The party that voted against Social Security, Civil rights, seat belts and air bags is running the cigarette smoking campaign redux with global warming. For years they contended there was no definitive proof that cigarettes caused cancer. Study after study proved the connection and Republicans with their tobacco lobby allies would claim the study defective or the scientist’s partisan. Then the tobacco lobby would produce their own study disputing the original facts.
I have always been a fan of science fiction films of the 1950’s and 1960’s it’s fun to look back and see how they envisioned our future. With picture telephones the size of car spare tires and robots with spinning antenna on top of their heads. But usually the crux of their movie plot involved some dire crises facing planet Earth. In the Japanese classic Godzilla the monster rose out of the sea because of mankind’s careless use of nuclear power.
No one thought to dispute the issue of the monsters intent, so as I’ve said there are no Republicans in science fiction. Were it real, Republican legislators would have stood in the well Congress, “Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in support of our friends in Japan. Their Capital City in ruins because of this horrible monster from the deep, but Mr. Speaker let us not be too quick to assume that the monsters motivation was nuclear energy. This monster also attacked bridges and commuter trains so it is just as plausible that the monster was opposing public transportation.
In the classic film “The Day The Earth Stood Still” an Alien space craft lands in Washington D.C. The alien has been sent on a mission to convince mankind to pursue the paths of peace. In a speech before the United Nations the visitor asserts that if mankind will only renounce war that assistance will be granted to our planet. But if we continue in our warlike ways then the Earth will be destroyed.
Bush and Cheney would have had a bill before Congress quadrupling the military defense budget as soon as the nuclear cloud had dissipated from where the alien spacecraft had landed. “And our Fox News poll tonight, Should the world’s leaders be dictated to by horrible alien space mutants and their nine foot tall robots?”
The pundits contend it was political as if the Nobel Committee stays up late at night in Sweden thinking of ways to sabotage the Republicans. It goes to show their self obsessed myopic view of the world. While living in Montgomery we had some visitors from Switzerland and the only thing they wanted to see was Martin Luther Kings church. We pulled on the door but it was locked, a caretaker came out from a side door and explained that the church was closed. We explained that they were from Switzerland and that they really wanted to see the church and he quickly guided us in.
Our guest stood before the pulpit and was visibly moved he hadn’t ever heard the pundit’s calling King a communist and a subversive. He had only heard King’s words unfiltered and I realized that even with all the admiration that King received we as Americans still took him for granted and didn’t realize the impact he had on the world. But it was a slow year for peace; Al Gore made a film about global warming and brought the issue to the forefront. Martin Luther King led millions through non-violent peaceful action to change the world. But it was a slow year for peace, who would you have picked?
Chairman Hu in China? Bush? Not hardly, Tony Blair? Ohlmert? Merkle? You see it really has been a slow year for peace. Perhaps the Buddhist monks in Myanmar will be eligible next year provided any of them are still left alive. But the candidates for this year have been slim pickins, I think Mr. Gore was the best choice available. I think his work is laudable and commendable but I fear for our future when the best we can do is to raise awareness.
Green house gas emissions have risen 25% since the Kyoto treaty was signed. The leaders of the countries most responsible have argued it should be left to the individual countries. Or it is an internal matter and we are doing the best we can all while making huge profits. Calling all Aliens! If you’re out their fellas the time to land is now. Like King we don’t see Al Gore as the Nobel committee sees him.
We see him through the chaff of political punditry the same people who assured us civil rights were best left to the states. That automobiles didn’t need seatbelts or airbags or café standards and that cigarette smoking was actually good for us. That peace is weakness and war is strength. Reflecting badly on us all the dirth of candidates promoting peace and the attacking of those who only dare to point out our problems.