“I am pro-coal,…

“I am pro-coal, and I am pro-coal miner. I will fight President Obama, the EPA, the Senate and anyone else who tries to undermine our coal jobs.”

“In West Virginia, where coal is king, Senate candidate Natalie E. Tennant, a Democrat, quickly turned on Mr. Obama when asked about the regulations.” (From http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/1/new-epa-rules-could-burn-coal-state-democrats/)

I understand it’s all just politics and rhetoric, but what a backwards thing to say. When a Democratic candidate for the Senate says that she is “pro-coal” at a crucial time when coal mining is patently a non-sustainable way of life, she is only proving her unelectability and lack of moral compass. Sure, West Virginia is an ur-coal state, but there is a way to be “pro-coal miner” without having to be “pro-coal” and posturing like she will defend her nest from all of the nasty predators wanting to hurt her constituency. It doesn’t have to be purely adversarial, politics. Tennant could have framed it as, “we know that there is a limited amount of coal, and we are concerned for the health-risks coal-mining poses to our beloved citizens. Therefore, we will lead this change to sustainable and healthier energy production by making sure that any coal mine that is shut down happens with funds for the training and retooling for every worker to immediately get started on a new and exciting job that replaces that which was given up.”

But then of course, we could also follow the tack of challenging why jobs are some sort of inalienable right, or that everyone in fact needs to work a full-time job in order to have a full-time life.