Fast forward to the present; after more than 30 years of Republican political dominance, the results of Republican/conservative policies are all too apparent. The free market supply side forces have been responsible for creating the greatest income disparity since the gilded age. The United States has lost ground internationally in most demonstrable criteria including: median income, access to health care, infant mortality and economic dominance. And the Republican era of power culminated in an economic free fall which cost the American economy $12.8 trillion dollars and 8 million jobs. The failure of the republican/conservative economic agenda is stunning in its totality.
But there is nowhere the Republican failure is more devastating than in the global response to climate change.
At the end of World War II the United States emerged as the world leader economically and politically. The advantages and responsibilities of world leadership was in our hands. We built on the New Deal to strengthen the middle class with Social Security and Medicare and then focused on human rights with the Civil Rights Act. Then in 1981 came the Reagan revolution. And in a symbolic act President Reagan took down the solar panels which had been installed on the Carter White House. This act symbolized that new guys were in town and it also meant that government was being pushed out of the way for business to take its place as the rightful representative of the American people.
That was about the same time that understanding about our species' contribution to climate warming was being discussed in the global scientific community. It was already recognized that our industrial consumption based on fossil fuels was the leading cause of our atmospheric pollution. It was also recognized that global warming would require a global response, with nations working together to advance and implement solutions. Our global economic and political leadership placed us in a position of responsibility to the global challenge of climate change; but here is where we abdicated our global leadership responsibility and the Republican ideology of laissez faire collided with the needed response to our changing climate.
In the over 30 years of Republican political dominance, the evidence of anthropogenic climate change has only strengthened to the point that 97 percent of credible climate scientists support the overwhelming evidence of human caused climate change. Yet over that time the Republican/conservative response has been to use its power to misinform and to obstruct any progress to mitigate. The Republican political leaders have taken the side of their business buddies—the fossil fuel industry, who have rewarded them with obnoxious sums of money for their support which has assured them of unrivaled control of the energy market. In the 112th GOP-controlled congress alone there have been 317 votes taken against the environment.