I’ve long been a fan of the film Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance. It has always seemed obvious to me that the ever-increasing speed of late industrialization was both pointless and harmful to life on the planet. In recent decades, we have seen most productivity gains go to the very top; inequality has spiked, the climate crisis is exploding, and democracy is wilting under a rapid-fire glut of disinformation. Change is inevitable, but this degree of disruption and instability is simply inhuman.
As many readers here probably already know, the American Legislative Exchange Council is a Koch-backed group that pairs corporate lobbyists with right-wing lawmakers to generate model bills that are pretty much industry wish lists. The Energy Discrimination Elimination Act would require that states maintain a blacklist of financial firms that have divested from fossil fuels, and deny any government contracts to those companies. This anti-divestment campaign is already the law in Texas.
Over the course of decades now, we’ve seen a pattern of Republicans egregiously violating norms, only to be followed by passivity on the part of Dems. Meanwhile, the R’s have been fervently playing the long game, laying the groundwork for a complete takeover of American democracy through radical obstructionism, court-packing, attacks on voting rights, and disinformation campaigns. It’s true that more recently we’ve seen Biden give a speeches about the January 6 insurrection and voting rights, and Attorney General Merrick Garland quietly revealed that he was pursuing perpetrators “at any level.” Yet as Dean Obeidallah points out in this MSNBC column, Garland’s “lack of urgency is troubling.” Maybe things are starting to change — but we need to keep the pressure on.
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