This past week, the Senate--by a 51-49 vote--defeated an effort to remove from the budget bill a provision that will permit drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. That act of folly calls to mind these words from a recent essay by the poet, novelist, and essayist Wendell Berry:
We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are. Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? Why else would we all—by proxies we have given to greedy corporations and corrupt politicians—be participating in its destruction? Most of us are still too sane to piss in our own cistern, but we allow others to do so and we reward them for it. We reward them so well, in fact, that those who piss in our cistern are wealthier than the rest of us.
["Compromise, Hell!" Orion, November/December 2004]