Recent polls have come out that show where the public stands on a number of issues, and as always, the leaders are to the right.
While tax cuts for the rich are to be expected, one thing we should not accept is threats to our own existence.
However, that’s exactly what this administration is doing. Playing games with the lives of 8 billion people. Let’s talk about the latest news on the major threats of the pandemic, climate change, and nuclear weapons.
April’s Pew Research Poll and What It Means
Serious analysts, including the ones in our government, agree that there are two major threats plaguing the country and the world. If you follow the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, you know what they are. Climate change, and nuclear weapons.
A Pew Research poll was conducted back in April 2021 on Americans’ views of the problems we face. Off the list, as always, was nuclear weapons. One of the two major threats to our species.
The poll was divided between Democratic and Republican voters, and the results were rather astonishing.
For Democrats, 61% thought climate change was a big issue. This was behind other serious issues like racism, the affordability of healthcare, gun violence, and the pandemic. These are all serious issues, so the only argument to be made would be a matter of prioritizing.
For Republicans, however, the results really showed the power of propaganda. Among their highest concerns, climate change was the least, with 14% believing it to be a serious problem. The top two were illegal immigration (72%) and the deficit (71%).
Why This Matters
Republicans have launched their propaganda campaigns with the help of well-funded think tanks, Fox News, the Koch brothers, and the entire GOP all repeating the same lines in a near-flawless echo chamber.
In a nutshell, it matters because they are succeeding.
Mitch McConnell has stated outright that the “era of bipartisanship is over” while Senator Manchin continues his pretense of pressing for it, leaving Democrats powerless to pass legislation.
McConnell’s strategy is simple. It’s the same as it was with Obama’s administration. Make the country ungovernable, blame it on the Democrats, and get back into power. 4 more years of GOP climate policies will almost certainly push us past irreversible tipping points with global warming.
Biden’s Nuclear Announcement
It isn’t just the Republicans. From every angle in our narrow political spectrum, there are serious, existential threats.
While this will receive minimal attention, as always, in the mainstream media, anybody who understands how grave the threat of nuclear weapons is should be shaking in fear at the new announcement.
Biden intends to go “full steam ahead” on Trump’s nuclear programs after dismissing them as “a mistake” on the campaign trail.
Biden is looking to spend $43 billion dollars out of the federal budget on nuclear weapons in 2021. Compare this to last year’s world total of $72.6 billion among the 9 nuclear-armed states.
Of that 72 billion, $27.7 billion was going to defense contractors like Raytheon, who happened to donate $6.5 million to various campaigns in the 2020 election cycle.
As this is happening, even though we’re ridding ourselves of Covid restrictions, the whole world is still being ravaged by the pandemic.
To put these costs into perspective, it would only run us $24 billion spread among the wealthiest nations to vaccinate the entire population of the world. That is less than we spend in 2 weeks on our military.
That means that if the US, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy each spent $4 billion, the pandemic would be over. Instead, they bought up to 3 times more vaccines than their populations needed and let them expire. Saving the lives of the less fortunate doesn’t make your campaign donors richer, so why bother?
So $24 billion can save the world from a major threat, and instead, we choose to spend nearly double that in a single year to increase an even greater threat.
The Good News
The good news is that Biden, under serious pressure, agreed to purchase 500 million vaccine doses for other countries. While billions more are still needed, this shows that the pressure is working.
Cracking under pressure the first time, the amount was an insignificant 60 million in a world of nearly 8 billion. At the very least, progress is being made.
Biden has also gone in the right direction on climate change in certain respects, but without significant pressure, there are signs of backtracking on his stated goals.
Mainly, the good news is that, unlike the previous administration, this one is susceptible to pressure. If you have the means to put that pressure on, by all means, do your part.
What You Can Do
The current US political climate is like performing heart surgery. One slip, and it’s all over. From either direction in our two-party system, there are serious, existential threats before us, and if you live here, you’re one of the few who can do something about it.
Like it or not, calling your representatives and senators, standing in solidarity, and having these tough conversations, ultimately has an effect. Just keep the pressure on, and stay up to date on the latest events behind all the rhetoric!