Friday, January 08, 2010

Sleight of Mind: How conservatives continually dupe ordinary people into voting against their own interests

According to the United States Geological Survey, America's own oil reserves might be substantially larger than anyone ever thought possible.

From a blog on How Much Oil Does the US Have in the Ground???

[E]enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight.
. . .

HOW can this BE? HOW can we NOT BE extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy.....WHY?

. . .

Don't think 'OPEC' will drop its price - even with this find? Think again! It's all about the competitive marketplace, - it has to. Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists?
Yes, those almighty, omnipresent, all-powerful environmentalists -- those Doctor Evils in burlap and Birkenstocks.

Whenever conservative Americans come across someone who doesn't agree with them, they make that person or group out to be much more powerful than they really are. So, environmentalists are keeping America from energy independence? Conservatives despise all regulation, even that which makes life livable. If working conditions had been left in the hands of conservatives a century ago, we'd still have children working 18 hours days in factories. There would be no Workers' Compensation, no unemployment benefits, no laws governing workplace safety. I'm sure the person who introduced legislation outlawing child labor was vilified and demonized.

A few years ago when gay marriage became legal in Canada, and marijuana use virtually decriminalized, conservative media in the United States made it sound as though Canada was the more powerful neighbor who was about to ram similar social changes down America's throat. Right.

That said, if such enormous oil reserves are present in America, they should be extracted. Personally, I want to buy an electric car because I'm sick of paying for gas. But is it the environmental movement putting the brakes on extracting this oil? American oil companies have no interest in keeping those reserves secret and off the international energy market?

The less we have of a commodity, the higher the price it commands. That was once the reasoning for the high price of diamonds -- they're so rare. If diamonds were as common as driveway gravel, they'd cost the same as driveway gravel. Many people now know that there's a company called De Beers that's been stockpiling diamonds for decades in order to keep the price of diamonds high. It's not a very difficult concept to grasp.

But somehow, the conservative American media has a way of convincing citizens who hold conservative views to vote and act against their own interests. The Teabaggers and health care reform opponents are a prime example. And so, this unhinged blogger on Resistnet blames environmentalists for stymying efforts and doesn't consider for a second that possible American oil companies -- not OPEC -- are the stoppage.

What conservatives won't allow themselves to think is that corporate executives have absolutely no loyalty or love for anyone or anything but profits. If they selling the glass eye out of their mother's head would increase profits, they'd do it. American executives couldn't care less about America. Look at the economic meltdown that's crippled the country for more than a year. It could have been headed off or softened, or possibly avoided. Except for the greed.

So, I'm dubious about all-powerful environmentalists thwarting attempts to access oil reserves in the northwestern United States. Oil companies have so much more to gain with oil prices remaining high. Remember, Exxon made a record profit in 2007 of $40.6 billion. That wouldn't happen if oil was $16 a barrel.

And $40.6 billion would buy a lot of a burlap and Birkenstocks.


Unknown said...

Tom Frank's book, "What's the Matter With Kansas," explains why Kansans, and the rest of the conservatives across the U.S., continually vote against their own best interests.

Part of it is that they watch Fox News, which is owned by Murdoch, who also owns the Wall Street Journal, which is pro-business. Connect the dots?

John Rohan said...


It hasn't occurred to you that conservatives are ordinary people as well?

Whetam Gnauckweirst said...

You make a very good point, Mr. Rohan. I should have more precisely worded my title. Certainly, conservatives are ordinary people. I should have pointed out in my title that I was referring to conservative media commentators duping ordinary people. My point is that conservative media commentators are mega-millionaires -- even lowly Sean Hannity is worth $30 million; of course, according to Prosperity Theology, this means he much less loved by God than Bill O'Reilly (come on, Sean! Clean those chalkboard erasers faster!) -- and dupe so many ordinary, middle- and lower-middle-class folks into voting as though THEY are mega-millionaires, thus voting against their own interests. Example: health care reform.

But you definitely caught me in a lapse, Mr. Rohan. I appreciate you pointing it out.