In the States we are used to thinking of environmentalism as bring a “liberal” or “left-wing” issue. This isn’t true in other developed nations. Elsewhere, especially in Europe, the right-wing parties have ecological platforms, or at least have a sizable number of constituents who give a shit about environmental programs and ecological initiatives.
It makes sense. If you really care about your country, you will want to make it a paradise, and the last thing you would want to do would be to pave paradise just to put up some parking lots.
The right-wing in the U.S. has never really been very consistent or intellectually competent. They have been driven, in recent decades, primarily by rage against any and all things liberal or Clinton, but one of my biggest fears since Trump resurrected nationalism under the #MAGA tag has always been that the manic MAGA movement would take a page from other right-wing movements around the world and actually become somewhat intellectually consistent, paying attention to winning political issues, like giving a damn about the environmental health if the country they claim to love. My fear is that the right will steal these issues from the left before Democrats have a chance to prove that they care and demonstrate their commitment to the environment by actually passing a landmark piece of legislation.
I came across a good article in the New York Review that I recommend, for further reading:
Much of what the German émigré critical theorist Theodor Adorno had to say about fascism and democracy in 1959 applies equally well to fascism and environmentalism today: the survival of these tendencies within environmentalism could be potentially more menacing than the survival of fascist tendencies against environmentalism. For most of our lives, we’ve lived with the persistent threat of extreme-right movements backed by capital invested in historical dead-ends such as fossil fuels and the freedom to pollute. But far-right movements backed by new sectors of the economy could threaten to be something far worse. They could be sustainable….
It isn’t inconceivable that a few Silicon Valley tech billionaires, alarmed by the specter of anthropogenic apocalypse (but uninterested in any egalitarian impingements on their capital flows), might cast their philanthropic largess behind ever more right-leaning and reactionary environmental groups….
My takeaway: During this time of political transition, liberals and the left need to ditch the old politics of moderate centrism and so-called “incremental change” and embrace but idea and sweeping legislation, like the Green New Deal. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently put the Green New Deal on the map, and all Democrat politicians need to do the same. One thing that Dems lack is a credibility when it comes to love of country, but what better way to say “I love you, ‘Merica!” than a strong commitment to the health of our water, soil and air?
If you really care about your country, you would want to make it a paradise, and the last thing you would want to do would be to pave your paradise with parking lots
Because a truly America First movement would strive to be “Patriots of the Soil” as it used to be called in the early days of the 20th century, here in the States. Even Steve Bannon recognizes the political opportunity, commenting on it in a recent interview with Bill Maher: https://youtu.be/egVlN-kBjZg