America Needs Wind Energy

America needs an energy policy that encourages domestic oil and gas production for the present and supports clean energy technology for our future.

The Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit currently gives tax breaks to producers of clean energy, such as wind farms. Developing our wind potential will create hundreds of thousands of jobs for American workers (1,2).

But unless the Production Tax Credit for the wind industry will expire at the end of this year unless Congress takes action. I hope you will write or call your congressional representative today and urge him or her to extend the wind tax credit.

If your congressional representatives are Republicans, urge them to join ConservAmerica, an organization that works toward conservative solutions to environmental challenges (3).  

Wind energy provides jobs and energy for the present and a cleaner planet for the future. Let’s urge Democrats and Republicans to work together on this issue.

We Don’t Have Mitt Romney to Kick Around Anymore

In the spirit of bipartisanship, I’ve removed the pre-election posts from this blog that pointed out Mitt Romney’s character flaws and lack of qualifications. It is the Republican Party’s policies, not Mitt Romney, that are to blame for the 2012 election results.

David Frum, former speechwriter for George W. Bush, summed up the party’s dysfunction on The Morning Joe:

“… the real locus of the problem is the Republican activist base and the Republican donor base …The people who put the cement shoes on him (Mitt Romney) are now blaming him for sinking.”

GOP Should Listen to Lincoln

The Republican Party likes to remind us that it is the party of Lincoln. Unfortunately, they have strayed from Lincoln’s ideas in many ways. This is why moderates like Colin Powel and me find ourselves disagreeing with the current GOP leadership on many issues.

I hope that the 2012 election results—in which Republicans lost the White House and seats in both houses of Congress—will give Republicans (the party  leaders and the rank and file) incentive to move back to the center and back to Lincoln’s ideas.

In recent years, Republicans in several states passed laws (11 of which were ruled unconstitutional by courts) aimed at suppressing voting rights of minorities. Lincoln had faith in the democratic process, and he trusted the wisdom of American voters:

“The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.”

Government of the people (not the corporations)
Mitt Romney alienated many voters when he said, “Corporations are people, my friend.” As long as Republican policies favor large corporations over individuals, policies which during the George W. Bush administration led to a widening gap between rich and poor, the GOP will continue to lose popular support.

Lincoln said, “Republicans are for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar.”

Our economy needs both entrepreneurs and workers. Democrats have long been the party of the labor movement, while Republicans are the party of capitalists. Our economy needs both entrepreneurs and workers, but which is more important? Lincoln said:

“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

Social programs
Republicans are right to oppose welfare programs that discourage work and self-reliance. And here they are in keeping with Lincoln, who said, “You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.” But Republicans often go too far and oppose programs that provide a social safety net. This every-man-for-himself mentality is un-American and unworthy of the party of Lincoln, who said:

 “The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves – in their separate, and individual capacities.”

Lincoln was a wartime president, but he did not start the war, and he craved a lasting peace. In Iraq, the US fought a war it didn’t have to fight—failing to learn the painful lesson of Vietnam and failing to heed Lincoln’s warning:

“Such will be a great lesson of peace: teaching men that what they cannot take by and election, neither can they take by war; teaching all the folly of being the beginners of a war.”

Malice toward none
Finally, Republicans and Democrats need to work together and seek common ground to solve our nation’s problems, because, as Lincoln said (quoting scripture):

“A house divided against itself cannot stand."