These campaigns unfurl the same way every time. Leftists float some outrageous invasion into personal freedom in the name of stopping climate change or enhancing safety. When conservatives react with indignation, the media gaslights the country, casting critics as a reactionary cabal itching to start a “culture war.”
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but you know, I still maintain that a Biden appointee to the Consumer Product Safety Commissioner, Richard Trumka Jr., probably told Bloomberg News that gas stoves were a “hidden hazard” and “any option is on the table,” and then argued that the state could ban anything that “can’t be made safe” — which includes ladders, bikes, candy bars, cars, forks, desks, bathtubs, and televisions, and so on.
Oh, stop being such a hysteric; no one is going to take away your straws or light bulbs or combustible engines.
“No, Biden Is Not Trying to Ban Gas Stoves,” the New York Times assured its readers. The GOP “freak out” over the government “coming for your gas stoves” was “outright nonsense,” explained MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. Though, they all argue, gas stoves are basically mini Chernobyls that are killing your children as we speak — especially minority children. All the pseudoscience says so. And if you disagree, you might be one of those “Gas Stove Denialists.”
“Gas stoves became part of the culture war in less than a week,” added NPR. “How Gas Stoves Became the Latest Right-Wing Cause in the Culture Wars,” explained Time Magazine. The Washington Post claimed that the “GOP thrusts gas stoves, Biden’s green agenda into the culture wars.” The “culture war” can never be instigated by leftists suddenly shifting societal norms but only by social conservatives who pick needless fights over piddling, long-decided issues.
As Axios noted, gas stoves had become the “Right’s new fight,” which was somewhat confusing considering “the Right” didn’t bring up gas stoves in the first place. But the natural state of the world — the inevitable evolutionary finale of any policy debate — resides on the left. The speed of progress merely hinges on compelling the knuckle-draggers to see the light.
Anyway, in February, Senator Schumer was still mocking this “MAGA conspiracy theory” and assuring us that “[n]obody is taking away your gas stove.” One month later, state lawmakers in his state of New York were preparing to ban gas and fossil fuel appliances in new buildings and homes, joining dozens of Democrat-run cities and municipalities in the effort. That same month, the Biden administration proposed new gas rules that would eliminate over 90 percent of those currently on the market. This month, 11 attorneys general demanded the federal government do something about the scourge of racist gas stoves.
As Christian Britschgi in Reason points out, the Biden administration “has proposed tightening energy efficiency standards for 16 product categories, including many home appliances. The DOE has opened or finalized rules on microwave ovens, normal ovens, refrigerators, and laundry machines in just the last few months.” The Biden administration’s counterintuitive policy initiatives ensure that you’ll be compelled to buy crappier appliances at higher prices.
Gas stove bans will one day make their way onto the DNC platform. The case for it just needs to be calibrated, euphemized, and normalized. When that happens, we’ll be thrust into a pedantic debate over the real meaning of the word “ban.” Aren’t we just talking about safety regulations and fighting climate change, after all? Soon, anyone who utters the word “ban” will be fact-checked into compliance, and what was recently a crazy conservative “freak-out” will be reborn a common-sense consumer protection that only heartless child-hating climate-denying, white-supremacist types oppose.
You’re on the wrong side of history; they’ll tell you — the one with air conditioners, real cars, gas stoves, affordable dishwashers, and modernity.