In retrospect, waiting a couple of days before completing the Ethics Alarms analysis of the “Green New Deal” was a propitious decision. The results of the ethics, integrity and IQ tests that this fiasco represents can clarified considerably. The key question to begin most ethical analysis is “What’s going on here?” Well..what is?
1. Incompetence. The Ethics Alarms reader poll asking which of the provisions of the GND would, by themselves, mandate rejecting the leadership and judgment of any public figure endorsing them showed about 58% choosing “all of them,” with the infamous “providing economic security for all who are unwilling to work” coming in a distant second. I erred terribly in not providing a positive option for readers who see nothing wrong with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s batty manifesto. Ethics Alarms gets 3000-4000 visits a day, and surely some readers must have flunked this test. After all, Democrats are counting on a large segment of the population being similarly obtuse. This is my own bias at work. There are some episodes involving ethics where I really cannot comprehend how anyone with all their faculties and raised a U.S. culture can possibly reach a different ethics verdict that I have. Ethics is hard, but it isn’t THAT hard. The fact that there are, apparently, progressives and useful idiots who can read the screed without giggling is itself ethics alarms-worthy. The culture, including crucial components like education, journalism, and the world of politics, is failing our society by allowing warped perceptions and unethical values to take root. If this were not true, no elected official would dare propose a document like the Green New Deal.
2. Dishonesty and deception. It sounds like a mad conspiracy theory, but it is difficult for an objective observer not to conclude that the GND is part of a long-term plan of propaganda and indoctrination to replace American democracy with a leftist totalitarian regime. The kinds of measures being promoted in the GND—forget for a moment that most of them are literally impossible—cannot be achieved through democratic means, except in the broad sense of the public voting to give dictatorial powers to the government. The process flows from eco-fascism, which employs fear-mongering about an inevitable environmental catastrophe to provide justification for sacrificing individual liberty in the pursuit of “safety.” This is, as readers of world history knows, the traditional trade-off sold by totalitarian regimes. Yes, it is true that the quality of life and personal freedoms of the American public would both be severely constrained by the car-less, plane-less, nuclear energy-less, combustion engine-less, money-less and cow-less future that the socialist Democrats propose, but the alternative, we are told, is death and destruction. Academy Award-winning actress Ellen Page ranted on Stephen Colbert’s alleged late night comedy show (It is a partisan propaganda program with jokes) that “We have been told…that, by 2030, the world as we know it, that’s it. That’s it!” Colbert, who has the undeserved reputation as a truth-teller and sage, nodded sympathetically, saying that “until the water started swamping Manhattan, or just washes away Mar-a-Lago,” the public and media wouldn’t take the existential threat seriously. “You don’t want to think such terrible things are going to happen!”
Oh sure you do, if it will give you leverage to gain power over the nation.
3. Integrity failure. I wondered if the New York Times’ resident leftist economist and Trump-basher, Paul Krugman, would have anything to say about the economic implications of the Green New Deal. After all, he is the first to his keyboard to condemn as irresponsible and cretinous every Republican tax proposal or stimulus idea. I would assume that his position would make him duty-bound to explain to his ideological cheering section that the GND was the equivalent of a nuclear bomb being dropped on the economy, as well as, you know, stupid.
Nah! Krugman is completely ignoring the thing. Since he could not possibly defend it without looking like a fool, and criticizing its blatant incompetence would require him to be disloyal to his “team,” he’s just pretending it doesn’t exist, and the progressive punditry is largely following his lead.
4. Irresponsibility and Cowardice. Almost all of the major candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020 have endorsed the Green New Deal. (Rep. Gabbard, if she can be considered “major,” was a notable exception for pointing out that eliminating air travel would be a problem for her state of Hawaii.) This is incompetent, irresponsible and cowardly, as they know—Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are many things, but they are not stupid—that the hard left Democratic base is enamored of such fantasies. This is signature significance for untrustworthy, dangerously principle-free leadership. Senator Lindsey Graham is pushing for a vote on the Green New Deal so the cowardly Democratic senators have to go on the record in their support for increasing the debt logarithmically and sending us back to the caves based on some dubious computer models none of them can read. Good.
5. Denial of accountability. One water mark of totalitarians is that they will retreat to a Big Lie rather than accept responsibility and accountability when their mistakes are exposed. After the embarrassing Green New Deal announcement was taken down from the web, Ocasio-Cortez, bolstered by media hacks like Media Matters, began claiming that criticism of its most ridiculous features was a right wing plot, and that a false document, planted by conservatives, was being falsely represented as the actual Green New Deal. Robert Hockett, a policy adviser for Ocasio-Cortez (and a Cornell professor), went so far as to go on Fox News and tell Tucker Carlson that the “Economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work” line wasn’t part of the GND at all. “We never would and AOC has never said anything like that,” Hockett said. “I think you’re referring to some sort of document, some sort of doctored document that someone else has been circulating. Apparently some Republicans have put it out there, I don’t know the details,” he said.
He was lying. Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff said the document was part of an early draft that “got leaked.” The document was hardly leaked: it was published on Ocasio-Cortez’s website. Another lie. As for the Rock Star Rep herself, she layered on the lies too, tweeting,
#GreenNewDeal legislation is so strong that the GOP has to resort to circulating false versions, but the real one nets 70 House cosponsors on Day 1 and all Dem presidential candidates sign on anyway.”
6. Media incompetence, bias, and complicity. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias. The mainstream media, with the exception of Fox News, resorted to covering the Green New Deal by collecting reactions to it, rather tahn by reporting the truth: that it was an embarrassment. Some media sources went farther than mere contrived indifference. Here’s a tweet from the Business Insider, endorsing the Big Lie that the Green New Deal release was an accident:
In summary, the ethics and integrity portion of this national test was flunked, and badly, by Democrats, the news media, pundits and academia. The results of the IQ component of the test are still being compiled. Is the American public, or at least a critical mass of it, as gullible and ignorant as Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats, progressives and the news media seem to think they are?