On climate change and so many other crucial issues, the people deserve better.
Want to see a bunch of disconcerted stares? Perhaps some expressions of anger, disbelief and even disgust? Stand back as a politician or elected official from one of the two major political parties addresses a gathering of young people.
Watch as the partisan says the only way to solve the challenges Millennials and Zoomers face – like global warming and resulting climate change – is to “get involved,” volunteer for candidates, give time and money to the party…
The young people’s unvoiced utterances are palpable, too, jabbing at the air like an index finger rousting an octogenarian who needs to wake up for their supper.
“You mean to say we need to invest what little time we have to force change into a system that has failed us completely, and continues to do so?”
“You mean you want us to keep repeating what people have been doing for decades, over and over again, expecting a different result? Isn’t that the definition of insanity?”
“Do you really think ‘getting involved’ in the two-party system will do anything to address global warming and devastating climate change?”
Because they don’t. They still have hope, but it certainly isn’t derived from the two major political parties.
The USA’s two-party system is an utter failure, on climate change above all but on the majority of common citizens’ needs.
Congress can get nothing of substance done.
The Supreme Court is hopelessly partisan.
And even when the majority of regular people overwhelmingly wants something done a certain way, it doesn’t happen.
It used to, when elected officials still behaved at least somewhat ethically and with honor. But those days are long since gone.
Inasmuch as this is a Democrat vs. Republican post, it’s also decidedly not. There are bad actors on both sides, drunk with greed, power and, yes, privilege, sealing our collective fate.
There is no clearer illustration of the failure than the climate crisis.
It’s been more than 33 years since Dr. James Hansen warned a U.S. Senate committee of the threats of greenhouse gas emissions for the planet and the human race. The USA and the world must move away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible, he told the senators.
Congress did nothing then, and it has done next to nothing ever since. Same for every president, regardless of political party. Sure, some of them have made a little noise about climate change, but not one has done anything anywhere near the level of significance that is absolutely crucial now.
President Joe Biden, you say? Too little, too slowly. Besides, Republicans, not surprisingly, are as one in their opposition to climate-change-fighting legislation. And then you’ve got people like Sen. Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona and Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia, so-called Democrats who are going to scuttle even the weakened climate-change initiatives Biden and other Democrats have proposed.
Heck, in 2018 the Democratic National Committee, under Tom Perez, reportedly refused to stop taking money from political action committees associated with fossil fuel industries.
Two years later, the DNC removed language that was in the 2016 platform that promised to end subsidies for fossil fuels and do more to support renewables development.
In North Dakota, where I live, the Democratic party continues to preach “all-of-the-above” energy policy. As I’ve said before, repeatedly, “all-of-the-above” is simply a euphemism for “dig-baby-dig” and “burn-baby-burn,” a bait-and-switch to keep the fossil fuels flowing and burning. It’s a pathetic attempt at a middle road they seem to think retains what few votes they have. (More than 86 percent of seats in the state legislature are held by the GOP and a Republican is in every single statewide office, so, yeah, good luck with that.)
Next to the “all-of-the-above” ruse, the Republicans come off looking at least a little more honest with their blatant calls for 800 more years of mining dirty lignite coal.
So, here we are, with the human race on the brink, and the USA’s two political parties at every level are incapable of anything more than power grubbing, finger-pointing & raking in cash.
Sure, many Democrats have their hearts and minds in the right place, but they, too, are invested in a system that is irrevocably broken.
Even the privileged white men who wrote and signed the U.S. Constitution understood that a system of two political parties would likely devastate the nation they were forming.
The “great political evil” John Adams foretold is upon us, and because of it we are now literally facing the abyss.
Despite the 10 or so years the UN’s IPCC scientists report we have left to avoid triggering crucial tipping points and the most devastating effects of climate change, the hard truth is we have zero days left, let alone years, to dawdle.
Climate aside, there’s enough failure to go around to both major political parties on just about every initiative, issue and program that would be good for the middle and lower classes.
All you have to do is look a little.
But if you look even just a little bit harder, you’ll realize the two-political-party system is already dead.
One big, shameless, DO-NOTHING Party.
So, yeah, maybe telling Millennials and Zoomers – or anyone else, for that matter – over and over that they should “get involved” in the two major political parties to solve societal problems isn’t just a little passé; perhaps it’s actually the new definition of insanity.
Featured image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash