The Bush Administration has always made me think of George Orwell and his novel â€œ1984â€ from the point of view of language. While all politicians and all administrations I can remember have been somewhat loose with language and the truth, the current administration has realized the vision of Orwell in that language means nothing and is to be used to manipulate the citizens of the country.
What makes me think of this once again? The Bush EPA blocking California and 16 other states from enforcing states laws to protect the environment and their citizens. EPA stands for Environmental Protection Agency, yet the Bush EPA has nothing to do with protecting the environment and everything to do with turf battles and giving in to special interests. As we all know, the Bush administration has shown no respect for the environment and has shown a total absence of leadership in the area of CO2 emissions. It actually fought and lost a court case where the court ruled that the EPA does have jurisdiction over the issue of green house emissions. Who does the Bush EPA protect? Not the environment.
The signing into law of the energy bill last week allowed the Bush EPA to deny California and the other states from enforcing laws that have more stringent regulations regarding CO2 emissions and automotive fleet MPG. The emissions standards California adopted in 2004, which were never approved by the federal government, would force automakers to cut greenhouse gas emission by 30 percent by 2016. If you have ever been in LA on a bad smog day you can understand the relatively easy passage of that bill. As I wrote here in a column titled â€œOnce Again it Starts in Californiaâ€, that state has, in contrast to Washington D.C., shown consistent leadership in the area of issues pertaining to global warming. A Republican governor and a Democratic legislature came together for leadership; what a concept!
There of course is no precedent in what the Bush EPA did last week and the states are all going to take it to court as there is a lot of precedent on the side of the states. In fact, this year alone courts in California and Vermont upheld the California standards against legal challenges from the auto industry. The attorney generals of New York, Connecticut and California all said they would challenge the decision. They should all win in court, but once again leadership and taking constructive action is being resisted by those in the Bush administration.
This of course makes me think of Orwell again. I always thought that conservatives and most republicans believed in â€˜states rightsâ€™. That was often a way to avoid taking a stand on a difficult issue such as integration, moral issues and taxation, but true conservatives felt that a big Federal government was not good and that states had certain rights. So here we have a â€œconservativeâ€ â€œrepublicanâ€ administration overruling states rights to protect their respective environment and citizens. Hmmmmmm, makes you think even more of the language the Bush administration, and many others in Washington D.C. use.
Big government and government spending is bad according to Bush, which was a significant part of the rationale to pass tax cuts. Thatâ€™s what conservatives and republicans have always said. However not only has government spending grown more under this administration than any other, the national debt has increased more under this administration than any other. As the www.truthin2008.org site points out, the true national debt is more than $54 trillion. Yes trillion. More than half of that, some $30 trillion has been racked up since Bush came into office. But hey, we are spending ourselves into disaster because we are â€œfighting to protect freedomâ€. Freedom from what? Debt? Dependence upon foreign oil? Freedom from states rights and fiscal responsibility? Freedom from pollution? Freedom from fear?
I write this column as a futurist. I am concerned about the future of this country. There are half a dozen major issues that the U.S. must face, and soon, if it is to remain a great country. I will address these in 2008. The Bush administration is not looking at any of them. Not only are they not looking at them, they have taken George Orwellâ€™s â€œ1984â€ playbook and made it policy, whatever that might mean these days.
As a futurist, I have accepted that we will have to wait until there is a new administration to roll up our sleeves and face our countryâ€™s future. That is why the 2008 presidential election is the most important one in at least a generation. If the Bush EPA protects the environment, then a four letter word for peace must be Iraq.