Red, white and bluster

So all of a sudden America has a Muslim problem? That’s what the American narrative is during this Republican primary.

Anti-Muslim rhetoric is damaging to all of us. Not just in the way some like to describe lovey-dovey liberals who want to hold hands around a campfire and sing “Heal the world.” Trees are invited to join in. But real world problems are created when the old, rural white guy — who has only seen a mosque, Islamic center or woman in a full-length burka on FOX News — goes on camera (as one guy did last week) and says, “Who’s cutting off people’s heads? Who’s bombing buildings? Who’s bombing airplanes? It’s not the Christians, it’s not the Jews, it’s not the Buddhists, it’s the Muslims. You got that on camera, sport?”

Narratives like these are created by a very small, very ignorant minority, but paint the entire country and Western world as evil in the eyes of our enemies and violent extremists. The worst part is, Israel, Paris, London, as well as our troops and the citizens of San Bernardino are the ones who pay the price.
And the media is culpable for the damage caused by its coverage of Donald Trump, who is largely responsible for the recent anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant hate simmering throughout parts of the country. It is senseless and irresponsible for the media to have committed daily, nightly, and sometimes up-to-the-moment coverage of Trump’s campaign. Sure, he is currently the “frontrunner” in polls, but this is no more than a ratings-induced orgasm by TV producers who get to claim it’s all relevant. It’s not.

According to an average of national polls, Trump recieves the support of 33 percent of Republicans. And while that leads the field of GOP contenders, a November Gallup poll shows that only 28 percent of Americans today identify as Republican. What this means is that Trump’s support is less than ten percent of all voters!

So this anti-Muslim fervor that Trump has “tapped into” is not deserving of wall-to-wall media coverage that makes America look like the land of bigots.

Meanwhile, as Trump was staining the American pants before the rest of the world, the real American leaders were brokering an historic climate change agreement.

The world agrees! We should keep this planet inhabitable for humans. Yeah, I’m being sarcastic, but we need to enjoy the little victories where we can get them.

Apparently not Mitch McConnell (although his humanity was already in question). Mitch’s response to the climate change agreement was to say that “This is an unattainable deal based on a domestic energy plan that is likely illegal, that half the states have sued to halt, and that Congress has already voted to reject.”

Mitch is lying about this, conflating two separate climate change issues. One is a domestic energy plan from the EPA, requiring states reduce power-plant carbon emissions by 2030. And yes, 24 states are suing the EPA over it. The other issue is an international agreement involving 196 countries. Mitch simply has no reasonable argument against the global accord, and the only way for him to score any political points is to confuse the public into thinking the two issues are related, which is why he is lying about it. The number of countries and enemies that have agreed to cooperate on this shared goal is staggering, and Mitch thinks his political interests are more important. What an unbelievable grinch (and grinch is the nicest possible description).

Furthermore, even if half the states were opposed to this deal, it takes a tremendous amount of arrogance, as well as a warped understanding of how our government works, to argue that states should be able to influence an international agreement between America and 195 other countries.

We need to be global leaders because without us who would the world follow? We need to partner with developing nations, to help them develop in a “smart” way; this includes development and sustainability planning, energy-efficient infrastructure as well as direct financial assistance. For example, in 2009 the Empire State Building underwent a two-year $20 million retrofit, which included replacing every window (over 26,000) with new, energy-efficient glass. The savings on reduced energy usage alone will total $4.4 million every year.

So as developing countries grow, there is a framework and incentive to work with the world community, including private companies, to grow in a smarter way; use new, cost-effective, sustainable, “smarter” materials; work with the best city planners in the world to create an efficient transportation infrastructure; share the best-practices of sustainability and resource management.

Yet, as only he can, the 73-year-old Majority Leader cannot help but undermine the hard work that brought 196 of the world’s countries together. Mitch, like Trump, is an ugly representation of a small minority of America and humanity, and the media should be ashamed for tarnishing the rest of us with their rancor.