Written by Tom Segel
May 21, 2008
By Tom Segel
Last week I took every American voter to task, saying that we all were to blame for our current high gasoline prices at the pumps and our national energy mess. My claim was we voted into office Republicans who had a chance to correct many of these problems. They squandered their opportunity with a multitude of scandals, misconduct, pork barrel spending and abandonment of conservative principles. Those who voted Democrats into office were on an emotional and “feel good” voting spree that pandered to the far left, environmental extremists, animal rights activists and socialists determined to beat America back into the Stone Age. The end result of these actions has been an explosion of oil and gas prices that are now reaching the point where major damage is being inflicted on all citizenry.
We can see it everywhere. Not only has gas hit more than $4.00 a gallon in many parts o the United States, but food prices have escalated, airlines have increased prices and reduced flights, utility costs have jumped, truckers are parking their rigs because of lost revenue, schools, cities, states and the federal government are reassessing their increased energy needs and even church budgets are being reviewed. All of these gyrating signals have the national stock market on a roller coaster ride of confusion.
Mary Homemaker and Joe Lunchbox are really starting to hurt. In antidotal evidence from here at home...our museum director recently resigned his position and took a job nearer to his house. He could no longer afford his daily 55-mile commute. Last night we saw on the evening news a family of eight that could not pay their rent and buy gasoline to travel to the only job one member had at a 24-hour convenience store. They were evicted and are now living in their van. An independent snack vender has reported that his machine servicing route has increased in cost more than $160 a week, due to the high price of gasoline. He also reports that wholesale prices for his snack supplies are now almost as high as the retail price he receives from their sale. He can increase the price to his customers, but there is no guarantee they will continue to buy his products. Stories such as these can be told about people in every corner of the USA…all because we voted those people into office that created our national mess.
Since that first article was published I have been flooded with calls, letters and emails which can be summed up as saying, “OK, Bigmouth, what would you do to correct the problem?”
My suggestion is the next election should be a single-issue event. By that I mean, America should be willing to vote out of office any and every elected official who has voted or continues to vote restrictions of our energy supply, forcing us to import the majority of our national oil needs from foreign sources.
Any representative, senator or presidential candidate unwilling to establish a program of emergency energy growth and long term energy development, call for waivers on environmental restrictions, fast track legislation through the maze of government regulations and end the stonewalling of such important legislation should be notified he or she will be targeted for removal from office.
The best weapon available in this battle is the Internet. Sample letters to those seeking office can be created that stress the energy expansion demands of the public. They can be made available to everyone by a clip of the mouse. Telephone calls, emails and even the traditional “snail mail” can be used to inform politicos of the public’s rage. Telephone numbers and email addresses of elected officials are readily available to anyone who knows how to “goggle”. There are online chat rooms to get out the energy revolt message. Most of all, everyone with a computer has his or her own mailing list. These can be used to pass on information about an energy revolt to every corner of the country. Granted these are small voices, but just remember the noise at your last live sporting event…many small voices can erupt into a tremendous roar.
Think about this particular “Single Issue” for a moment. I would argue it transcends just about every other political issue we are now facing. I know the response…”What about Iraq, nuclear threats, the mid east, North Korea, etc.?”
Well, we can’t do much about any of these problems while strapped in an energy straightjacket. Energy impacts city, county, state and national government. It strikes at national defense. It cripples social reforms. It blocks job expansion. It hits airlines, trains and buses. It attacks truckers and local delivery people. Electricity, food processing, farming, shipping, hospitals and nursing homes are hit. The military, Border Patrol and law enforcement are restricted. There are even increased costs to running that power lawnmower in your front yard. And it is all because of the way our politicians have voted to damage our way of life. We can do something to change our energy direction but it needs to start now.