Out: 15 Days to Flatten the Curve
In: 15 Days to Flatten the Invasion
In my ongoing sociological study of War in the Social Media Age, I’m detecting a familiar theme.
Politicians, the news media, and washed-up celebrities are once again demanding that we Americans who are already suffering under the bungled government response to a pandemic must suffer some more in the name of stopping the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
First it was our patriotic duty to lose our jobs and our businesses, wear a mask in public, and take a vaccine whether we wanted to or not.
Now it is our patriotic duty to pay even more to heat our homes, fill our gas tanks, and feed our families.
This tweet from has-been Star Trek actor George Takei sums up the latest talking point perfectly:
While I agree that we should not be purchasing oil from Russia, the purpose of sanctions is to punish Russia, not to further punish the American people.
Joe Biden has already sanctioned US energy production which is why we were already paying far more for gas and home heating long before Russia invaded Ukraine.
But see, here’s the thing that bugs me about Takei’s tweet.
He assumes he can deploy the same “We’re in this together” “it’s our patriotic duty” rah-rah bullshit that they tried on us during the pandemic.
They told us it’s just for 15 days. Just give us 15 days to flatten the curve – 15 days to slow the spread. We’re all in this together!
It wasn’t 15 days.
And, as we quickly learned, we sure as hell weren’t all in it together.
The people who exploited our patriotism to crush our economy and destroy the working class once again want to exploit our patriotism to crush our economy and destroy the working class.
Maybe George Takei can afford to pay more at the pump and grocery store. But not everybody is a wealthy, albeit has-been, celebrity.
And the fact is, WE don’t need to pay more.
If Joe Biden lifted the sanctions he placed on the US Energy Sector, we could once again be the energy-independent nation and a net exporter of gas and oil that we were before Joe Biden meandered into the White House.
In short, we could block the import of Russian oil and gas without being punished.
Not only would it be a win/win; it would be patriotic.
But this administration is so obsessed with pursuing magical energy alternatives that don’t exist in the quantity necessary to power a first-world nation to even entertain the idea of lifting Biden’s sanctions on US energy.
So this is the talking point we get instead: It’s our patriotic duty to once again destroy our economy before we even recover from the last time they destroyed it.
Gas prices were already significantly higher before Russia invaded Ukraine. And in the last week, they skyrocketed.
Wednesday, as I took my car out to my mechanic, the gas station near my house had regular unleaded for $3.89 a gallon. Friday, when I drove my car home from the mechanic, that had jumped to $4.11 a gallon. Twenty-two cents in two days.
On Saturday, I paid $4.19 a gallon. And since I only had $20 in my wallet, I couldn’t even put in five friggin’ gallons.
It is our patriotic duty to lift restrictions on US energy production and put America first.
And by doing that, we can return to being a net exporter of energy and Europe will not have to rely on Russian oil and gas either.
So it isn’t just a win/win; it’s a win/win/win.
Last week, House Republicans introduced a bill to boost domestic oil and gas production, as well as reauthorize the Keystone Pipeline.
“Patriotism” isn’t the point.
The pain is the point.
The punishment is the point.
And to be lectured about “patriotism” from people who hate this country so much they’re willing to destroy it is a wee bit insulting.
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