One thing Dutton already has won is the sentiment of a country dumbfounded that President Barack Obama last week defined climate change as the most pressing issue facing the country. Obama did so as part of a huge public relations campaign — yes, campaign — that included asking people to pressure Washington to act on the issue.
Not jobs. Not the economy. Not rebuilding our aging infrastructure. Not gang violence, or education.
And he and his party ridiculed anyone who disagrees.
A couple of things about all of this smack the sensibilities of regular folks.
First, most people know Earth’s climate always has changed; everyone knows about this little thing called the Ice Age. What most people don’t care for is the issue being used politically to slice and dice the country, the same way the minimum wage, gender, race, immigration and religion have been used by this administration.
This is why folks do not look toward Washington, D.C., to solve problems anymore. This is why young people — the Millennials — are so turned off by the brands of both political parties, a one-time advantage that Democrats have completely squandered.
And this is why we have wave-election cycles.
Also, most folks who don’t live in the privileged enclaves of high society or high academia or high government would argue that other, more pressing crises — most of them hidden in plain sight — should be considered the gravest threat to our country in our lifetime.
Things such as subpar graduation rates in our inner-city schools, or the 90 million people who have left the nation’s workforce in the past six years, or our economy being less entrepreneurial now than at any point in the last three decades — or that a Brookings study showed, between 2009 and 2011, small businesses were collapsing faster than they were being formed.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka cautioned Obama and Democrats to consider how millions of livelihoods outside of D.C. would be impacted: “We are prepared to … make sacrifices, but not while the most privileged in our society stand on the sidelines and expect our poorest communities to bear the costs.”