Monthly Archives: July 2014

Oncoming Trucks

Oncoming Trucks

This is a report. It was created by the congressional research service because Republican senators wanted proof that the economy grows when taxes are cut for the wealthy – an article of faith on which Republican economic policy has been based since the days of Ronald Reagan.

But that is not what the congressional research service found to be true. In fact, in the last 70 years taxes for the wealthy have not been correlated with economic growth.

And the Republican party did its level best to suppress that report. Because it’s no longer available from the congressional research service, the above link is to the copy that’s archived by the New York Times. More importantly, in light of this important new fact, the Republicans did not reevaluate their economic policy.

Here’s another report. This one is about anthropogenic climate destabilization. It starkly and flatly refutes the claims of those who’ve been saying there is no problem. And also the claims of those who say that it isn’t people who are causing the problem.

And here’s an assessment of the stance of Republicans on climate issues. Stunningly, Republican policy seems to have been more firmly based on the truth before the truth became completely clear and easily available, and is now uniformly opposed to it.

I have an issue with politicians who decide that they don’t like truth. Looking straight at the research, then trying to run a country and forming your policies in ways that put the nation directly on a collision course with the facts that research reveals, is a lot like looking straight at an oncoming truck and pulling out into traffic directly in front of it. That truck is there. You can’t magically unmake it by not believing in it or by acting like you don’t believe in it.

I understand that there is a problem funding reelection campaigns if you piss off the people for whom that truth is inconvenient. But that’s like a passenger on a bus yelling that he needs to get to the airport in fifteen minutes, so hurry. If you’re the bus driver, you’re still looking straight at the truck. And that passenger is going to be just as hurt – just as likely dead, in fact – as you and all the rest of your passengers if you pull out in front of that truck and crash the bus.

When you’re on the highway, you have an obligation to drive according to what you see n the world around you so you don’t crash. A politician ignoring truth in this way because campaign contributors want it, is being as irresponsible as a bus driver ignoring an oncoming truck because a passenger is yelling at her to hurry.

You and I are passengers on the bus. If this thing crashes, it’s not just that bus driver who will bear the pain and damage and loss, nor just the idiot yelling at her that he needs to get to the airport. It’s all of us.

I’m not very political. I have some strong views about political issues, but honestly it doesn’t matter to me whether the people who agree with me about a particular issue are conservative or liberal or green or libertarian. I tend to respect personal responsibility and individual rights more than Democrats do, I respect industry and enterprise more than the Greens do, and I guess I respect ecology and science and facts a HELL of a lot more than the Republicans do lately.

But when you get down to it, I’m just a guy who tries to figure out what would be good for the country and the world at large and votes for whoever seems likely to do it. The Democrats are being idiots about some issues too, but episodes like these make me scared of the Republican party in the way a passenger is scared by a bus driver willing to pull out in front of an oncoming truck.

Whatever political stripe you happen to have, whatever party your elected congresscreatures belong to, I’m going to make a plea. Write to them today and tell them please, please, don’t ignore legitimate science. Regardless of party affiliation, ignoring reality is something we cannot possibly survive by doing.