We are stewards of the Earth, in our care for each other and for future generations. To protect the environment is not a silly amusement but a matter of our survival. If pollution is good, then why do owners of sources of toxins not live downwind from their creations?
The less-than-middle-class white people who still support trump are far (1) less likely to benefit from tax cuts he gave the billionaire class (of which he is not a member) and (2) more likely to die earlier from COVID (than had trump not been POTUS).
During summers in undergrad, in the 1970s, I worked for my old man’s construction company. After an “energy crisis,” during of a few months of which people waited in line in some places to buy gas, people had begun to treat gas mileage seriously.
But one guy, in his late 50s, during a conversation at break time on a job site, said, “I’ll always drive my gas guzzler.” His tone was not of levity, but defiant and tinged with a kind of venom. He claimed no purpose for his LTD with a V-8 of over 400 cubic inches.
He didn’t brag about how fast his top-of-the-line Ford went or how comfortable it was to drive on the interstate. He wanted to own and drive that damn car to put crap in the air the way he flushed a commode and put effluent into the waters.
John Quincy Adams noted white Southerners’ attitudes toward slavery: “They could never accept territorial limitations on slavery... ‘they look down upon the simplicity of a Yankee’s manners, because he has no habits of overbearing like theirs and cannot treat negroes like dogs....’” Kaplan, “Lincoln and the Abolitionists,” 2017, p. 126.
That’s hatred generated for centuries and does not leave overnight. The values of this iteration of the Republican Party are warped and represent a minority view that is opposite the progressive beliefs of the founders of the GOP.
We cannot fight this hatred with more hatred anymore than one fights fire with fire. We need to secure the rights of all citizens to vote and to be safe from zealots armed with assault weapons. We need to do that through law.