Monday, June 30, 2008

The $1.25 Store

This week my 5-yr-old earned his 'good behavior reward trip' to the dollar store, where we were greeted by the following sign: "Due to rising power and shipping costs, all items are now $1.25." No, it wasn't a joke, but a rather sad sign that our next President will be a failure if he doesn't successfully address gas prices.

We've all heard the tweed-jacketed experts on the news explaining that Pricey gas = Expensive stuff = Unhappy people. And 90% of Americans agree (when do 90% of Americans ever agree on *anything*?). Not to be outdone, the McCain folks have created their own "Lexington Project: Breaking Our Dependence on Foreign Oil."

mccain lexington energy green

Beyond fancy graphics, the Lexington Project (as in "the town where Americans asserted their Independence once before") promotes both the values (ingenuity, creativity, responsibility) and the nuts-and-bolts (domestic offshore drilling, clean coal, nuclear options) which can solve this crisis. Click on the graphic above to see for yourself.

Politicians and the media could get more mileage from the 'green' movement (mileage pun intended) if they emphasized green money along with our green planet. The two go hand in hand. I am all for responsible stewardship, but at the end of the day, I care more about feeding, clothing, and housing my family than I do about rainforests or polar bears. And while they may be reluctant to admit it, I believe most Americans, who increasingly can't afford their commute or their groceries, agree with me.

John McCain's recent proposals have indeed ruffled some feathers (no wildlife pun intended this time). To those who have reservations about some of these ground-breaking proposals, I have these thoughts:

We would all love to live in a world where everything we buy magically appears in stores and cars run on sunshine and rainbows. But alas, this is the real world. Which means we have to meet in the middle - changing our behavior and our awareness but also Going Where No Environmentalist Has Gone Before. Like the bottom of our oceans. Like nuclear plants. And we have to do it without hesitation or reservation. Because the alternative - $10 a gallon gas purchased from shady Middle-Eastern sources - makes American dreams of security and independence impossible.

John McCain is a brave and unique candidate. He is attacking what was previously 'Republican Kryptonite' head-on. He's showing that he will be a President who will make my country more prosperous - and my son happier.

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