Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Teddy Roosevelt Ethic

Today, althippo writes in a comment to his latest ANWR piece describing the very few Republican votes needed to remove the issue from the budget:

"There's a lot of sensible people that should be opposing this.

With all the space that Marshall Wittman takes up opposing the lefty agenda, I don't understand why he doesn't use a single sentence to evoke Teddy Roosevelt's belief in preserving the national landscape.

More generally, do Republicans want to surrender their duty to protect the environment?

While I try to understand various positions on a controversial issue, this one really baffles me."

The problem is that numerous Republicans do not consider protecting the environment a duty.

If they did--if this were some kind of conviction for them--they would not allow themselves to be senselessly vulnerable to the few remaining interest-holders who promote more drilling on the coastal plain.

And, I suspect, those Republicans who do consider protecting the environment a "duty" are the ones who actually go outside. Who hunt, fish, hike, kayak, mountain bike, camp, run, whatever.

There's the famous anecdote about T.R. leaping off his galloping horse into his pack of dogs that had swarmed upon a flushed mountain lion. T.R. scatters the hounds, then wrestles the cougar to the ground and kills him with his hunting knife.

Republicans need not be so hard-core to understand the importance of the ANWR issue. They need only spend some time with their children in a park or at a campsite and absorb the wonders of nature through their eyes.

4 Comments:

Blogger ajmac said...

As a conservative who is also an environmentalist, I too hope that Republicans will come to their senses. Once the land is gone, it's gone for good. I agree that more people would realize that if they turned off the television for a moment and took a walk on the wild side.

On the other hand, I think a lot of Republicans have reached a policy conclusion, as a matter of prudence, that drilling in ANWR is the best way to secure oil resources independent of Saudi Arabia. That position is arguably misinformed and misguided and I tend to disagree with it. But I think it's a stretch to call it an outright abandonment of the duty to protect the environment.

TR was certainly a man's man and a great president.

I, for one, wish Republicans would expend more legislative capital creating incentives for alternative-energy development. That's the American way -- invent the lightbulb to cure the dark.

10:31 AM  
Blogger ajmac said...

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10:31 AM  
Blogger ajmac said...

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10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Wednesday afternoon, now, and the verdict is in. 51 to 49 is hardly a mandate, but in our democratic paradigm it is enough to justify environmental degradation.
We have become a single party political system. Anybody who insists that the Democrats are a viable force is stuck in a non-functional paradigm. The only party we have is the mass of individuals who have figured out how to protect and promote their own self-interests, by ganging up together.
If we expect to change this situation we need to become poised to proactively shine the bright lights on our representatives when the first oil spill or ship grounding inevitably occurs. We need to find out if there are any Republicans left who are wondering if the direction they are going still makes sense.
Here's the plan. Forget the Democratic Party and let it gasp a few sucking breaths as it sinks into its own excrement. Put everything behind the Republican Party. Begin a logical debate within the Republican Party on the important issues (not meals on wheels for death row). People will choose sides. The GOP will divide and re-create a multi-party system. To prove the point; can anybody in their right mind actually subscribe to a Bushite lockstep national identity?
I'm new to blogging and my name is Tom Wilkinson

2:05 PM  

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