Yesterday you were introduced to some of the tactics that a particular environmental group, the Sea Shepherds, employs in order to prevent Japanese whaling ships from harpooning whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherds, also co-founded Greenpeace but was subsequently voted out of the organization, because he wanted to employ more aggressive tactics in the fight against destroying the environment. To this day the two organizations maintain no slight amount of contempt for each other (at least that's the impression I got from watching Whale Wars). Watson spends a good amount of time speaking ill of Greenpeace and refers to them as "the other whaling industry." Greenpeace takes a non-violent approach to combating the whaling industry. Watson thinks this is too passive, and puts his money where his mouth is with the Sea Shepherds.
What we have here is two organizations with similar goals who refuse to work together, share information and unite under the umbrella of their common goal. Every minute they spend trashing each other on camera is a minute that could have been spent coming up with innovative ideas to reach their goal, whether it be collectively or individually. This sounds a lot like our government. If the Democrats come out and say something then the Republicans must respond, regardless of whether or not they have anything meaningful to say and vice versa. If they are silent then the public will think that they're not doing anything. In the end, it's all lip service and nothing gets done. How about we, the American public, put up with a little silence on some things while giving people a chance to come up with some actual solutions. Then let's base our subsequent votes and opinions on what person took meaningful and effective action rather than giving credit to the person who immediately came out and said something useless.
First, two comments based solely on the general perception of each party's approach to the environment: It's hard for me to believe that the Republicans want to destroy the environment. It's equally hard for me to believe that the Democrats' goal is truly to preserve the environment. For both parties, it's more about power and their incessant PR quest of "Hey, I'M the one that saved it! Even if that guy had an idea that would have worked better, we can't let the public think that the [insert party name here]s did it."
I'm repeating myself when I say that members of our government are more set on appearing powerful and making the opposing party look bad vs. actually solving our nation's problems. Much like Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherds, the goal is to save the environment. What if the two sides actually got together, shared some information and started moving forward on some things? Wouldn't this be much more productive? Of course, it's going to require them to put aside their thirst for power and the spotlight. It's also going to require the public to let politicians off the hook when they reverse previous stances. I'm not saying that we should always do this, but in some cases it's warranted. We currently live in a society where our elected representatives aren't allowed to deviate even the slightest bit from a stance once they take one. Sometimes, however, these representatives take these stances for the sake of opposing the other party, not because it's the best solution. If someone decides to abandon their worthless initial position on an issue in favor of an effective solution then we trash them, saying "You're not towing the party line!"
Folks, it's not about political parties. It's about goals and forming effective solutions to meet those goals. I'm convinced we can accomplish most of what each party seeks if we put aside the party affiliations and actually look at the issues. Who cares who gets the credit?!? The idea is to serve your country, not yourself. Let's get over it and start coming up with some solutions.