One final lesson, for now.
Over the last decade or so, a movement has arisen. It’s embodied by Al Gore’s schlockumentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, which unfortunately is factually challenged at best. In effect, this movement blames the advance of mankind and our expanding economy (which, in turn, creates a demand for more energy, predominantly based on burning carbon-based fossil fuels) for global climate change.
(It used to be global warming, but inconveniently the earth’s average global temperature has actually declined over the last decade. So the green movement needed a new term.)
In response, we have undergone a number of changes in our lifestyle. Let me say right at the top that I believe I speak for conservatives when I say we have no problem with energy-efficient methods of operation. Where we differ from Democrats is believing that there should be a choice in the matter, and energy efficiency should not be achieved through fiat.
An example of this comes with “smart grid” technology. Quoting from Wikipedia:
“…smart grid features could expand energy efficiency beyond the grid into the home by coordinating low priority home devices such as water heaters so that their use of power takes advantage of the most desirable energy sources.
Some of the benefits of such a modernized electricity network include the ability to reduce power consumption at the consumer side during peak hours, called Demand side management.
This all sounds well and good. But where does “the ability to reduce power consumption” end? For example, if Barack Obama repeated Jimmy Carter’s idea about keeping our home thermostats at 65 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees during the summer, couldn’t that same technology reset your home thermostats to those levels whether you wanted them there or not? Personally I’ve found my house is most comfortable at 68 and 75, repsectively. But the green lobby has pitched these sorts of measures in the guise of combatting global climate change.
Then we have our energy sources. Democrats like President Obama believe that we should cut our dependence on foreign oil, and so do I. The problem with their approach is that they don’t want to drill for domestic oil! Obviously any oil or natural gas we find here lessens our need for imports, but that lesson is lost on Democrats. Instead they want to “invest” (read: spend taxpayer dollars on subsidies) in “alternative” energy.
What should be most offensive to every one of you is the fact that some bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. who you’ve never met nor have you vetted for qualifications makes the decisions for you when it comes to the car you drive, the kind of light bulbs you use, and where energy companies can look for new sources of energy to rebuild our sagging economy.
The “green” movement is a symptom of a larger disease. When I cited the Pew study on Sunday, the Democrats’ 45-26 margin among the youth voters was only the second most alarming statistic.
What bothered me more than anything was the 69 percent of voters age 18-29 who thought that government should do more to solve problems, adopting an expanded role in our lives.
Benjamin Franklin is often quoted as noting, “(t)hey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” While many use this as a warning about the PATRIOT Act (which is a valid criticism; personally I feel that act should have a sunset date), I look at this idea in a number of other ways.
On the whole, what the Democratic Party in place circa 2009 and their liberal, socialist followers would like to do is exert their control over your daily life.
This is perfectly embodied in the fact that, if you’re an employee who draws a paycheck, who gets the fruit of your labor first? The government does. Before you can cash your check at the bank or draw from the direct deposit, your money automatically goes to the federal and state government through backup withholding.
What I would suggest to our youth is to take an hour and study a copy of our Constitution, paying particular attention to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Bill of Rights.
You’ll see that it’s not a perfect document, but the idea that freedom and liberty for the individual can and should be paramount shines through.
However, the party you subscribe to and their method of governance ignore that clear advice, instead believing that rights truly belong to the government and should be given out as they see fit.
I know that theory and practice aren’t exactly the same, and elites seem to operate under their own set of rules. This is only because we the people allow them to. In a more perfect Union, Americans would be much more vigilant and protective of their own rights.
By subordinating yourselves and believing only government can bring about solutions, you sell yourselves short and doom future generations to either a Long March toward serfdom or another bloody revolution to once again break the chains of tyranny. It’s your choice – please choose more wisely.