January 13, 2010

Alec Baldwin's Politics of Personal Destruction, Extreme Edition

I have to admit, I've enjoyed a number of Alec Baldwin movies. His politics however, are another matter. They are often so skewed as to be a form of entertainment in and of themselves. When I'm not busy ignoring his political pontifications, I'm probably reading or watching with a snicker or two. The problem with the rants of Mr. Baldwin, is that he sometimes seems to be locked into a fictional world, reminiscent of his movies. That type of environment makes for good movie drama, bud bad politics.

Yesterday in the Huffington Post, Alec Baldwin actually called on progressives, and presumably all Americans from his choice of words, to get behind the effort to put an American oil company OUT OF BUSINESS. For real. Were it not so palatable to the green wing of the progressive movement (not to mention the socialists) it would be more laughable entertainment.

The goal of this country's energy policy, long-term, should be to trigger a series of events that would lead to one clear measurement of our progress. That is the collapse of a major oil company. If a major oil company went out of business, we would be on the right track.
He states it as a goal. He thinks of it as being on the right track. Why would he think that? Because it's an American industry that he dislikes. He may dislike it because it's profitable, or because it's not an environmentally friendly industry. He may not even dislike it. Maybe he's being honest about just wanting to kill America's dependence on foreign oil. In any case his solution, typical of progressive thinking, is progress through destruction.

He sees the unemployment of potentially tens of thousands of Americans as good. He sees the resulting shortage of oil in America, however temporary as a short term pain for a long term gain. It doesn't matter to him that the oil tankers won't sink, or that the demand will be filled by the remaining competitors who are less constrained by competitive forces than before. It doesn't matter if those competitors are domestic or foreign. He probably would prefer that they are foreign.

It doesn't matter to Mr. Baldwin that shareholders will lose wealth, or that by reducing supply, you DO NOT affect demand, only price, and that demand for oil in the industrialized world is relatively inelastic, meaning more money will be spent by average Americans, not less. It has not occured to him that by taking out an oil company, does nothing to promote the rainbows and gumdrops and magically materialize cheap, efficient and abundant solar power.

What he's interested in is the politics of personal destruction. If it were one person, a non-criminal average American, people would be appalled at his sentiment. Except the 'personal' isn't one individual, it's a faceless corporation. But behind it employees, shareholders, consumers and America exist, and all of them will be hurt if his wishes were to come true. That's extreme. But its okay, because his heart's in the right place, right? Butterflies and unicorns are the future, and damn anyone who would dare get in the way of that peaceful future.

If it weren't so ridiculous, he'd be a danger. But the Huffington Post seems to be more than happy to propogate that sort of garbage, without anyone thinking of the consequences. So maybe it is a danger after all.

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