This post originally posted on ConservAmerica:
Much is made of the growing partisan chasm between right and left in our country. Pundits, media, and inhabitants left-of-center blame the tea party movement and a handful of ultra-wealthy GOP donors for the problem.
That’s a problem in itself, for it only widens the gap and hardens the positions of people at both ends of the spectrum.
When our staff or members speak at public events, we often hear statements like, “I’m so glad there is one Republican left who thinks conservation is important” or “You must be so lonely in a party where everyone denies climate science.”
What we want to tell those people…what we want to shout from the rooftops is…there are tens of thousands of Republicans who think just like us.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe program on May 6, South Dakota Senator John Thune was asked by Mark Halperin, “Is human behavior contributing to climate change in a dangerous way that threatens the planet?” What Halperin and left-of-center citizens, so thoroughly committed to the black-and-white evidence of climate science, do not appreciate is Republicans who hold public office must survive, every two, four, or six years, the gauntlet of a Republican primary race. Each time a liberal condemns someone on the right for being anti-science (or worse) or paints them into a corner (like Halperin did to Thune this morning), it only widens the partisan divide.
Thune, grinning ear-to-ear, demurred on answering the direct question. What Thune said next, though, was telling.
“If you accept that premise, the next question is what are we going to do about it and at what cost? You have to do it in a way that doesn’t crush the economy and destroy jobs for a lot of people in this country.”
The difference in the two questions couldn’t be farther apart. One is pointed, designed to make the recipient look bad. The other invites all comers to think, to create, to solve. One widens the partisan divide, the other attempts to bridge it.
ConservAmerica believes America can lead the world in innovation and technology necessary to utilize wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas, and even coal cleanly, and that conservative leadership in answering Thune’s question can and will lead to a new American century of prosperity.
It’s all in how you ask the question.