Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Guest Post by J. Marquis

When Reality Meets Rhetoric

I always think it's interesting when real-world events occur and make political and social rhetoric obsolete.

I think we've reached one of those moments with the price of gas. I know investor speculation and the weakness of the dollar are part of the equation but the bottom line is there is only so much petroleum out there and a whole lot of non-Americans are hungry to live the way we do.

Two years ago if you bought a Prius, many Americans would snicker and say you were an elitist liberal treehugger. Now those same people would ask you where you got the vehicle and if there was a waiting list. Paying four bucks a gallon has a way of changing a person's perspective.

Global warming? Pretty soon it won't matter if you believe in it or not...the cost of gas will decide if you're going to run back and forth to the mall 3 times today in your Expedition.

The biggest disappointment of the current presidential campaign is how little time has been spent discussing this country's energy policy. And I don't just mean raising mpg averages or drilling in ANWR (which gets tepid support from the public because they know it's not a long-term solution).

I'm talking about a COMPREHENSIVE energy policy. One that recognizes that this is the core issue for America today. One that recognizes we need to change our spending priorities in a big way.

We've spent hundreds of billions of dollars over the last twenty years "protecting" Mideast oil. Can you imagine what kind of technology we'd have in place now if we'd spent even half that money on non-oil energy research? Electric cars, giant solar energy installations in the desert, tidal power generators working on both coasts, etc. etc.

But we cling to the oil. And who benefits? Very often the people who hate us the most.

I'm not going to put all the blame on the Republicans or the oil companies or Wall Street or Detroit. We're all to blame... we've taken the easy way out for decades. We knew this day would come but we continued to elect leaders who lacked the courage and
imagination needed if this country is going to prosper in the 21st century.

Come on, America. Bring the troops home (from everywhere) and get to work on our energy and healthcare needs. You'll be amazed how things start to fall into line when you do.

~J. Marquis, Major Conflict

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