Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against being wealthy. In fact, all I really want is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.
But maybe it’s because I grew up one generation removed from the Dust Bowl in a place where wealth was something people kinda kept to themselves. Perhaps it’s all the baggage of my obsessively-modest Scandinavian anscestory. It might be that family life on a single middle-class income doesn’t allow for much in the way of excess.
But I’ve never much cared for conspicuous consumption. And I suspect that even if Premiere Radio hired me to replace Limbaugh in 2016 (which would be a swell idea, if any Premiere execs are reading this!), I wouldn’t change a whole lot.
And by the opposite token, while I do like the environment (especially on weekends like thsi past one in the Twin Cities), the environmental movement is pretty much out of control in this country; the Global Warming scam is only the latest of the con games they’ve played to try to wrest control of society from the democratic process (for a detailed chronology of the various scams, just look up Paul Ehrlich’s bibliography). I believe mankind would have to work very hard indeed to destroy the environment.
But that doesn’t mean he should try.
In recent years, conservatives have found some wry ways to stick fingers in the eyes of their liberal nemeses. I participate (enthusiastically) in things like National Ammo Day, the Tea Parties, and of course Talk Radio (which proves every day that liberals only care about the First Amendment when it comes to saying naughty things and waving ones’ privates in public).
But I get the impression that there are more than a few conservatives who miss the “nudge and a wink” bit.
Look – wealth is good. Indeed, in the long run wealth, spread over the world, is the only thing mankind can do that will positively affect the environment. Remember forty years ago, when the same crowd of people who are ramming “Global Warming” down everyone’s throat were doing the same thing with “overpopulation” (I do. It gave me nightmares when I was seven years old), and demanded the same sort of response (global government action)? And yet the only thing that actually slows population growth is prosperity; when people don’t need to have kids to ensure their own survival, they have fewer of them. Likewise – even if we assume that mankind does have an effect on global temperature, it is only generalized prosperity that will prompt the parts of the world that are doing the actual polluting (China and India) to worry more about smog and less about feeding their populations.
Still – and I’m going to take a moment to enforce my theocratic constructs on you – God does ask us all to be good stewards of His creation. When you’re out hunting, not only should one not slaughter wantonly (state fish and game rules notwithstanding), but one should dispose of their beer cans and jerky wrappers properly. Likewise, just because one can wreck something, doesn’t mean one should wreck something (a lesson that’s hard to get across to teenagers, but should be quite this hard for adults).
I talked with one “conservative” a few years ago who said it was every conservative’s duty to buy a Hummer, keep their homes at a constant 68 degrees, and create as much trash as possible.
I demurred – not so much because any of them “cause global warming” as…:
It’s expensive as hell, and when it comes to money, I put the “Conserve” into “Conservative”; Hummers are a lot of money that I’d much rather spend on other things. I don’t even have AC; at any rate,the free market has a way of moderating this sort of behavior, at least for me; it’s expensive as hell.
And excuse me but, um, why? I mean, if spending money and time for the hell of it brings you joy, then knock yourself out, I guess, but I never quite got it. I’m not going to tell you not to do it, but it really has less to do with politics than with finding a high-sounding justification for “gluttony”, in the “seven deadly sins” sense of the term. And naturally, since we have free will, you have every right to be a glutton. Just tread carefully when trying to ennoble it with some higher purpose it doesn’t deserve.
After 9/11, as the US got ready to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq,the left launched any number of deeply stupid symbolic protests; “Naked Unicyclists for Peace” and the like. As if unicycling naked – by any definition more of a narcissistic attention-getting exercise than an actual political act of any use – was somehow raised to a form of high political purpose by tacking “…for Peace” onto the end of it. In other words, it falsely ennobled narcissism and self-centeredness (with, usually, hilarious-yet-nauseating results).
So in all honesty, what makes gluttony-dressed-up-as-politics any better (other than “not having ageing ex-hippies riding unicycles in the nude, of course)?