Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Jeb Bush, on his first full day of campaigning since his official announcement of running, began in a very inauspicious manner. Among the people he targeted to attack weren't just his expected political opponents but also, of all people, the Pope, the head of the religion he chose to affiliate with decades ago. He had the audacity, in this case outrageous audacity, to offer advice to the Pope, that he should "steer clear" of political issues such as climate change.  He followed this up by implying that climate change can be thought of like an economic issue, saying he would not go to his bishop, cardinal, or Pope for advice on an economic issue, therefore the Pope should leave those areas to the politicians and content himself with matters of his flock's spiritual life. Very interesting, Jeb. In trying to shore up support with the hardline base of the Republican party, you take offense at the Pope believing there is something very real going on with climate change manifestations throughout the world, and that they are a potential danger to humanity and our natural environment as we know it.  And  you take it on yourself to suggest he back off from caring about such matters, as if he hasn't a right to speak out on all issues he feels are vital to humanity. You further suggest that scientists are arrogant when they believe that climate change is a real, verified phenomena.   So one might assume you also find the Pope "arrogant" in this regard. You might look in the mirror when you say "arrogant", Jeb!  Quite a beginning to your campaign. You were doing better before you opened your mouth and started talking.  You have enough money to run a great campaign, but your words may lose a lot more votes than your money can buy.

Looking a bit more deeply into Bush's advice to the Pope reveals an underlying, basic truth about his, and most other Republicans, core value system and political motivation. Whether the issue being dealt with by those in political power concerns science, health, social and human needs, trade, foreign affairs, or myriad other issues, its all about the economics. What will be the effect on the economic bottom line, the corporate profits that will filter to or from the captains of industry and finance who have assumed such massive power over our political system through the influence their money exerts?  Dealing with climate change effectively would cut into the immediate profits of multi-national corporations, so it needs to be denied and defeated, the Pope should keep quiet about it, regardless of the human suffering and environmental damage it could cause. Improved health care for all would be costly, it must be defeated, so what if some people go without and suffer. The trade bill without protections for workers and environmental regulations should be implemented, it will increase  corporate profits, forget the job displacement, environmental rule overrides, and growing income inequity it fosters.  Wars must be fought, there are valuable resources we must have access to, markets to protect, even if we are working with autocratic monarchs and against the will of a majority of the local inhabitants of the region. And on it goes.  It's all about the economics of the issue. This is a shift from the campaign slogan which won an election for Clinton in 1992, It's all about the economy.  The "economy" Clinton was referring to dealt with the financial state of all the people, not excluding the middle class and below.  Bush's "economics" refers much more to how the economy is measured by Wall Street and the heads of our corporate and financial institutions, those in the highest ranges of  wealth and income in our nation.  Bush's first day statements are reminiscent of Mitt Romney's faux pas in his 2012 campaign, that there is a sizeable percentage of the US population that his campaign makes no pretense of trying to appeal to or represent. Bush's statement was not as blatant, but the implication of where his priorities are is clearly there.  So the Pope shouldn't talk about climate change, its an economic and political issue.  This suggest Bush might  say the same thing about poverty, homelessness, health needs, income inequity, education, environmental degradation, they are all just economic issues that the Pope should steer clear of, just leave them to politicians like him. Let's hope the voters of our nation are listening, and will steer clear of Jeb Bush.