My Flip-Flop on the Tooth Fairy

It’s true.  There’s no point in denying it.  There were witnesses who heard me.  I used to believe in the tooth fairy, but now I’ve flip-flopped.  Where – you ask – is my consistency?
But it gets worse.  I used to think that men spending their Sundays in plastic armor trying to knock each other’s heads off was fine sport.  But I flip-flopped!  I used to think that SUVs were really cool; that poor people and nations had mainly themselves to blame; that trickle-down economics was a serious idea for helping the poor; that lowering taxes would raise revenues; that the sanctity of life began and ended with abortion.  I used to believe that through my own efforts, I could do real and meaningful good. 
Alas!  Time and time again, I’ve flip-flopped!
Exposed! Serial flip-flopper!
So let me make one thing perfectly clear:  No matter how many of you beg me, I’m not running for President next year.  Nobody wants a flip-flopper.  Especially in this political season, any change in positions over a long career is proof positive of poor character. 
Now, in fairness, many of these criticisms aren’t simply about changing positions. Rather, there’s an implication that the politician in question is insincerely pandering for political gain.  For example, both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich know perfectly well that human-caused climate change is real, and a serious threat to the earth and its people.  It’s easy to find unequivocal statements by them to this effect on the record.  And despite the political hype, the scientific evidence has only strengthened since they said these things.
But now, Romney is saying that it will take 20 – or even 50 – years before we know whether human activities are responsible for climate change.  And Gingrich has called his public-service ad urging action on climate change “the dumbest single thing I’ve done recently.”
Message to oil lobbyists: Don’t worry about my presidency.  You’re free to pollute without any accountability for decades to come.   But send me the money, please.
How much money?  In 2011 alone, the oil & gas industry is reported to have poured more than $110 million into political war chests, in addition to all those seemingly pointless ads they constantly run on Fox, CNN and MSNBC, telling all of America how wonderful oil, gas and coal are – urging us not to do anything EVER to disrupt the fossil-fuel gravy train. 
Your addiction to carbon and imported oil is just fine!  Keep on drinking! Don’t worry about the kids!
But I’ve noticed some changes among people I know in the last year.  People who might have once “checked all the boxes” for a single political agenda have begun asking serious questions about their politicians and the oil (and banking) companies that keep them in power.   In particular, I’ve noted that the congressional war on the EPA isn’t going down all that well with ordinary people who know that environmental degradation is a bad thing, and inherently unjust. For example, I’ve seen lots of pro-life voters wondering why unborn children should be routinely exposed to unsafe levels of mercury from coal power plants.
So, maybe 2012 might just be The Year of the Flip-Flopper – in this case, voters who change their minds. For starters, why not just watch the cable news for an hour sometime, and pay close attention to the fossil fuel ads.  (You’re not supposed to listen closely, you know.   The music and the pictures will win you over without a fight.)  What are they selling?  What are they claiming?  Do you have any idea if it’s true or not? Do you trust the oil & coal companies making those claims?
Or if you don’t have the time – or stomach – to listen to an hour of cable TV “news,” then just click here, here or here for a sampling of “clean coal,” “oil sands” and “abundant natural gas” propaganda.  Sadly, you won’t find any ads by people advocating justice and care for the creation.  That takes way too much money.

 

Maybe, just maybe, there’s a flip-flop in your future!
Thanks for reading, and may God bless you!
J. Elwood

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