming each other for the problems we face. I doubt there's anyone who still believes it is possible to raise a family on a 40 hour/week blue collar wage. I know it's easy and perhaps even politically correct to blame republicans for allowing this to happen. But it would be naive to do so.

A long time ago (in the '70s particularly) some democrats had the foresight and the honesty to admit that we were heading down the path of unsustainability. And wasn't it reasonable for them to do so? I doubt even the most "conservative" of the so-called "conservatives" really thought oil would be cheap forever. There was conclusive evidence that US oil production had peaked and no matter what we did we would never surpass the volume of oil we produced in 1970. (Not even with the Trans-Alaskan pipeline...) So why did we not do something back then?

It's a well established fact that pushing for sustainability is political suicide. I believe this is THE political conundrum of our time. How can a country survive when the political "natural selection" process weeds out all those who think realistically? The answer is: It... can't. And people need to realize this sooner rather than later.

Ok but why blame democrats? It's a bit hard to understand at first but I'll break it down. We (arguably) have a two party system. In general ideological terms, one is the party of capitalism and one is the party of socialism. Both parties fight for power and then a compromise is made. Ideologically, that's how it works. But is that how it works in reality? Well... not really. In reality, the capitalists label the socialists as communists, and then attack them because some other communists somewhere did something really bad (something that usually had little to do with the actual concept of communism--and usually involving a murderous tyrannical dictator or oligarchy). There's 1000 variations of this form of "political assassination" and I would bet there are many people who would define "politics" as the sum of all these sadistic variations of political assassination tactics. Yes politics does seem to be nothing more than the act of political assassination. (And isn't that the definition of politics implied by Bush when he said "There's time for politics"?? Remember that? What other definition of "politics" fits in so well?) Jesus I could spend all day on this...

Ok, so I'm blaming democrats for this disgusting political climate? Yep. What did they do wrong? How could they possibly have prevented such lowdown dirty tactics. Well they couldn't really prevent it from happening. But once it does, the people who engage in those tactics need to be discredited in the public arena. If someone calls a democrat a pinko commie librul, then that democrat need only bring this up whenever the conversation shifts toward that person.

Reporter: "Did you hear what so and so said about immigration?"
Democrat: "Why should I care what he thinks, he once called me a pinko commie librul leftist nut. The question I have is, why are you reporting what he says?"

Democrats obviously don't defend themselves very well. So what are they doing if they aren't defending themselves? Sticking with the issues? Hell no. Democrats never supported any of the real solutions, because they were afraid to admit the truth and visit the dreaded land of political incorrectness. Had they done so... had they supported Carter more fully for example, then the political tide would have shifted left. We'd be wasting far less oil. I'm not saying we wouldn't still be the world's largest oil importer, but at least we wouldn't be wasting SO MUCH OIL on inefficient engines. Oil is money. It's pure black gold. It just makes more sense to invest that MONEY into technological growth rather than unburned exhaust emissions. Think about it. For every barrel of oil we consume, more than half of it is wasted by an archaic internal combustion process that runs at around 20% efficiency. Oil is used far more effectively in the other non-transportation sectors. It would have taken a massive amount of money to give us engines that run at 60% instead of 20%. And as I said oil is money. So yes basically we could indeed have spent all that MONEY on technology to save fuel, rather than simply burning it up as fuel. We'd still be faced with the end of cheap oil, because increased efficiency causes an increase in consumption. (Jevon's Paradox.) But at least we could have gotten a great deal more economic growth out of what we consumed. And god forbid we could have put some of that growth toward sustainability.

Look at the big picture for a minute. The survival of a globalized civilization depends greatly on our ability to squeeze as much energy as possible out of limited fuel sources. We take in oil and natural gas and we produce electricity, plastic, fertilizers, pesticides, machines, and just about everything else. By increasing energy efficiency, we are allowed to use more energy to grow the economy instead of letting it go to waste. It seems like a no brainer that governments should take an active role in promoting (subsidizing) energy efficiency. And yes I totally blame democrats for not doing enough. How the hell can I seriously blame republicans? Conservative ideology really does not say anything about "the greater good". Heh I can't even imagine a bunch of wall street repugs thinking about the greater good. But you know they do every so often.... that's when they throw themselves off their balconies or OD on sleeping pills. They are like those chess programs that could never win against the best humans because they didn't take the time to see that sacrifing a rook now will net you a queen 10 or 20 moves down the road. And no, just because I'm using a chess analogy does not mean I'm anything like that neocon whore Zbigniew Brzezinski (Carter's national security advisor). Expecting the wall street republicans to see the big picture is like expecting a fly not to land on a pile of... Anyway you cannot expect big business repugs to act like that. You just have to counterbalance their madness with some good ol fashion collectivism. It's tough to say what the right amount is. (We don't want to end up like the Borg.) But the point is we don't really have much of a choice. The people who own most of the media are quite unanimous in their opinion that anyone to the left of Richard Perle is a damn communist. And democrats are not challenging that nonsense either. You'd think discussion of who owns the media is off limits. No it's not.

Who cares what they do. Take a damn stand. Take a stand on something right, not on something that seems "winnable". If it causes a republican to win the next election, so what. At least the democrats will be a true opposition party. And maybe after a few years of hard opposition, they could get control back for the people. This isn't exactly a new concept. Many people know that Republican Lite does not work. It might win a few elections that might otherwise have been lost, but it is not really helping America as a country. And now we must come to terms with the damage that has been done because so many of us refused to accept the fact that Republican Lite does not work. Because we are losing massive amounts of money every day. It's going up in smoke. Out the tailpipe. It could have gone somewhere but instead it went nowhere, except perhaps into the atmosphere to deal us a double whammy for our ignorance.


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