There’s an article being shared by my conservative friends (thanks for not unfriending me!) and by a few of my progressive friends who think they can keep their Facebook profiles neutral. (I’m glad you exist, neutral unicorns).
It’s a story about a Hillary Clinton campaign bus that illegally dumped human waste in a storm drain in Georgia.
Let’s be clear. That is a bad thing to do. Bad for the environment, bad example. Bad all around.
I have two problems with how this story is being relayed, though.
First, the only reason we know to be upset about this kind of a story is because we have laws and regulations in place to protect the environment. Guess who continually votes to un-fund and deregulate and dismantle environmental policies? (hint–the same political party that in incensed by this action by a Clinton campaign bus driver). Republicans, if you care about the environment because of this, that’s great, and I’d like to welcome you to the environmental movement. I look forward to the way you will, from here on out, vote to support the EPA, vote to fund environmental cleanup, and vote to regulate businesses that pollute our rivers, soil, and oceans. You can also acknowledge science. You can stop denying climate change exists. Additionally, I trust you are going to start voting to regulate and clean up the drinking water system in our nation so that the people in Flint, MI and other communities will have access to safe drinking water?
Second, some people who are sharing this story are using it to equate the two presidential candidates. Let’s be clear. The fact that a Clinton campaign bus driver did this does not equal the deplorable things Mr Trump, himself (not his bus drivers) have said and done. He’s insulted veterans and their families. He’s insulted former prisoners of war. He’s mocked people with disabilities. He continues to claim that all black Americans live in inner city hell-scapes. He stokes up racial and religious prejudice. Those behaviors were enough to keep me from ever considering him as a legitimate candidate for President. And then. He joked about assaulting women. Women who claim he assaulted them have stepped forward (at great risk to themselves) to testify that he has done more than joke about assault. When responding to the allegations, he doubled down and insulted the women themselves. (“She would not be my first choice” to assault, he said.)
The words and actions of Mr Trump put him in an entire different category than Secretary Clinton, no matter what one of her campaign bus drivers did in Georgia.
By all means, let’s care about the environment. I trust the Clinton campaign will face and pay the appropriate fines, as they should. Let’s care about the environment in all we do, not just when it paints our political opponents in a bad light. Vote on the issues behind the news stories. Let’s not get distracted.