At least 20 people have been killed in just the last week by the floods that have and continue to occur this week in Texas. Considering that around 57% of Texas voters voted Republican in the 2012 Presidential Election, odds are that most of them were Republicans. The reason for noting this isn’t to say their deaths are any less tragic due to the political party they belong to but to recognize that many probably agreed with their Republican politicians who deny climate change and do all they can to prevent their government from doing anything to reduce or reverse it.
We often discuss how puzzling it is that so many Americans vote against their own interests, especially those in rural areas who are very dependent on social welfare programs, kept in poverty by low minimum wages if they can find a job and neglected by their Republican politicians they elect who only serve the interests of the wealthy at their expense. Climate Change has grown to join the life and death issues that such Americans are more vulnerable to while they buy into the partisan manipulation of their party and oppose addressing it. As with their opposition to Obamacare, Republicans joining in on Climate Change denial are being killed by that which their political demagoguery tries to deny.
One would think that something as massively life and death and as plainly obvious as the planet’s environment becoming more destructive with each passing year, would rise above the petty political game playing. One would think that Americans of all parties would say, “Sure, let’s disagree on this and that but when it comes to us, our friends or families being killed by worsening natural disasters, we could at least agree that it’s a bad thing that we want to try to reduce.”
At least, in a previous era, one might think such simple common sense things. However, in this era of media fired division, where dying from a lack of health insurance or due to Climate Change is irrelevant to hating “the others” and fighting against all policies they try to move forward, it’s not really what one would think. The disconnect between those Americans essentially supporting greater Climate Change and more frequent and terrible natural disasters that some of them dying in, is astounding. It’s like blocking a national effort to prevent the spread of Black Plague simply because Obama wants to do it (no doubt a re-definition of Black Plague to them). “Us and Them” comes first before anything else, including self-preservation, this is how such people have been brainwashed and are being cynically used.
These 20 human beings (or more) who were alive last week are just a fraction of the unnecessary deaths that will continue to mount this year due to the natural disasters that are intensified by Climate Change. It should be a wakeup call for those blindly accepting the oil companies’ paid-for propaganda, spouted by their paid-for politicians, that Climate Change doesn’t exist or if it does, it isn’t caused by the billions of tons of CO2 pollution these greedy corporations get wealthy from being pumped into the atmosphere.
Republican politicians may not be losing votes from their base for policies that contribute to worsening Climate Change and natural disasters…but they are losing voters.