Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Thank You Mr. Obama For Doing the Right Thing

As a politician, the hardest thing in the world must be telling people what they don't want to hear. That's the only logical reasoning I can think of at all for Senator Clinton to be calling for a gas tax "holiday" to help people continue driving more miles over the summer. Or as she puts it "I'm the only candidate who will provide immediate relief at the pump, with a plan." The kinds of plans I'd like to see do not include cutting gas prices to give consumers an illusory ability to continue our current transportation debacle. Hey, here's a neat idea... how about we invest those gas taxes on something useful, like say Mass Transit??? Something that would actually really benefit all of those low-income folks when the price of gas inevitably continues to climb and they're all left with no way to get to work whatsoever??

We need "immediate relief at the pump" in this country like we need a hole in the head. When is it going to sink in that high gas prices are the new normal??People are going to have to stop driving, fuel is running out. Peak oil has come and gone and gas prices are never going to go back down, not ever. I think the best possible thing that could happen right now is for gas prices to stay high and people to start getting a clue that this is it and start adjusting their behavior accordingly. Driving less, spending less at big stores, it's all going to happen all across this country and it's what should happen and needs to happen. We don't need to stimulate an economy that is going to fail anyways because it is based on the false principle that infinite growth can occur in a system with finite resource. We will need to reinvent ourselves as a non-growth based economy and the sooner we start envisioning that, the better. Is it going to be painful, you betcha. For some people much more than for others but every single person is going to feel it. It's the unfortunate end result of our delusional policies of the last couple centuries.

All of which is why I respect Barack Obama even more, for calling it like it is. For calling it like it is, in a hotly contested election year, no less. How many politicians would have the cojones to do something like that? To say, as he did, "The easiest thing in the world for a politician to do is tell you exactly what you want to hear." People want to hear that gas prices will go down, that this is a temporary thing, that their government can somehow fix it. It's just not fixable. One reason I am voting for Obama is my belief that in the very hard times to come, he will be a person of integrity who will call on Americans to do the things we need to do in order to help save our country and our world. He has already uttered the "C" word - Conserve - and I would love to see a leader in the White House who will bring back the notion that it is patriotic to conserve our resources, not spend them with wanton disregard to their future utility.

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