As we approach this year’s Earth Day – the international celebration in which progressive politicians and celebrities exempt themselves from the green legislation they helped create – the thought occurred to me: Why is it the green agenda is so compatible with socialism and incompatible with personal freedom?
The answer is quite simple. Apparently the first Earth Day was chosen to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin’s birth, a man whose very existence was dedicated to the eradication of personal freedom for everyone but himself.
Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. Earth Day rarely focuses on what individuals can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Instead, it focuses on what the government can do to force everyone to live in accordance with international standards of green-ness. And heck, if those green goals cause a few more of our uniquely American rights to get tossed … well, it’s for such a good cause, don’t you know. The end – saving the earth – always justifies the means – trashing the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
And it was allegedly the Western supporters of Lenin, if you recall, to whom the term “useful idiots” has been attributed.
“Today, Earth Day is the most widely celebrated secular holiday in the world,” notes Kevin DeAnna. “[L]eft-wing activists honor the true history of the holiday by attacking property rights and human economic activity.”
Awhile ago, I wrote a satirical column called “Clueless in Seattle” in which I related a hypothetical conversation with an urban friend on the subject of living Green. The column points out the hypocrisy of what too many people presume Green Living is all about. It was all very tongue-in-cheek, but perhaps there is more merit to it than I thought.
Last year I read an excellent column by Bruce Walker entitled “Green Living Through Conservatism” in which he argues that conservatives are “greener” than liberals because of our family values. I never really thought of it this way before, but he’s right.
Many progressives despise what my husband and I stand for (namely, conservative values) without considering that almost by default we live a far “greener” life than most progressives ever will. While a lot of our “greenness” springs from our home-based lifestyle (homesteading, homeschooling and a home business), being green goes much deeper than that.
Conservative values include independence and self-sufficiency; it includes taking personal responsibility for our children and our income without depending on the government; and it includes a strong moral and religious foundation from which many of our actions spring. So how, you may ask, does this translate into “greenness”?
For example, conservatives strongly feel it is their responsibility to raise their kids, not the government’s. To that end, many homeschool. Homeschooling is about the greenest educational option there is. No need to cart kids around using carbon-burning buses. No need to build resource-sucking schools. Kids stay home and learn one-on-one with their parents.
Many conservative people base their lives (and sometimes their livelihoods) around their home life. Frequently this means the father works and the mother mothers. Forced to live on one income, such families cannot afford to waste their money on heavily packaged foods, designer clothing, new cars, high-tech toys and other examples of a consumer society. Instead they shop at thrift stores and buy staples in bulk to cook from scratch. Feel that carbon footprint shrinking!
But the “greenness” schism between progressives and conservative arises chiefly from the issue of control. Who’s forcing whom to do what? Most conservative families just want to live their lives free from government mandates. Most progressives prefer to legislate their agenda, which forces everyone to comply with their vision of an unachievable green utopia.
In other words, who’s walking the walk and who’s just talking the talk? After all, who could be considered “greener” than the Amish, who epitomize the ultimate in conservative values as well as low-impact living, and who just want to be left alone?
In Mr. Walker’s article, he points out how many fewer resources are used by intact families. “A stable married couple lives in a single home,” Mr. Walker reminds us, “has only one set of utilities, illuminates the home with a single lighting system, etc.” He goes on to argue how homeschooling, sound religious values and stay-at-home moms all contribute to saving resources and reducing one’s carbon footprint.
It is well-understood among conservatives that the Green movement “has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with power.” This could explain why progressives are so anxious to embrace policies designed to undermine the stability of the family. They mock those with sound religious values and profess fear of a Christian theocracy. They refuse to acknowledge the academic superiority of homeschooling while lobbying for billions more dollars to pour down the rat hole of failing public schools. They inch toward eliminating traditional marriage by “empowering” single women to procreate without the need for a husband to support them.
And they do all this in the name of “progress” and “saving the earth.”
Meanwhile conservatives quietly go about their lives, clinging to their happy marriages and raising stable children, living in modest homes and working hard at their jobs. The wheels that don’t squeak don’t need grease, so no one notices or remembers that it’s these wheels that are allowing our country to trundle along smoothly, supporting everything else on their backs – include the Green agenda.
Look, if you want to live naked in a cave and eat only foraged plants, great. If you want to use CFL light bulbs and never drive a car, have at it. If you want a house the size of a bathroom and eat only organic tofu, feel free. Heck, if you want to stay celibate (ha!) so as not to have children, or even eliminate yourself as a means toward reducing the Earth’s population, fine.
Just don’t force the rest of us to comply with your personal agenda. We don’t like being useful idiots for Lenin’s – or your – “green” values.