The Cold War was more than just a clash of nuclear superpowers: It was also a fundamental clash of ideas. As the Soviet Union and its allies pushed for rigid conformity to communism on a global scale, Americans found unity in the winning ideals of freedom and democracy. While the Soviet Union has since dissolved, that clash between communism and freedom persists today, here in the United States.

Progressive activists understand the strength that patriotic American values wield and accordingly have rebranded many of the failed tenets of socialism under a new moniker of environmentalism. It’s easy to be swayed by the seemingly altruistic science marches or “save the earth” slogans, but be warned. The left has weaponized its environmental agenda against the very foundation of our democracy.

The modern environmentalist movement promotes an anti-capitalist agenda that mandates absolute conformity. The Green New Deal, the movement’s legislative compass, is a sweeping affront to personal choice. The 10-year mobilization plan outlined in the “deal” would remove choice from nearly every aspect of our lives, limiting the number of cows allowed on family farms and the kinds of cars the government permits us to drive. The exorbitant taxes and fines associated with the scheme are nothing less than a blatant attempt at wealth redistribution.

On a practical level, that redistribution of wealth would bankrupt American families. The environmental mandates would cost the average family of four $40,000 by 2040, increase the cost of energy and exacerbate unemployment. If left unchecked, additional industry mandates included in the Green New Deal could very well destroy agriculture and manufacturing in Tennessee.

Although the Cold War is behind us, Americans are still all too familiar with the clash of ideals those years represent. On Capitol Hill, I will continue to call out this latest attempt to force centralization and conformity on American society and instead prioritize policies that champion winning values of freedom and democracy for the great state of Tennessee.

Marsha Blackburn is the senior U.S. senator from Tennessee.

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