“… government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
The above words were spoken by President Abraham Lincoln on Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The speech was to become one of the best-known speeches in the history of this nation. Read the words again, please. Today, I truthfully and without rhetoric or bombast, state that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people has, in fact, perished from at least the United States. The word ‘democracy’ is a fantasy that is bandied about by some, but the majority of us can plainly see what is before our very eyes … we have been had.
Earlier this year, four of the world’s largest auto makers — Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen of America, Honda and BMW – struck a deal with the State of California to ignore Trump’s rollback of emissions standards and continue their efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in an effort to stem the tide of climate change. Our health depends on it. The air we breathe and the water we drink depends on it. The lives of 7+ billion people, including you and me, depend on it. I applaud this cooperative effort between one of the most polluting industries and the State of California.
The federal government does not applaud this effort, and in fact is challenging it. Today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it will open an investigation as to whether the four automakers violated federal antitrust laws by reaching a side deal to follow California’s stricter rules. Additionally, Trump is considering a plan to revoke California’s legal authority to enforce stricter greenhouse gas emissions rules within its state borders.
To put this into the simplest possible terms … California is saying that they want to try to rescue our environment, save lives, and Trump is saying, “No … you must make the air as unhealthy as possible!”.
And, if you aren’t concerned enough about the environment, think of your own wallets! Trump is actively promoting cars that use more fuel, which means you will be buying more fuel just to get to work and back home each day.
According to the New York Times …
Top lawyers from the Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department on Friday sent a letter to Mary Nichols, California’s top clean air official, saying, “The purpose of this letter is to put California on notice” that its deal with automakers “appears to be inconsistent with federal law.”
Government for the people? I think not. More like … government for the rich fossil fuel barons. Government by the people? With a billionaire in the White House and 358 of the 535 members of Congress being millionaires, I don’t think we can say it is a government by the people. Government of the people? Our elections are increasingly unfair and dishonest: think voter disenfranchisement, lack of voter security against outside influences, gerrymandering. Additionally, once elected, our senators and representatives seem to forget the best interest of those of us who put them in office. So no, I don’t think our government is of the people, either. Mr. Lincoln was fortunate not to have lived to see this day.