Thursday, June 26, 2008

Don't Turn our Environment into a Political Tool, John McCain

As often as I can, I try not to make this a political blog. I have seen online debates get really nasty, and I do not want to be a part of that except for protecting (not imposing) my own opinions. Looking over this site, I have posted only a few politically-oriented blogs, all on occasions which have either motivated, angered, or interested me. In this situation, I am angered. John McCain is creating a facade to make himself seem pro-environment for his own political benefit.

I first saw this commercial roughly a week ago and the fakeness of it was immediate. Sure, it shows how McCain disagreed with the President on several environmental issues. He aknowledges the threat of global warming, he voted several times against ANWR drilling, and he even supports alternative energy sources, proposing to lift the fuel efficiency standard to 35 mpg on American cars. These are all things which I stand for and would make it seem as if John McCain is genuinely concerned with the environment.

However, the commercial failed to mention his inconcistency with ANWR drilling. Although he did vote against it several times, he voted to preserve the existing budget for it. He also proposed a lift on a federal ban of offshore oil drilling in certain areas, letting the decision come to the individual state governments. His so-called plans for conservation do not agree with his funding methods. In 2007, he sided with President Bush, who vetoed $2 billion in funding for restoration of the Everglades. The funding should have been $7.8 as stated in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. I know our government doesn't exactly have money right now, but that whole problem is a result of the tax-cutting, laissze faire policies of him and his fellow Republicans anyway. Instead of standing for our natural resources, McCain sided with Bush and the real estate developers to cut the CERP funding even further. I know I'm throwing out different stats and facts at a rapid rate, but I'll just do one more. McCain voted against funding for solar power research as well, and we all know that solar power could have a promising future in areas like the Southwest, where it is usually sunny.

It is clear that the 2008 election is about change and both candidates are trying to portray that aspect in their campaigns. McCain is trying to distance himself from the Republican Party for that reason. My problem is that, if he wants to look pro-environment, his voting record should match up with that. He is playing the typical Republican game of skewing the truth (in this case, his voting record and who he sides with). I already know he generally does not support environmental change. But when he campaigns that he does support this, it is just another game of politics which we have seen for the past eight years. I am not disregarding any instances in which the Democratic candidates have done something like this. No candidate is perfect, of course, and we have seen it from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as well. And if, for some reason, I was running for president, I would have made many more mistakes than they ever did. But this sharade is big. He is creating a false image blocking out years of inconsistency and anti-environmental votes. So when he bullshits us on TV, it further strenghtens my dislike for him as a candidate. And I'm sure that most other environmentalists see through this commercial as well.


SoNotFastFood said...

It's interesting to compare not only political views on environmental change (and the hypocrisy therein) but also the style of political broadcasts from one country to another.

Here in the UK, we've just heard that there's going to be a massive increase in the number of wind farms (wind is something we have in great supply) built by the government, as well as a further focus on nuclear power. I'm against nuclear power anyway as where I live in the West of Scotland the waste from nuclear power stations has been dumped in various places, destroying vital natural habitats. Trucks apparently used to travel through the middle of Glasgow in the dead of night, transporting depleted nuclear run-off to the dumps. It's shocking to think about.

Anyway, I agree entirely about the use of environmental propaganda to further a political cause, especially when said politician/political party is less than prominent in defending the environment. The trouble is that the British left, are now the ones proposing further nuclear power, while the right are (apparently) advocating a greener approach. It's very confusing.

As to the style of the commercial, it's very different to what we see in the UK. Rather than employing a series of catchphrases and snappy editing, which is then rubber-stamped by the candidate - "approved" - generally we get an interview with a member of the party, or a discussion between several members, who then highlight their main concerns and policies. I suppose the difference is that when voting for a change in government, the UK votes for a political party, whereas the USA votes for an individual.

I know I'm drawing a lot of conclusions based on one ad, but it seems consistent with other examples of American media.

Anyway, this post has grown a lot longer than I initially thought - and so to sum up I think that your anger is entirely justified, and I agree that people shouldn't make wild claims in policy without backing it up with prior behaviour.

BerryBird said...

I used to almost believe John McCain could think for himself; back when he ran against George Bush, he seemed almost reasonable. I don't know if he is drifting right as he ages, or if it is just a measure of how much control a party has over their candidate, but John McCain has lost any credibility he may have once had. The thing about him now supporting drilling in ANWR really infuriates me, since he clearly knows the facts of why it would be a bad idea. He is just pandering to fear and ignorance about gas prices... it is sickening.

Sorry to rant in my very first comment. I'll come back another time and be more civil :)

BlackenedBoy said...

I hardly think that he "sounded the alarm" on global warming. That distinction rightly goes to Al Gore.

It is an interesting statement of the current political climate, however, that the Republican candidate for president is doing everything in his power to appear more like a Democrat and boasting about how he "stood up" to President Bush.

He is a conservative trying to run as something else, as a man whose views "clash" with those of the GOP.

But liberals and most moderates already have Barack Obama to vote for.

Where does that leave McCain?