Green Republicans?

Last week one of my conservative friends made a joke. He said “I’m tired of hearing that conservatives don’t care about the environment. Aren’t we the ones that championed the use of the electric chair to execute murderers?

“Gas is much more harmful for the environment,” he added. “And, truth be told, lethal injection is a gateway drug.”

Many folks found it humorous, especially the “gateway” drug line.

I was less impressed. But it got me to thinking. Maybe conservatives (and Republicans by association) are more environmentally conscious than we realize.

The old electric chair didn’t actually conserve much energy, and electric shock torture of the order depicted in the Rambo movies was hardly environmentally responsible. But the Bush Administration’s utilization of water-boarding was clearly green. All it required was an old rag (reusable), a metal or wooden plank (also reusable) and several gallons of water and, even if you water-boarded a human being 183 times, it still comprised a diminutive carbon footprint. It was much more eco-friendly than electroshock interrogation.

And consider the yellow cake uranium prevarications that the Cheney branch of the Bush White House pushed to justify invading Iraq. Outright lies require much less manpower and paperwork than pursuing the truth. Think of how many trees Cheney spared.

Imagine the transportation costs the American taxpayers would have incurred if the Bush White House had allowed the CIA to do its job.

Looking back on it, the Bush Administration was much more conservationist than folks realized and the upcoming 2012 election cycle has Republicans taking note. They’re not wasting any energy coming up with new ideas. They’re simply recycling the old ones.

Republicans want a return to the lack of regulations that led to the Wall Street meltdown. They figure if less of us have jobs, less of us will need to drive to work. We’ll save billions in fuel costs and, if our cars remain parked in our driveways, there will be a substantial reduction in carbon emissions.

Republicans want to reinstate the U.S. Military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. They realize it will significantly reduce the number of trained, qualified servicemen and women serving overseas and, with less qualified personnel in the ranks, there will be additional casualties. This will help mitigate the growing shortage of jobs that face the soldiers coming home from our wars.

Republicans want to restore the Bible in school curriculums. They know deferring to The Word instead of promoting contemporary theories cuts down on the number of textbooks required to educate our children. And with less textbooks and a de-emphasis on intellectual development, competent instructors will be easier to find and cheaper to hire. Sticking closer to the Holy Writ will spare untold swathes of forest and hiring less educated instructors will cut down on all the government funding that’s wasted on “higher” education.

Republicans want to limit the political conversation to their own tried and true talking points. Fox News affords them a captive audience that is practically intellectually catatonic and introducing new ideas or meaningful discussions simply disturb the sediment that insulates their base. Pigeon-holing the debate keeps their conservative environs intact and less vulnerable to de-stabilizing nature of newly introduced theses and the contaminating aspects of broader viewpoints.

And, finally, in perhaps the greatest conservationist and preservationist efforts Republicans have followed through with in decades, they’re working tirelessly to maintain and protect the plunder and privilege of the human subspecies known as the American wealthy.

Fearful that this potentially endangered strata of our citizenry is threatened by the menacing forces of cultural equilibrium and economic fair play, Republicans are organizing filibusters in the U.S. Senate and staging a do-nothing occupation of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Considered en masse, the Republican Party is obviously much greener than we realized.

Of course Republican greenness has more to do with bigotry, ignorance and corporate backers than Mother Nature. But you have to start somewhere.

They are clearly the oak that becomes an acorn.

E.R. Bills is a writer from Aledo, Texas and the author of Texas Obscurities: Stories of the Peculiar, Exceptional and Nefarious (History Press, 2013). He can be reached at: erbillsthinks@gmail.com. Read other articles by E.R..