Trumpists appear determined to undo all efforts at good parenting.
I have taught my daughter to pick up her trash, recycle when possible, and not litter. Senator Jeff Monroe (R-24/Pierre), in committee discussion Wednesday of Senate Bill 54, the plastic-cup-and-straw-ban ban, tells my daughter and every other impressionable child in this state to go ahead, litter! Critters will live in it!
And every time I think about a plastic coffee can getting thrown in the river, it doesn’t bother me at all, because it sinks to the bottom and it’s habitat for baitfish, it’s habitat for crayfish if you like to eat those. I really don’t have a problem with that [Senator Jeff Monroe, statement to Senate Commerce and Energy during hearing on 2020 SB 54, 2020.01.28, timestamp 57:17].
My local paper exerts itself to undo Senator Monroe’s bad teaching:
It seems like we should all be agreement about one thing — littering does nothing to contribute to a clear, welcoming community, to say nothing of clear, clean water. Scientists tell us that plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, so it’s never too early to start thinking about the effect our decisions have on our children, their children and their children after [editorial, “So It’s Come to This—A Debate About Littering,” Aberdeen American News, 2020.02.01].
I continue to teach my daughter about the importance of saving energy—don’t leave lights on when you leave, don’t shower for 45 minutes, don’t stand there trying to heat the yard with the door open. But Representative Lana Greenfield (R-2/Doland), in her blind determination to end the scourge of Daylight Saving Time, says never mind the electric bill!
Does Daylight Savings [sic] Time save energy? The answer obviously is no, the reason for that being is we now have air conditioners that run 24 hours a day when it’s hot, and so that’s not an energy saving by any stretch of the imagination. We have our TVs going, our technological devices and computers. So we’re really not as a people interested in saving that much energy any more. It’s kind of a minute thing [Rep. Lana Greenfield, testifying to House State Affairs in support of 2020 HB 1085, 2020.01.29, timestamp 5:47].
Go ahead, waste energy. That’s what a grown-up elected to represent us is telling our kids.
Now I can see that maybe Representative Greenfield isn’t being quite as willfully stupid as Senator Monroe. She’s perhaps trying to make a sociological observation about how our energy usage habits no longer depend on daylight or the clock as much as they did when we came up with our clock-manipulating scheme.
But no matter how much you want to win your argument, Lana, as an elected leader, a parent, and a role model, you should never let certain stupid phrases come out of your mouth—and for stupids, “We aren’t interested in saving energy” is right up there with “I’m on meth.”
I don’t know what “we as a people” Lana is talking about—her quilting group who’s sure the Rapture is nigh?—but a lot of us South Dakotans are keenly interested in saving energy! Every policy a good conservative designs should be about helping conserve energy and energy resources and teaching the knuckleheads who aren’t saving energy to do so. If a particular policy isn’t saving energy, you don’t say, “ditch the policy, because who cares about saving energy”; you say, “This policy isn’t working; to pursue the goal we all should share of saving energy, we should do these other policies instead….”
To frost the insult to good sense and good parenting, neither Monroe nor Greenfield suffered any criticism in committee for their heedlessness. Both of the bills in support of which they made these bad parenting statements passed through those committee hearings to their respective full chambers.
Living in Trumpistan is a constant battle to counterprogram the stupid things elected officials say that undermine every conscientious parent’s effort to raise responsible and thrifty children who think clearly about the consequences of their actions.