Hypocrisy. There is little so distasteful, or so common, in modern political discourse as the politician who espouses one idea publicly while holding the opposite view privately.
Disingenuous. Another behavior that continues to find it’s way to Center Stage. In many ways, it is the spokesperson for Hypocrisy.
While both of those qualities are available in abundance, that does not mean they should be. Nor that we should tolerate or accept this behavior.
I don’t expect to agree with any candidate on every issue. I don’t care to. Ideological purity tests do not interest me. Demonstrate competence, intelligence, compassion and more than a passing affinity for the Constitution – and you’ve got my attention.
If concern for the environment is your big issue, fine. Let’s go there. (Ahem, Jon Huntsman and Gore supporters.) Let’s take care of our water. Our air. Recycle. Recognize that family farmers are often the best stewards of the land, what practices do they employ that can be translated elsewhere? As technology advances, so should we. Responsibly.
If you want me to drive a “green” car, that’s fine. Let’s agree at the outset that any electric vehicle should contain cobalt from ethically sourced mines. For that matter, any of the circuitry or other components should come from conflict-free sources. I am not going to jump into an electric car simply because you say it’s great for the environment. Maybe HERE in the United States it is – but not if the minerals come from Congo. Not if the minerals are the product of slave labor, systemic mass rapes and labor driven by a fear of auto-cannibalism or murder. Not if the minerals are strip mined in the heart of Congo, where the second largest rain forest in the world is compromised by China and other speculators.
Ethanol, then? Fine. Let’s talk about ethanol. I do not support fuel-grade corn subsidies. I do not support the production of fuel-grade corn at the expense of FOOD grade corn. I refuse to hop behind the wheel of an ethanol powered vehicle until the production of corn ethanol, or any bio-fuel, does not disrupt the food supply in Latin America where food grade maize shortages over the last few years are on the rise. Much like the cassava in Africa, maize is a primary food source for many people in Latin America. Unless the ethanol can be produced ethically, I am not getting behind the wheel of the car.
Natural gas? Perfect. Sign me up, as long as it comes from predominately domestic sources.
This brings me to oil. We have rich natural domestic resources. We should be intellectually honest here. Preserving our perfect little Stepford world at the expense of others, for “green” marketing schemes is anathema to the American Dream. We can be both green and ethical. Republicans need to work with Democrats. Engineers and innovators should look at resources available here, and how ethical investments abroad, will advance production.
If you want to beat China, get them where it hurts: on the wholesale side of their business. In the back of the house. Beat them at every turn. Resource exploration. Providing local jobs – under ethical circumstances. If you are a miner in Congo, do you want to be a slave or become a successful artisan miner with personal, financial and physical security. Do you want to have lots of folks buying your wares? Or just genocidal warlords that sell to China? Think about it.
President Obama has avoided any tangible success in the anti-genocide or human dignity arena. Corporate minded folks, like Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, fought divestment – or worse – were utterly indifferent to it. In Huntsman’s case, he implemented policies for both George W. Bush and Obama that appeased China. Wholesale and retail, Huntsman helped. Yes, he understands the Chinese very well. Goodie for him. That makes him all the more responsible for the acts China profits from. Conflict minerals. And petrol wealth from Sudan’s genocidal regime.
The door is wide open on this key aspect of foreign policy. We live in a world transformed, almost daily, by advances in technology. This is a time when America should be on the leading edge of developing whatever comes next. Ethically. Our policy should come from a place that evokes Emma Lazarus as much as it does Ben Franklin.