By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
In a bizarre twist a progressive activist said she couldn’t understand why any other progressives were support the yellow vests protest in France. The other progressives explained why.
Neera Tanden tweeted “I don’t understand why any progressive is cheering French protesters who are amassing against a carbon tax.” She describes herself as the president of the Center for American Progress and a “progressive, Indian American, feminist, mom, wife.”
The replies to her question were classic. “Why don’t they just eat cake?” <— That’s you Neera, that’s what you sound like.” Chris Hill writes “t’s not a carbon tax. It’s a tax on gasoline, which like all sales taxes is regressive and hits lower income people the hardest. It’s possible to implement progressive policies to combat climate change, but of course that won’t happen under Macron.”
“Your hero Macron has totally screwed the pooch, as we predicted,” writes another man. A self declared supporter of Bernie Sanders noted “Rich get richer from the fossil fuel industry polluting France. Macron slaps the middle class w/a tax to clean up the mess.Then rewards the rich w/tax cuts. US progressives applaud French protesters. Dismayed US elites look on, scratching their heads inside their luxury bubbles.”
Cathy Becker responded “Of course I want a carbon tax … of the fossil fuel producers not consumers. Just 90 companies are responsible for 2/3 of carbon emissions – how about we start with them? They happen to be some of the richest companies in human history.” Responders pointed out that billionares are responsible for global warming and that “Because any carbon tax should be progressive (levied on the rich primarily) or levied on oil corporations themselves.” Many were angry at neo-liberalism. “Folks, this is your brain on neoliberalism. Protestors aren’t rejecting reducing climate change, they’re calling for companies to pick up most of the tab bc they’re primarily responsible for the pollution vs. citizens who are already struggling financially. Read an article ffs.”
Eventually Glenn Greenwald chimed in as well. “The inability of rich neoliberal centrist elites in western capitals to understand – or even hide their scorn for – the anger & grievances of rural and working-class people over their economic suffering is one of the 2 or 3 most important causes of contemporary political changes:”
Many American centrists appear concerned about the protests in France, while some on the right and left have cheered them. For instance Max Boot claimed “Putin and Trump are both promoting the violent protests against Macron. This is the risk of being a centrist leader today: you will incur the wrath of the Illiberal International. My latest in.” Donald Trump has also commented on the protests.