To refuse to remember the past is to have the power to condemn others to repeat it: to force tens of millions of people to learn by suffering, to live by surviving—to die, if necessary—by sacrificing themselves to a cause as irredeemable as it is irresistible. Such is the power of politics as a religion in which the commandments are lawful but unjust, the prophecies clear but unconscionable, the mandates hellish but accepted as heaven-sent. Such is the promise of the Green New Deal whose words read more like a ransom note than a suicide note, as the name itself is a crime against history by a partisan who seeks to repeat a past that never was; a past that too many historians repeat as having happened; a past that is not even past; a past that will endure until historians replace their reverence with respect, until historians square the facts of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal with the spirit of Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal, so history itself will get a fair deal.
Where the New Deal was administrative—and aspirational, regarding FDR’s Four Freedoms—the Green New Deal is authoritative. Its reach is total, its total costs incalculable, its total casualties inconceivable. I exaggerate not in the slightest, not when the first word of every paragraph begins with a conjunction whose sole function is to sow dysfunction. Not when the answer to what is to be done is a question about where we must go. Whereas the bill says global temperatures must be kept at specific levels, which will require—the suspension of time and disbelief.
To control the heavens is an act of patricide against our father which art in heaven, not-so-hallowed (apparently) be thy name. Thy kingdom will not come, nor thy will be done, until we recognize that sometimes the greenest fields are the largest graveyards. May the Green New Deal die before it kills a single soul.
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