LOS ANGELES, June 8, 2015 — With the world on fire and the American economy stagnating, conservatives are obsessed with defeating radical Islam and putting Americans back to work. For liberals, everything comes down to social issues. They may care about global terrorism, but not as much as global warming. The economy ranks lower on their priority scale than abortion and gay marriage.
Three big fights have consumed the left in the last couple decades. Advancing gay marriage was one top priority. Convincing Americans about the threat of climate change was another one. Abortion remains the third one. Whether one is liberal, conservative or neither, the evidence is overwhelming. On gay marriage, the left has clearly won. On abortion, the result has been a stalemate that will most likely continue in perpetuity. On climate change, the left has absolutely lost.
Why has the left been so overwhelmingly humiliated in their quest for environmental political dominance? The problem is not money. Millions of dollars have been spent trying to convince the populace that climate change is a serious issue requiring immediate action. The public response has been a collective yawn.
The left could try to take the lessons they learned from their gay marriage victory, but it will not matter. The left deeply believes in marketing, but all the marketing in the world will not spur sales of an inferior product or service. Taking the three leftist obsessions of abortion, gay marriage and climate change shows why three distinct political products brought three distinct political results.
The American credo of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was tailor made for the gay marriage issue. Liberals argued that denying gays the right to marry was in effect treating them as subhuman. Liberals also made the valid point that two gay people marrying each other does not hurt anybody else in any way.
Conservatives countered with the biblical argument. Gay marriage was a crime against God. The problem is that nobody can see God to ask him how he feels about the issue. All we have is his written word. Atheists and agnostics have for a long time made the point that they can lead equally noble lives without God. Barring an outbreak of murders committed in the name of atheism, their point has merit.
Gay marriage is deeply offensive to people who believe that the Bible is the word of God. However, having one’s sensibilities offended is not the same as suffering actual injury.
There is an argument that homosexuality destroyed the Roman Empire, but a counter-argument is that Christianity itself brought about its fall. Any evidence for either point of view or alternative theories is inconclusive at best.
The left showed that restricting gay marriage brought genuine harm to human beings unable to visit loved ones in hospitals or partake in other privileges reserved for spouses. The right had no overt harm done to them. The live and let live argument powered gay marriage to victories only one decade after the other side a clear advantage.
Abortion is likely to remain a stalemate because two competing ideas have passionate entrenched supporters. One side believes that a life begins at conception. Getting rid of a fetus means murdering a human baby. The government must step in to advocate the unborn unable to speak for itself. The other side believes that the ultimate decision must rest with the mother carrying the fetus. To have the government interfere in a woman’s pregnancy would violate her right to be left alone.
The Supreme Court tried to split the baby in half, but Roe vs. Wade was not carried out with the wisdom of Solomon. The general public remains split more than four decades later. Most Americans are against unlimited abortion and a complete abortion ban. Prohibiting abortion in the first trimester or allowing it in the third trimester is often met with public resistance. People cannot agree uniformly on parental rules or spousal rules, nor is their a consensus on mere notification from consent. For many voters on both sides, abortion is the only issue that guides their vote.
To make matters more complex, there are pro-choice Republicans and pro-life Democrats, although those views are often muzzled by the respective parties. Like a football scrum fought entirely between both 40-yard lines, the abortion issue shows no signs of being resolved in favor of either side.
On gay marriage, only the left could show current real pain rather than theoretical hardship. On abortion, both sides are acting out of a commitment to their human rights. With climate change, the left is living in the theoretical world while the right can show real human hardship right now.
The left keeps insisting the science is settled, but this line of thinking misses the point. The right argues that the left is cooking the books, silencing dissenting views, corrupting the scientific method, and engaging in a government power grab for its own sake. This also misses the mark of thinking. The issue is not whether climate change is real or that human beings cause it. The real heart of the matter is that even if the left is correct, nobody should care.
This makes leftist heads explode. Leftist screaming aside, the right has successfully argued that the cure is worse than the disease. The leftist answer to every problem including climate change is more government intervention in the form of more rules, regulations and restrictions.
Small business owners have successfully made the point that increased regulations hurts their businesses. Between higher healthcare costs, wages and proposed environmental mandates, businesses have the options of laying off workers or closing down altogether. Liberals can argue that this choice is false, but most Americans will listen to actual business owners when it comes to what it takes to run a business.
The left has never successfully been able to articulate why climate change matters now. The public is told that urgent immediate action is needed, but that claim is never backed up. The planet could die in 100 years or 1,000 years. This does not resonate with people worried about feeding their families and surviving crime and terrorism now. For ordinary Americans, climate change is a hobby for elitist Caucasians not skilled enough to take up polo.
The American public by and large wants to be left alone. As much as it hurts environmentalist climate change advocates to hear it, most people find them and their cause boring. Having the movement funded by wealthy plutocrats flying on private jets does not help the cause. Neither does it help to have wealthy white liberal hedge fund billionaires benefit financially tomorrow from policies that harm working class Americans today.
When all is said and done, Americans favor what protects humanity and find little interest in what does not. We like trees and bunny rabbits, but not as much as people. If a driver loses control of the wheel and has to run over flora, fauna or people, the trees and flowers will be under the tires.
People matter. Government restricts people. Unless those advocating more government can show a vital necessity to take action, the American view is for government to get out of the way.
When one removes the abortion stalemate as a unique issue, the left can see that it was arguing in favor of humanity on gay marriage and against humanity on climate change.
If both sides get this through their headstrong skulls, the political focus can return to taxes and terrorism, which affects every human everywhere.