Are they sincere?

Are they sincere? Or are they merely political?

I ask that question whenever some group organizes big time protests.

For instance, I ask it when I see the latest blitz from the greens. They fume about global warming. They scream at the U.S. about cutting carbon dioxide emissions. They call the U.S. the world’s worst polluter.

And yet, they only aim their salvos at the U.S. You rarely see them protest against Canada’s emissions. Yet Canada is number seven on the list of overall emissions.

They would not dare stage protests in China. Or even outside China’s embassy here. They never wave banners and scream at Russian leaders who visit. They would not think of embarrassing India with demonstrations.

And why not? After all, China is number two on the list of emissions. It is about to take over the top spot from us. Russia is number three. India number four. China opens a new coal-fired power plant every week or so.

And India and China add millions of cars to the mix, by the year.

Now, why do you suppose the greens’ protests are mostly against the U.S.? Could it be that many of them are not so sincere in their concerns? Could it be that many of them simply hate the U.S., right or wrong? Could it be that many of them hate capitalism? And who better to protest against if you hate capitalism?

I know many greens are deeply sincere. I also know many of them are merely political. They come from the hard left and hate pretty much everything about this country. Suppose General Motors and IBM came up with a way to reduce emissions to zero. Those greens would complain that big business is profiting from emission control.

I know many folks are sincere about health coverage. They worry that many millions of Americans have no health insurance. But how many others distort the figures for political gain? (Twenty-one percent of uninsured have incomes above $50,000. One-third of the poor refuse to sign up for government healthcare coverage. Twenty percent are without insurance for only a month or two. About one-in-four uninsured are not citizens. Yes, millions of the uninsured are illegals.)

It is clear that many of those who trumpet their concerns about the uninsured are mostly concerned with getting a political edge. If they were truly concerned about those without insurance they would spend energy getting the poor to sign up for programs that will cover them.

Many of those who worry about our poor are sincere. Yet it is clear many of them will see more and more poverty no matter the record. For the record is clear. If our poor formed their own country they would rank in the top 5 percent of countries in per capita income. That, according to the World Bank.

In 2004 our poor consumed 95 percent more than they earned. How could this miracle occur? A lot of income under the table. A lot of government benefits (food stamps, housing vouchers) that are not reported as income.

Clearly, our poor have gained tremendous ground in income, housing, living conditions in the last 30 years. Yet the advocates of the poor wail about how the lot of the poor never improves. They do so for political reasons.

And the women who campaign for women’s rights? I agree with them. But I wonder how many of the protests are led by women who mostly have a political axe to grind. If they did not, surely they would camp out at the gates of nations where women have virtually no rights.

They would go to nations to protest stonings and beheadings of women who were accused of adultery. They would demonstrate at the UN for the millions of women whose governments won’t let them dress as they wish. Won’t let them slip behind the wheel of a car. Won’t let them marry who they wish.

I wait for women’s rights organizations to protest about these disgusting abuses. That will show me they are sincere rather than political. And when that glorious day comes, I will happily send them my contribution.

From Tom. .. as in Morgan.

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