As much as a relief it is to not have to worry about Mitt Romney taking control of our nation, Obama is no saint himself. There are many issues that weren’t brought up in the politcal dialogue this year; Foreign policy issues like the illegal drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, the assassination of US citizens by these strikes, not to mention the local civilian casualties. Infringements on the Bill of Rights like the passing of the National Defense Authorization act, which allows the United States Government to indefinitely detain any United States Citizen that is arbitrarily labeled a “terrorsist” without any trial or due process. Also the continuous pattern of turning a blind eye to the criminal and tax dodging activities of mega-corporations, big banks, and oil companies.
Perhaps the most obvious omission from the debates and dialogue this election cycle was the absence of a single mention of “Climate Change.” An issue which was forced into the spotlight right before election day by Superstorm Sandy, but still received little attention. Even though the topic was absent from the discussion, the topic of “green jobs” did come up here and there, with both sides giving their own respectively vague answers. At least Obama’s party acknowledges the fact that humans are causing an increase in Co2 in the atmosphere, and that it is scientifically proven to cause global warming and change in climates. The GOP routinely denies these facts. If the direction of the last four years are continued, perhaps the U.S. can continue on a path to a more eco-friendly future.
I combined these two maps below to contrast the 2012 Election Results with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy scorecard map ranking states on their overall energy efficiency from 2011. It paints a pretty clear picture of how our country votes, versus how the state as whole treats the issue of energy efficiency and in a round-about way, the effects we have on our planet.
Take it as you will, but to me this map demonstrates a movement in our country towards a more energy efficient future. A movement that was re-affirmed on election day.
There were other victories this election that made huge advances on the topics of gay rights, marijuana legalization, and women’s rights. These victories give me hope for the future, However, I still remain skeptical. Until we can address the issues of our failed foreign policy, our failed economic system that is designed to incur debt massive debt through the unregulated manipulations of the Federal Reserve, and our tax codes that allow millionaires to pay zero taxes while the poor are crippled by high income taxes, we are still screwed.
What can we do to solve this? The first step is become informed and educated. The more Americans that understand the TRUE problems facing this country, the more we will be equipped to vote in the correct (third party?) candidates to make real change. So get out there, do some research, and talk to your friends and families about what’s really wrong with our government, and what you can do in your everyday life to change it.