Monday, February 18, 2019

Blumenthal’s War And Progressive Socialism

O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams” – Shakespeare, Hamlet

Dick Blumenthal, Connecticut’s progressive US Senator, is inching dangerously close to socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). The distance between progressive radicals and socialists is now hair thin.

Early in February, Blumenthal Tweeted, “Climate change is an existential crisis. I’m proud to co-sponsor the #GreenNewDeal—affirming our commitment to develop a plan to tackle the devastating effects of climate change, create high-paying jobs in renewable energy and address disparities in communities affected by pollution.”

Though members of the Democrat progressive caucus often sing in the same chorus with upstanding socialists such as AOC and presidential hopeful U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Blumenthal here was reading from the usual Democrat political prompter without mentioning inconvenient data. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), fossil fuels comprise 62.9 percent of energy production in the US and nuclear supplies 20 percent, both of which are excluded in AOC’s utopia. Renewables supply 17 percent of energy production.

Ocasio-Cortez, the General Patton of the socialist-progressive wing of the Democrat Party, recently has scrubbed from her manifesto her most ardent demand – that transition to a Green New Deal should be accomplished within ten years – but approving encomiums from both Blumenthal and Murphy preceded the scrubbing. Driving the spear point forward is the notion that while the goals set forth by AOC may be difficult, we are, after all, engaged in an “environmental war” upon which the survival of humanity depends.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal resolution – it is not yet a bill -- was lifted, at least in part, from an earlier United Nation’s effort to make the world over. Blumenthal’s compatriot in the Senate Chris Murphy, growing more hair on his chest after his recent reelection to the Senate, is unsurprisingly chirping the same tune. “If we can send a man to the moon, we can accomplish the goals of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s Green New Deal,” US Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy told Jake Tapper of CNN. “So if we don’t command this country to think big about saving our nation and our world from destruction, then I don’t think we’re going to get close to meeting the mark.” The courage of incumbent politicians is inversely related to their next election: Murphy has six years before he is put through the trouble of campaigning once again, Blumenthal only two; of the two, Murphy is therefore four years more courageous than Blumenthal.

The aspirationally ambitious Green New Deal envisions an end to oil and gas reliance, just as the United States has become, thanks to fracking, a self-reliant oil producer. Nuclear energy, though clean, is not included in the AOC Green New Deal. Progressives prefer wind turbines and solar energy. Cars will be replaced by trains and, if you like your house as is - sorry, you will not be able to keep it. The Green New Deal cannot be implemented in the absence of imperious commands issuing from an omniscient and omnipresent government. It is the costly dream of socialists such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and progressive fellow travelers such as Blumenthal and Murphy, to lay commands on the rest of us from a central global office in their imaginary worldwide utopia.

Some reasons the US does not have a command economy are that two separating oceans, a communication system primitive by modern standards, a Constitution that separates the various departments of government – judicial, legislative and executive – the division of central authority, a tradition of fierce independence from a solicitous federal government by a loose confederation of states, and the directive hand of history, all have preserved liberty at home, while the world was embroiled in egg-head revolutions that have led to murder, economic collapse and, unfortunately, red-or-dead politicians in the former Soviet Union, communist China and, closer to home Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, which now appears to have a socialist death rattle in its throat. Venezuelans are now suffering a shortage of toilet paper, and some of them have been forced to eat their pets for lunch, certain signs that the socialist bloom is off the rose in that torn country, once the pearl of Latin America.

“It is easy for a man to learn from his own mistakes,” the old adage has it, “but it takes a wise man to be able to learn from the mistakes of others.” Proto-socialists here in the US are hardly wise. They have learned nothing, forgotten everything -- and they do not have bad dreams.

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