Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Crazy Party

I'm finding it hard to blog these days because the country has simply gone mad. As Jonathan Chait tells us all too patiently and calmly, the U.S. Republican party is the only major political party on the planet that denies the reality of climate change and insists that nothing can or should be done about it. Obviously there are conservative parties all over the world, but not one of them takes that position -- even though many of them are in countries that have important fossil fuel sectors. (Of course the Middle Eastern monarchies don't have political parties per se -- he's talking about countries with representative government.)

As Chait also points out, even classic libertarianism recognizes the existence of environmental externalities and that there is justification for building them into the price structure. In other words, a carbon tax would be the conservative solution to climate change, in a sane conservative party.

Then there's universal health care, which is universally supported outside of the U.S. There's, you know, evolution. The cold fact that U.S. military power is limited in what it can achieve. That most people who get nutrition assistance are in fact working (or children or disabled) but their jobs don't pay enough to keep them fed. That fetuses are not babies. I could go on but these people are just completely nuts, and they control our legislative branch, most state legislatures, and get completely respectful treatment by the corporate media.

We are, in other words, in very big trouble. And I'm not sure how we got here.


roger said...

i spend les and less time reading news or commentary. it is too depressing. the lying nut cases on the right complain about the liberal bias of the very media that repeat everything from them uncritically. charlie rose sounds foolishly uniformed interviewing putin. chuck todd sounds stupid no matter what he's talking about. gaaa

Daniel said...

I suggest this explanation for how we got here. The Republican party incorporated Evangelical Christians as a significant part of their electoral base and they are are group who have a belief system that can not be supported by evidence. Over decades this base became powerful in Republican party and, with the aid of unlimited money, elected many of their own at all levels of government. These people do not appear to limit their belief systems, that are not supported by evidence collected through scientific method, to matters of faith. Their brouhaha over Planned Parenthood is a good example of this unfortunate belief system.

I don't know ho we get out of this situation. We need rationalism now more than ever.