A lot of folks here may remember the famous political mantra of James Carville during the 1992 presidential election: “It's the economy, stupid.” What that meant is that the road to the White House was paved primarily on an economic message.
And while the state of the economy remains today, as it almost always will, one of the most important political issues, it's been occurring to me more and more of late that there is actually a larger problem that faces America, one which impacts the economy and virtually all other major challenges we face.
That one entity which poses more of a threat to America's future than perhaps any other single force is Big Oil.
When it comes to this country's environmental policies, the biggest obstacle to moving forward to address those is Big Oil. Big Oil is the primary source behind climate change denial. They fund most, if not all, of the alleged “research” (which is actually not research most of the time, but rather a scam played out through bogus “research” scientists to pay those scientists to try to prove what it is that Big Oil wants them to prove to give their slanted views legitimacy). And even at that, Big Oil has only managed to successfully buy off one percent of the world's scientists to tote the Big Oil lie and the Big Oil line about global warming.
But, as important as global warming is to this country, and the world's future, global warming is not the only area where Big Oil is a major obstacle.
If it weren't for the massive amounts of money Big Oil gives to prop up the intellectually bankrupt Republican Party, it is questionable whether the Republican Party would be even remotely competitive in national elections, least of all able to manipulate, gerrymander and purchase their way to control of the House of Misrepresentatives (and possibly the Senate this November).
From the Koch brothers, who are in the oil business, to ALEC and their anti-consumer, pro-oligarch agenda, to the Tea Party which is fueled and funded by Big Oil, to climate change denial, to opposition to the minimum wage to the obstruction of President Obama's agenda and nominees, Big Oil is a major influence, if not THE major influence behind them all.
Not to mention economic inequality. If there is one major group that best represents the problem of economic inequality in this country, it's Big Oil. They fight against the poor and the middle class at every turn with their anti-union, anti-worker, anti-consumer agenda of pure greed. The oil industry itself has purchased its way out of paying its fair share of taxes, by buying enough politicians in Washington to guarantee a massive taxpayer bailout for big oil in the form of special tax breaks for the oil industry.
And when it comes to the Republican Party's wars on workers, women, the poor, the middle class and minorities, you can bet your bottom dollar that there is one major influence fueling all of those. It's Big Oil, which is on a trajectory to make the entire country a slave to them.
From income inequality to global warming to our country's pro-rich tax structure, efforts to kill off Social Security and Medicare, opposition to health care reform and to virtually every major progressive issue, there is one major entity that is behind it all: Big Oil.
And, of course, when it comes to energy and energy policy, we can thank Big Oil for doing its utmost to slow down the development and implementation of clean energy technologies every step of the way.
It seems to me that if we are ever to get out from underneath the thumb of the oligarchs that rule America, oligarchs that are, in one way or another, tied directly to Big Oil, we need to do as James Carville once advised Bill Clinton to do, and focus like a laser. Only this time, we need to focus like a laser on the one true enemy that is holding America back on so many fronts: Big Oil.