Last week the majority of the voting population cast their votes to move our country forward by re-electing President Obama to a second term. It was a very heated race for the White House, and the reaction by conservatives to the President’s re-election has been just as heated.
I have read many status updates, tweets, and blogs about how our country is headed for disaster. Instead of embracing the fact that outdated conservative ideology was no longer valued in our country, many conservatives have begun acting like Chicken Little by prophesying that our country is going to fall apart and we will all be poor communist slaves by the end of the President’s second term. Of course, they have no real evidence to support these claims.
While these melodramatic doomsday predictions are funny to those of us who are rational enough to understand that nothing of this sort will happen, there are some responses to the election that have gone over the line of sanity. In response to President Obama’s re-election, Murray Energy has announced that they will lay off over 160 workers. The company claims they were “forced” to make the layoffs due to the predicted prospects of the coal industry during President Obama’s second term.
The first problem with these layoffs is that nothing has changed in the last week for the coal industry. If the company could afford these employees on November 5th, they can still afford them today. There is no reason for laying off these employees other than an attempt to punish American workers for re-electing the President. Even if Mitt Romney had been elected, he wouldn’t take office until the end of January. He also wouldn’t have been able to do much to change the fate of the coal industry, no matter what he claimed. Many of the problems for the coal industry have come from natural gas becoming a cheaper and cleaner option for energy companies.
The rules that Romney and coal companies are using to say that the President is killing the coal industry were also not of his doing. These rules stemmed from the Clean Air Act of 1970. The last major change to this act was when it was amended in 1990, during President Bush’s term in office. It would take an act of Congress to repeal the Clean Air Act for these rules to go away. To be fair, President Obama has implemented a fairly fast timetable for these rules. If Romney had been elected, he could have slowed the implementation of the rules, and he may have even been able to enforce them more loosely, but they would still be in place. This all adds up to the fact that the re-election of President Obama by itself could not have possibly been a valid reason for dismissing these workers.
The executives at Murray Energy, who by the way were prominent Romney donors, simply wanted to show us lowly workers that we will be punished if they don’t get their way. In the true American spirit, I would like to tell these people, specifically Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, to go to hell. While I don’t encourage any worker losing his or her job, I would love to see this company go bankrupt. They can be replaced with cleaner energy and another executive can reap the benefits of Murray’s stupidity. The actions of the executive management at this company are cowardly and childish. You don’t use the lives of your workers to prove a point. These are people with families. Unlike Mr. Murray, they don’t have millions of dollars in the bank to rely on when they go home. Even David Siegel, the CEO of Westgate Resorts who threatened to do the same before the election, actually reconsidered his position and ended up giving his employees a raise after the election.
I applaud the American people for making the right decision during this election. We faced down the threats of people like Murray and held our ground. I won’t say the cost isn’t high. The fact that hundreds of workers across the country are now jobless because the executives that run these companies are throwing temper tantrums is unacceptable. However, as any good parent can tell you, when a child throws a tantrum, the worst thing you can do is give in to their demands.