While the environment is often a banner issue for the left, to say Republicans aren’t concerned with protecting the earth and its natural resources is hogwash.
Like most issues on his platform, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is trying to find some middle ground between the polarization of the two parties.
As any good liberal would, the newest Kennedy to enter the political arena says he does believe the climate crisis is real. However, as a solid conservative might argue, he says the people that subscribe to the carbon orthodoxy get it wrong.
“There actually are a lot more important things than carbon and carbon sequestration. There’s habitat preservation – the most important thing we can do. We’ve forgotten completely about that because of the obsession with reducing carbon,” Kennedy recently said in an interview with Jordan Peterson.
Kennedy’s Middle Ground
More importantly, Kennedy says he does not insist that anybody else shares his belief, and he’s not falling for tactics that force him to disparage either side of the aisle.
In response to a question posed by Jordan Peterson (via Lex Fridman’s podcast) “When does the left go too far?” Kennedy wouldn’t take the bait.
“I’m trying to find values that hold us together and we can share in common rather than to focus constantly on these disputes and these issues that drive us apart. So me sitting here bad mouthing the left or bad mouthing the right is not going to advance the ball. I really want to figure out ways that you know – what do these groups hold in common that we can all have a shared vision of what we want this country to look like.”
Biden’s main contender for the Democratic ticket says in his forty years as a champion of environmental protection and preservation, he’s found that both Republicans and Democrats love the environment.
“They want to keep sacred places. They want to have healthy food. They don’t want toxins for their children,” says Kennedy.
Will voters buy the middle-ground peace that Kennedy is selling or have we become so entrenched in our tribal battles that the culture has passed the point of no return?
While Kennedy may not want to criticize the left, I certainly will.
The Bush and big oil era may have depicted a different brand of conservatism, but the idea that all Republicans want to do is devastate the planet in the name of financial gain is a flat-out lie.
As hunters, farmers, and workers of the land, many conservatives are doing more to align with the natural rhythms of Mother Nature than lefties who want you to eat so-called meat made in labs and drive battery-powered cars that require stripping more natural resources than drilling oil.
I often tell people I am a “Conservative Hippie.” At times, I feel more concerned about the environment than my lefty friends but you may not know it as I don’t display the typical trappings of a virtue signaler. I don’t drive an electric vehicle or put signs on my lawn or bumper stickers on my car. I don’t superglue myself to fine art or sit in the middle of the road.
I do my best to make daily choices, now habits, that hopefully make a small difference. I don’t use overhead lights, or any lights, much. I don’t have air conditioning, which is not as devastating in SoCal weather as it might be in other places, but for most, considered a necessity. I bring reusable bags to the grocery store and when I do get paper bags, I use them as trash bags. I am notorious for carrying a blue glass water bottle with me everywhere I go.
I’m no martyr but in general, I try not to constantly consume.
Rod Dreher wrote an entire book about granola-loving, tree-hugging conservatives. He labels us Crunchy Cons.
As Dreher writes, this style of conservatism at times, rings more true with “lefty” ideology than the traditional GOP orthodoxy.
Indeed, after spending over 18 years in California, it’s hard not to be concerned with the environment and immerse oneself in all sorts of alternative nutritional and healing practices that actually – surprise – work.
Conservative hippies know the greatest capital in the world is faith, family, freedom, and health. And the greatest thing to live with and for is love.
Love Over Fear
This is exactly the sentiment Kennedy was conjuring up in his interview with Peterson.
“I think we have to bring people back to that place of love and say what kind of world do we want to live in?”
RFK, Jr. says he spent his time building his livelihood doing just that, bringing in the “hook and bullet” people (referring to those who love to fish and hunt and an often important swing vote in a lot of crucial states) to the environmental movement asserting that they came in “because of love not because of fear.”
If there’s one thing the likes of John Kerry, the climate czar, and Greta Thunberg are good at, it’s fear-mongering. Along with telling people what to do.
Oil tycoon, Harold Hamm recently came out with a book entitled “Game Changer: Our Fifty-Year Mission to Secure America’s Energy Independence.” The founder and CEO of Continental Resources, one of the nation’s biggest independent oil companies, is on a mission to set the record straight “about the disparaging comments and maybe even outright lies about the industry over time that people wanted to put out there.”
“This book talks about the solution, which is we can have both — abundant energy and do it safely for the climate. It offers up good solutions, talks about solving a lot of these issues that people think are very important. America’s done good things with clean-burning natural gas, we’ve cleaned up the air,’ he said.
“I think the book can give people a lot of hope they don’t have today,” he said.
Hamm, a staunch Republican, offers a message of hope mixed with truth that echoes RFK, Jr., a tried and true Democrat.
And if there’s two things Americans, whether red or blue, could use right now (along with energy independence), it’s truth and hope.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor and opinion writer for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics, and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.