It’s a damn shame. It’s a damn shame that the lust for power takes precedence over the well-being of the inhabitants of planet Earth. It is as if the house is on fire, and half the people living in it say, “Oh no, we cannot go out into the street looking like this … we must first put on nicer clothes and fix our hair.” Helllloooooo … wake up people! That fire isn’t going to go into a holding pattern while you get prettied up, and climate change cannot be put on hiatus until the politicians make up their minds to grow a pair of cojones!
The latest? Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, who is one of the many democratic candidates vying for the office of president next year, along with at least five of the other candidates, requested of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that at least one of the presidential debates be devoted to climate change. Given that climate change is the number one problem facing every nation in the world today and given that our current excuse for a president has, bypassing Congress and using the power of his executive pen, accelerated and exacerbated the effects of climate change, then it makes perfect sense that it should be a major topic of the debates. However, the DNC is cowering in the corner and says “no”. WHY?
Because the DNC fears that such a climate-centric debate could force Democratic contenders to confront policy differences they have so far papered over, including how quickly they would push the U.S. to shift away from the fossil fuels that provide jobs — union jobs. The candidates would also face pressure to offer specifics on their position on the Green New Deal, the ambitious progressive climate resolution that Republicans have sought to tar as an expensive socialist boondoggle. In other words, it is politics as usual.
Let’s get something straight here. The purpose of these debates is to provide an opportunity for the candidates to share their ideas and platforms, and to help We the People to decide, based on where the candidates stand on a host of issues, which candidate is most closely aligned with our own views and values. The purpose is not for the party to control the agenda and ensure we get ‘cookie-cutter’ choices that all look basically the same.
There will be a total of twelve … yes, count ‘em, twelve … democratic primary debates during 2019 and 2020. TWELVE. And they cannot make the topic of one of those twelve, climate change??? In this, the Democratic Party is starting to act a whole heck of a lot like the Republican Party!
Not only is the DNC refusing to hold a debate where climate change is the main topic, but they have also threatened to punish democratic candidates who participate in such a debate hosted by other organizations! Gestapo tactics? According to Jay Inslee …
“Today, my team received a call from the Democratic National Committee letting us know that they will not host a climate debate. Further, they explained that if we participated in anyone else’s climate debate, we will not be invited to future debates. This is deeply disappointing. The DNC is silencing the voices of Democratic activists, many of our progressive partner organizations, and nearly half of the Democratic presidential field, who want to debate the existential crisis of our time. The next president must make defeating this crisis the top priority of the nation. And I will continue to do everything I humanly can to ensure the climate crisis is at the top of the national agenda.”
DNC Chairman Tom Perez justified his decision thusly …
“The DNC will not be holding entire debates on a single-issue area—we want to make sure voters have the ability to hear from candidates on all the issues. You have my word that I will do everything I can to make sure our candidates are able to debate all of the critical issues during this primary.”
First, with twelve debates scheduled, I really think that if one were set aside for climate change, the other eleven would still provide the candidates with ample opportunity to debate every other issue at some length. Second, if we don’t address climate change, frankly there are no other issues, or at least none of the other issues will matter 50 years, 100 years down the road.
I have to concur with what freshman Representative Sean Casten of Illinois said …
“This is the most important issue that we face as a planet and a species right now. If you don’t want to have public debate, this is probably the wrong line of work for you.”
The survival of this nation depends on the democrats defeating Donald Trump in 2020, but this is not the way to go about it. The democrats need to stand above the fray of the republicans, need to get their priorities straight. While it is the strategy of the Republican Party to deny climate change in favour of corporate profit, the democrats cannot mimic this strategy. The majority of people in this country, in the world, understand what the climate scientists are telling us … that this planet cannot continue to sustain life as we know it if we do not act now to stop the damage being done every day to our environment. To eschew the issue is to condemn every living creature on earth to a near-certain death by the end of this century. I suggest that every concerned citizen respond to Mr. Perez’ tweet, letting him know that he is wrong, that We the People want debate on climate change, that we need to know where the candidates stand in order to make an informed and intelligent choice. We cannot afford to put political posturing ahead of life on earth.