• Flux Magazine

"The Green New Deal is Getting Old" by Luke Gover

When the administration of an institution, in this case a university, runs out of controversy in order to popularize the image of the institution, they build a strawman to attack for interest. At Sonoma State University, the strawman tends to be the “lunatic climate change deniers”. They exist, yes, but their presence does not have a significant role on campus. The common method to appeal to students is done by mentioning “the squad” (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley) but not their anti-semitic rhetoric, or by generalizing the Green New Deal, but not actually quoting it. This article intends to do just that. Before we dive into it, it is always important to point out to students this deal died several months ago in the U.S. Senate by means of a devastating 0-57 vote. You read that correctly, this means not a single Senate Democrat voted in favor of the bill, in fact some voted against it. Not the beloved Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, or the man who supposedly sticks to his guns Bernie Sanders could show their support when it mattered. 


The Criticism


The Green New Deal drew criticism from both sides of the aisle. For Republicans, the critiques were obvious: the deal was too vague, too unrealistic, and most of it was flat out unnecessary. For Democrats the criticism existed, but it was not nearly as evident. Ultimately, they claimed that the vote was a sham because of a rushed call by the Republican controlled Senate. Although that couldn’t be true because by following those guidelines, Democrats would always just vote present on every partisan issue in the Senate. So what is the real reason? Diane Feinstein said, “there’s no way to pay for it" a surprisingly conservative argument. The real deal here is all the socio-economic reform that was jammed into bill. 

Who’s that hiding behind the mask?


Earlier I mentioned the vagueness of the fourteen page bill, these ambiguities are what really lead to its demise. The bill pushed, “to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States;”3. Whereas the New Deal literally created programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Civil Works Administration, and the Social Security Administration, the Green New Deal continually states lofty goals with little wherewithal or structure.


The prior mentioned clause could be interpreted to apply to those who are simply unwilling to work. The bill went on to guarantee, “high-quality health care; affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (and) economic security;” to all people of the United States, not necessarily just tax paying citizens. There are no provided definitions for what high quality health care would look like, what safe and adequate housing means, and how to know when someone is economically secure. The Green New Deal hides behind the populist message to be environmentally friendly, so it can enact a socialist agenda. Clauses like these eliminate competition that drive the United States to innovate, and lead in multiple industries worldwide.

 

If you’re not convinced yet, the Green New Deal also attempts to completely reform our economy by, “ensuring a commercial environment where every businessperson is free from unfair competition and domination by domestic or international monopolies”3 leaving many ambiguities to be interpreted. Scholars debate hotly what type of competition is deemed “unfair”, and people like AOC are likely to find all of it to be. It’s possible this all sounds like crazy conservative propaganda, so here are some quick clarifications:


-Climate change IS a problem

-Climate change DOES need to be addressed


BUT


-It is possible to have climate reform without pushing socialism

-The GND pushes socialism by hiding behind a veneer of climate reform


The Takeaway:

This is left-wing populism, and voters should be concerned when people such as Representative Mike Thompson pledge unwavering support of it in order to gain the youth vote. 


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