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Standard Deviations: Mike Lee’s ‘Have more babies!’ idea isn’t much of a plan

By Mark Saal standard-Examiner - | Mar 31, 2019

Apparently, at some point in the past decade, the voters of Utah quietly elected God to Congress.

Which you’d think would make our lives so much easier. And yet …

On Tuesday, our own Sen. Mike Lee, R-Tool, stood before Congress and deigned to give America the simple solution to all of life’s most vexing problems. That answer?


Frankly, I was hoping the answer was going to be “puppies.” Or “kittens.” Or maybe even “chicken alfredo.” But I suppose it’s hard to argue with something as adorable as babies.

Doing his best Whitney Houston impression, Lee essentially said that he believes the children are our future. And who better to kick that whole environmental can o’ worms down the road toward than our future children?

In addressing the proposed “Green New Deal” resolution introduced last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Lee said the solution to climate change “is not this unserious resolution, but the serious business of human flourishing — the solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places: fall in love, get married, and have some kids.”

And not just any old kids, but “American babies, in particular,” he tells us. Because they’re more likely to be wealthier, better educated and (huh?) more conservation-minded. Plus which, they’re not murderers, rapists, drug dealers or people who put salsa on everything.

All of which is how we know that Mike Lee now thinks he’s God. Because not since The Beginning — yes, THAT Beginning — has a powerful white male gazed down from on high and declared unto his subjects: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Multiply and subdue? I believe I speak for Mother Earth when I say, “Uncle!” She’s been sufficiently subdued by now. Indeed, we’ve basically pepper-sprayed her, tasered her, wrestled her to the pavement and are currently choking her into unconscious submission. I think it’s fair to say we can go ahead and put the cuffs on her and throw her in the back of the police cruiser.

That’s how subdued the earth is here in 2019.

If I’m reading my Old Testament correctly, when God gave Adam and Eve the admonition to multiply there were exactly two people living on the entire planet. So of course he’s going to tell them to start gettin’ jiggy with it.

But today, we’re closing in on 8 billion of Adam and Eve’s offspring around the globe. My guess is that God is no longer worried about the survival of our species from a reproductive sense and has instead turned his attention to our stewardship — the way in which we’re obeying the other part of that commandment, to “replenish” the earth.

Still, there was Lee, on the floor of the Senate, telling us that the answer to all of the problems plaguing this planet rapidly filling with humans is — you guessed it — even more humans.

Look, I love babies as much as the next grandfather. I can’t get enough of them. And personally, I would never presume to tell someone how many kids they should have.

But I’m also just smart enough to know that anybody who would actually use the argument that the answer to very real challenges like hunger and pollution are even more mouths to feed and even more engines spewing toxins probably shouldn’t be making laws in this country. Or tying his own shoes.

The “problems of human imagination,” Lee told Congress, “are not solved by more laws, but by more humans.”

Really? So then, somebody remind me why this guy even bothered to run for the U.S. Senate. Because if he truly believes laws aren’t part of the solution he probably should have become a polygamist, not a lawmaker.

I’ve read the New Green Deal. Something, I’d be willing to bet, most folks haven’t. Would you like me to summarize it for you? Here it is:

1. Doing things to hurt the planet is bad.

2. Doing things to hurt people — especially the most vulnerable among us — is equally bad.

3. We should stop hurting the planet and people.

That’s it, folks. The Green New Deal in a nutshell. It doesn’t call for outlawing cows, or doing away with commercial flights. It doesn’t say that Utah Rep. Rob “My Other Salad is a Burger” Bishop can’t eat his fast food, or that Mike Lee can’t — shudder — have more babies.

It merely says, in the resolution’s final two dozen words, that it sure would be keen if America could provide all of her citizens with the promise of “high-quality health care; affordable, safe and adequate housing; economic security; and access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.”

That doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it?

The Ocasio-Cortez plan isn’t perfect, but at least it’s a plan. And in response, what do grown-up Republicans like Lee and Bishop do? Mock it. Ridicule it. No serious debate, no suggestions on how to make it better.

And what’s the Republican “plan” for addressing the environmental and social problems facing this world? Unprotected sex.

That’s not a plan, that’s spring break.


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