Monday, January 7, 2008


Political rhetoric for the rest of this year will likely be dominated by one concept: Change. Republicans under George Bush have ruled by fear, co-opting the terrorist threat to achieve their own political aims here and around the world. Backlash from their political rivals, the Democrats, has risen to counterbalance this strategy. The result has been almost total gridlock in the U.S. government, leaving critical issues unaddressed.

Recognizing that this situation cannot continue much longer, voters are likely to elect a new president who has the best chance of ending the standoff, and getting the gears of government working again. Historically, such standoffs have been ended by one political philosophy slightly if not totally dominating the other over the term of the associated party’s president. If this trend continues, we can expect liberal ascendancy over the next nine years.

I expect that this will mean a stop, if not a reversal, to the privatization of common resources that has been part of the Republican agenda. This will hopefully translate into less corruption – more control of the government by the people rather than organizations dedicated to using its power to plunder. With any luck, it will also mean more protection of the quality of the air, water, and habitats of other species which provide the renewable services everyone depends on.

Both political parties appear to be dedicated to reducing the country’s “dependency on foreign oil.” A positive result of this commitment would be an increase in the use of renewable energy sources, but I am concerned that any such result will be accompanied by the development of domestic non-renewable sources, resulting in more unsustainable consumption.

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