We still hear pundits denying climate change. They say mankind cannot possibly be affecting the environment. We hear about the impossibility and pain of reducing fossil fuel use, and how no one else would follow our example if we were to lead the way.

Republicans periodically denounces deficit spending, except when they can provide tax cuts to their campaign donors, who need them least. Historically Democrats do a better job of reducing deficits, especially considering the recent Republican administrations economic disasters. This is the short-term thinking popularized by the standard GOP policy of all tax cuts, all the time. Another symptom is their pandemic policy highlighting the willful ignorance that ignoring and denying the problem would somehow make it go away.

The chronic Republican magical thought process, that problems that do not conform to rigid GOP dogma are not real, or that facts can be explained away by crying “fake news” or “hoax,” is always coupled by smearing Democrats as socialist, communist, un-American, unrealistic or unworthy. Their slogans signal their belief that the majority of voters in this country are somehow not entitled to govern.

Republicans create doubt about the voting process despite nonexistent fraud. Easier voting means fewer Republican wins. This is the same cult that rejects environmental warnings, disregards their own attempts to prevent a peaceful transfer of Constitutional power, denies fellow citizens their voting and civil rights, promotes economic inequality, and fund raises by promoting traitorous fantasies.

These conflicting realities are coming to a head this summer. Rapid climate change is rendering large parts of the earth hostile, with droughts, ever-worsening storms and climbing temperatures. The term “100-year storms” is used with greater frequency. The Republican response? Denial of observable phenomena. This short-term thinking that justifies endless tax cutting that gutted our infrastructure has brought us to a critical stage in our national life. Nationwide, we find our crumbling infrastructure unequipped to deal with ever greater extremes and burdens. Persistent temperature extremes, rising sea levels, extreme storms will only compound the problem. Wouldn’t it be smarter and cheaper to plan and spend ahead of time to lessen the vulnerabilities? We will pay eventually, but we could lessen human impacts and environmental catastrophes with measured, scientific responses.

Republicans are relying on culture wars to provoke and motivate their voters and prevent reasoning. Their tactics include policies that harm their voters. Just witness the resistance to vaccinations and the resurgence of the pandemic. Rather than acknowledge circumstances, they want to deny what all can see.

Too many are persuaded by entities that gain financially from exploitation and business as usual. A critical mass of citizens is required to move us forward and unite against our deepest problems. The natural world does not conform to economic theories that only seek to exploit and plunder. The danger from old, disproven ways of thinking and consuming and living threaten our world. Retreating into our tribes does not work. Let us influence the future instead of being at its mercy.

Foreman is a longtime Warren County resident and continuing student of history and current affairs