What a striking and terrible thing this is: The Republican National Committee voting to declare that coal is a clean energy source, against all known science. This is what terrible policy looks like. It is not tense discussions and principled debates. It is a group of bored, banal people in a sweaty room. People who are tired as hell and just want to get through the day and go back to their air-conditioned rooms in the Hyatt Hilton and change their shirts and have a glass of sparkling mineral water.
Bad policies are made by people who don’t care. Who so thoroughly accept the false premises of their ideology that they don’t bother to discuss them. It is a room full of people being told the Earth is flat, and who then raise their hand to give their ayes, with barely contained yawns.
The world ends with a bunch of people who don’t care, don’t know, aren’t bothered to consider the fact that they are contributing to the end of the world. For them, it’s just another day at the ofice.
Questioning your own dogma and searching out opposing viewpoints is an act of public virtue. Citizenship, as Lawrence Lessig once remarked, is a public office. These men and women have ceased to perform it.