From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Screw 'em ... they'll never vote for us anyway!

January 12, 2004 8:33 AM

Christie Whitman, former EPA administrator and moderate Republican, extols the virtues of moderation in an op-ed this morning. She gives an example of how special interests screw up policy:

Unfortunately, genuine advances in environmental protection were frequently lost amid extremist rhetoric. When the E.P.A. proposed a rule to reduce pollution from the thousands of unregulated diesel engines — tractors, backhoes, and other equipment — the National Resources Defense Council hailed it as "the most significant public health proposal in decades."

Within days, however, that changed. Other environmental groups expressed dismay that any environmentalist would say something so positive about the administration. Eventually the council wrote us a letter asking that we stop using that comment because it felt there could have been other environmental proposals that might have been more important to public health.

Here's the best part:

Some Republican consultants say that since we're not going to win the votes of environmentalists anyway, we needn't worry about what they think. Yet there are plenty of voters who care about the environment, even if it's not the first thing they mention in polls. Politics that writes off large parts of the electorate is both counterproductive and short-sighted. Yet both parties seem determined to pursue that course.

There's no ideology involved in policy anymore, it's simply a matter of catering to the electorate you think will vote for you. If it comes down to an environmental regulation, it makes a lot more sense for the GOP to side with their corporate campaign contributors than it does to environmentalists -- who will never vote for a Republican anyway. Why worry about the poor, they never vote for us anyway!

It's so simple, and shows just how horribly flawed our republic is.

More from the archive in Environment, Politics.

Screw 'em ... they'll never vote for us anyway! (01.12.2004)

Next Entry: The strangest of bedfellows (01.12.2004)
Previous Entry: Setting the agenda (01.11.2004)

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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