One unsurprising election result: Washington rejects carbon tax

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Washington state's proposed carbon tax. Short summary: an attempt at trying a revenue-neutral carbon tax was strenuously opposed by most environmental groups because it didn't pay enough attention to social justice issues.

This was in addition to the Koch Brothers and various energy-intensive industries. The initiative went down to defeat, with only 42 percent voting in support.

Needless to say, I am disappointed. The measure seemed reasonable, well-thought-out, and moderate, the first step on a road to reducing carbon emissions without having some government agency or pressure group take the money to give to favored causes, rather than allowing individuals and corporations make their own most efficient choices.

If these groups genuinely believe that climate change is major threat, they are essentially using this threat as leverage on social justice issues. They are making absolutely certain that they get no cooperation from anyone on the right, or in business, or elsewhere, who does not share their position on those issues.

Any moderate or classical liberal who is concerned with climate change, or with a host of other issues having to do with economic growth, free speech, and freedom of conscience and religion, will have to reasses their position in a Democratic Party that has lost the ability to govern, either locally or nationally, aside from a few enclaves like the one I happen to live in.

Members of the Washington Chapter of the Sierra Club resigned over this issue. Audubon supported 732. So it's not as if all liberals have allowed themselves to be so trapped by social justice issues that they can't have an open discussion about anything.

And to be clear: I believe that social justice issues are important. It's just that while they used to be an important thing for everyone to work on, they are now a weapon, and an excuse, and a litmus test, turning the entire Left into a weird kind of self-hostage situation. Unless someone finds a way to reopen discussion, this will tear the Left apart over the next couple of years.

And climate change? It sems that it's important if it's a club to beat the Right with, but really not that important if there is a party line to toe.  This is all very disheartening.