Sustainable life or world domination
“…they released a pamphlet called ‘There Goes Christmas,’ in which they claimed that there was a new communist plot to ‘take the Christ out of Christmas’ by replacing Christmas decorations with United Nations iconography. The Society claimed this was part of a larger push to stamp out religion altogether and cede US sovereignty to the UN.”
The above quote sounds as if it could be taken from any modern right-wing site, but it refers to the John Birch Society, which released a pamphlet in 1959 alerting Americans to an attack on Christmas by “UN fanatics…What they now want to put over on the American people is simply this: Department stores throughout the country are to utilize UN symbols and emblems as Christmas decorations.” In case you wondered, that never happened, but that didn’t stop right-wingers from whipping up fear and hysteria, just like today.
The War on Christmas is still a popular right-wing cause, even though Christmas now seems to start before Halloween. Agenda 21, although less visible, is just as scary in their minds. Conservative politicians like to prophesy imminent doom if Agenda 21 is implemented.
Agenda 21 Stands for “Agenda 21st Century.” It’s a non-binding United Nations guide written in 1993 to help governments of all sizes find the best ways to use limited resources. No one except the most ignorant, self-centered people believes that the earth’s resources are unlimited. Most people understand that we need to handle our resources in a responsible way.
Dealing with issues such as toxic waste, conservation, and green technology are vital for our future. I want my grandsons to have air they can breathe and water they can drink. No amount of money can make up for losing these necessities.
Right-wingers don’t express their opposition to Agenda 21 in those terms. Here is what the three candidates for Nevada Assembly District 38 said on Candidates’ Night, Oct. 15, 2014:
“[Tim] Fasano said he opposes Agenda 21 and said it is a bad plan for any jurisdiction to think about it. He gave an example how Lyon County wanted to pass a nuisance ordinance, and because of the public swell of opposition, the bill was killed.
“We don’t need the UN coming into our country and telling us how to run our lives,” Fasano said.
[John] O’Connor agreed, saying Agenda 21 is not good while [Robin] Titus called it a “very scary proposition.”
Titus said she is passionate about property rights and Agenda 21 would strip away many of those rights.”
Unless the U.N. sent representatives to Lyon County to oppose the nuisance ordinance, I fail to see the connection here. That sounds like democracy to me.
Titus, the Republican winner, claimed to be “passionate about property rights.” In a recent column, Republican Ron Knecht, the new Nevada state controller, said, “Limited-government conservatives understand their duty to the voters, taxpayers and broad public interest — a duty to maximize economic growth and promote the real fairness of liberty; property, contract, and individual rights; and the rule of law.”
If conservatives believe in private property rights, why are they so gung-ho to approve the Keystone pipeline? A Canadian company is seizing land from unwilling Nebraska ranchers, farmers and Native Americans in order to enrich this foreign company. How is this honoring private property rights? This is a perfect example of modern Republican hypocrisy.
In 1987, the Reagan administration was trying to shove the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository down our throats. Nevadans didn’t like that. Both Democrats and Republicans resisted, and almost 30 years later, Yucca Mountain still has no nuclear waste. We stopped that Republican takeover.
Why are right-wingers so anxious to scare us with stories of a U.N. takeover of our sovereignty? Because they want to distract us from real issues such as the contamination of our air and water from fracking, or the hundreds of oil spills from pipelines, or any other action the wealthy take to enrich themselves at our expense. The U.N. isn’t our enemy; It’s those people and corporations who believe they can do whatever they want, no matter how destructive, and the Republicans who enable them.
President Teddy Roosevelt expressed it this way: “Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.” Modern conservatives would do well to reflect on these words.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.