There is a propensity for those on the Left to oppose anything which makes commonsense. This is a group of people who have labeled themselves “progressive,” but it appears their “progress” ended in the policies of the New Deal or the Great Society, policies that are 50-70 years old. To them, time has stood still since 1938 or 1966 when realities of 2015 are very different. Nowhere is this lack of commonsense more obvious than in some key areas.
The first is the Keystone pipeline. Despite numerous studies and approval by every Governor affected, the Left opposes this project. This would be a major infrastructure project funded solely by private industry- not the government. Regardless of the number of permanent jobs created, it would still be more than zero. Most of the jobs, admittedly, would not be long-term construction jobs, but even still that is a temporary boost in local economies and employment- not such a bad thing. There are also the added benefits that may result from upgrades to existing infrastructure within these states, the creation of tangential business during construction, etc.
Further, this oil is getting out of Canada one way or another. It would make most sense to transport it by pipeline rather than rail and to refine it in a state-of-the-art, technologically advanced American refinery rather than a polluting refinery in a country like Singapore, China, or India. Does anyone believe these countries would turn back that oil? And as concerns international relations, Canada is a rather reliable ally whom this Administration has managed to royally piss off over this issue. Do you know how hard it is to achieve that dubious distinction?
Their stated reason for opposition is climate change. Yet by the same token, they oppose the one energy solution that creates no greenhouse gases- nuclear energy. If this country seriously committed to doubling our nuclear energy output, we would (1) seriously decrease greenhouse gas emissions, (2) increase energy independence, and (3) definitely create long-term, good paying jobs. This could be one of the largest infrastructure upgrades in American history NOT paid for by the government. Throw in a commitment to nuclear rod recycling (France does it) and more jobs are created while decreasing the amount of nuclear waste. In France, towns actually compete for these plants. But, nuclear regulations are rooted in days gone by when plant design and technology has increased dramatically.
Another area that makes commonsense is school choice including vouchers. The Left’s opposition is based on erroneous assumptions and accusations made by teacher unions. If a state is going to expend $10,000 per pupil, shouldn’t the parent and/or student have some say in how that money is spent and where the student should attend school? What difference does it make where those dollars are spent as long as the student is receiving a good education. And private schools, including parochial ones, often provide a superior education at a fraction of the cost. Basing a voucher system on family income makes intuitive sense. The state would not just be handing $10,000 over to a parent with them pocketing the balance. Instead, they would direct already appropriated education funds to the private school and the remainder would represent “savings” which would be directed to public schools. This would also probably decrease public school class size (something teachers argue for). In effect, per pupil spending on a public school student would INCREASE while parents of children in low-performing public schools would be given a choice. My guess is that the Left, especially the affluent Left, does not want their kids mingling with those they seek to protect through words, not deeds.
There are other areas that cry out for commonsense reform. Two that immediately come to mind are rooted in the politics of the New Deal- agricultural policy and Social Security. Countries like New Zealand in the area of agriculture and Latin America in the area of Social Security have shown that fundamental, conservative reforms can be done and have dramatic advantageous effects. After a period of expected trouble, New Zealand is now known not only for their sheep, but a wide variety of agricultural products. Social Security reforms in Chile showed that people were retiring at an earlier age with greater retirement security through a partially private system. The institutional barriers on deciding when to retire became a thing of the past and those workers forced into a later retirement age were actually retiring earlier (the working class) while those retiring earlier (the ruling class) were retiring later.
Nowhere was this Leftist tendency to avoid commonsense more on display than with the Democratic filibuster of the Human Trafficking aid bill pending in the Senate. Here, a commonsense solution with bipartisan support is being held hostage to the feminist lobby within the Democratic Party over standard wording in all federal spending laws. If they want to make a stand on federal subsidization of abortion, then by all means do so. But, to hold up aid to the unfortunate victims of human trafficking and sex slavery exposes the Left for the hypocrisy one suspects.
Their beliefs have nothing to do with the concerns of the poor, the weak, the minority, or the oppressed. It has everything to do with protecting the special interest groups that make up the Left- the feminists, the environmentalists, the LGBT community, etc. They realize that married women tend to vote Republican, so they embrace policies that appeal to single women and seek to keep them that way. The more racist a black person views this country, the more likely they are to vote Democratic so it makes commonsense to them to harp on race and see a racial animus behind every conservative idea. The more a Latino immigrant assimilates into American society, the less likely they are to vote Democratic so they embrace cultural diversity, bilingualism and the like. If you are a victim- and the Left preys on and needs victims- then you will likely vote for the Democratic Party. Therefore, it makes commonsense for the Left to create victims and keep them victims which is why they portray the United States as “xenophobic,” Islamophobic, “racist,” and “misogynist.” And the Left thrives on dependency which is why they embrace every policy to keep their base dependent on the government. In the end, their conception of “commonsense” lacks commonsense. Its one thing to believe it, but another to force it down the throats of all Americans and it is high time there was some push back. The one key weapon in the arsenal against the Left is commonsense which is why they most often resort to other tactics.