May 17, 2008
Well, my last fill-up of gas only took $60 out of my wallet. And, I still had about four gallons in the tank when I turned on the pump. It made me very angry and I made my feelings known to a lot of people. Roaring about the high price of gasoline and oil seems to be the only topic of conversation these days. You hear it at work, at home, after church and in the barbershop. It leads the nightly news, makes headlines in daily newspapers and is expressed in fearful ways by school officials, business owners and those who rely on the fuel to power their farm implements and heavy machinery.
Right now everyone is blaming the politicians for this major attack on family, city, state and national budgets. It is right to point the finger at Washington. Those who cast votes in Congress are the major culprits in this energy war. But, right next to them stand the American voters who placed these politicos in positions of power.
At the top of the list in this “blame game” are those who have insisted on voting the Democratic ticket regardless of reason or logic. What they have earned is the consequences of pandering to the liberal left. We knew we were in trouble back in 1973 with rationing, gas lines and about 30%of our oil requirements being filled by imports.
Now, 35 years later we have still done nothing to improve our energy supply and our national need for imported oil has grown to more than twice the 1973 requirement. Republicans had a chance to correct the problem back in the early 90s. They gained control of Congress in 1994 with promises made in their “Contract with America”. Then, instead of staying on mission and growing their majority, the GOP managed to give us the dalliances of Newt Gingrich, followed by the scandals involving party leaders such as Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley and Bob Ney to name a few. Added to that, a complete departure from conservative values, pork barrel spending and a mismanaged war totaled up to a stinging defeat at the ballot box and a return to Republican minority status.
If you traditionally voted the GOP ticket, you can blame yourself for failing to place quality individuals in office. Those elected managed to misuse the public trust, lost to the opposing party and ended any chance we had to move toward energy independence.
Those of you, who cast your lot with the Party of Thomas Jefferson, also deserve a major portion of the “blame pie”. Your emotion driven votes to empower obstructionists have kept us energy dependent. For more than thirty-five years Democrats have managed to torpedo any chance we had to keep our energy ship afloat. In vote after vote and bill after bill, those who lean far left of center have bent to the will of NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard), environmentalists, animal rights advocates, and other socialist driven causes to stop any attempt at drilling in national waters, Alaskan locales and other known deposit sites. They have refused to listen when our President asked them to increase our energy development and even placed him in a position where he has been begging the leaders of other countries to feed our demand for in increased oil supply.
But, oil is not the only thing the American public has voted to restrict. Voters have kept us from increasing natural gas, wind driven energy and even solar power by allowing restrictive legislation. Voters have kept nuclear power at a standstill by placing into public office politicians who voted against power plant construction. Voters have allowed litigation to stop the construction of oil refineries and coal operated power plants. Voters have placed multiple barriers in place to stop the advancement of our abundant coal supply as an alternative energy source.
The usual response to such charges is “I didn’t vote for any of those things!” But, you did really do just that. In America’s representative republic, those we place in office are charged with voting the will of their constituents. Thus, you and I are the reason oil has started robbing our nation of a prosperous future. We are also the reason alternative forms of energy have not been developed. How do you correct the problem? You do it by using those same ballots that got us in this mess…. But, next time do it right!
Tom Segel http://www.thomasdsegel.com/