This debate over supply (discussed in the item, “Demand, Not Supply, Is The Key In The Short Term,”) is now front and center in national politics and promises to be for quite some time.

It also explains why the environmental movement has had such anti-capitalist leanings at its core. The chasm between business/standard of living and radical environmentalism will only continue to grow.

Global warming isn’t a cause; it’s a symptom of the fundamental difference between capitalism and environmentalism. It isn’t simply the extraction and use of fossil fuels that the environmental movement sees as the problem, but society’s quest for more. To this sector, capitalism, private property rights, globalism and uneven distribution of rewards are all problematic.

It shouldn’t be a surprise then that energy policy, environmentalism and wealth distribution are near the top of the list in this year’s election, and why there are such large fundamental differences on foreign policy issues. National security and strategic objectives aren’t the same between these schools of thought.

America is in the crosshairs in more ways than one, whether it be traditional religion, socialism or environmentalism. America is seen as the great Satan; we’ve become the bastion of Christianity among the developed nations, and the protector of Judaism through our traditional support of Israel.

We’re the beacon of light for capitalism, which destroyed acceptance of socialism in the old U.S.S.R. and in China. More importantly we’ve impeded socialism in Europe and other countries, as we became the reservoir for capital flows escaping these socialistic trends.

It’s believed that if America abandons its capitalistic values, socialism would be able to prosper. And ironically, as socialism grows in the U.S., Europe is increasingly embracing capitalism and trending more conservative.

To radical elements of the environmental movement, America is a symbol of the greed and decadence it opposes. It is why the populist rhetoric both within our industry and on a national level has begun to have such a widespread audience.

Most importantly, unlike other democracies, the U.S. has been unique in its two-party system. There is no role for a third party, with the possible exception of playing the spoiler. All democracies are by their essence coalition governments, but the Democratic and Republican coalitions have become entrenched relative to religion, economic systems and the environment.

It’s no accident that the Democratic Party must pass all its policies through the litmus tests of its coalition players – primarily big labor and the environmental movement. Meanwhile, the Republicans’ coalition of big business and evangelical Christians currently holds sway in determining Republican policy.

It makes for the most interesting political dynamics of any time in U.S. history. The majority party dictates policy, while the minority party is relegated to making its case for the upcoming election. As long as the power to gain the majority is relatively equal, the minority party can serve as a moderator of sorts.

That’s why this current election cycle is so different than any other. This election cycle is tailor made for the Democrats and they’re expected to pick up around 15 seats in Congress. The current president is highly unpopular, and this election is seen as Obama’s to win or lose.

McCain supporters are lukewarm, as they view him as having consistently thumbed his nose at the Republican coalition of big business and evangelical Christians. On the other hand, Obama is the poster child for big labor, the environmental movement and their socialistic leanings.

The result is neither side can wage this election on ideological grounds; Republicans don’t have a candidate that truly espouses their ideology; Democrats don’t have a candidate whose ideology is mainstream enough for the majority of Americans.

Both sides seem quite content making this election a referendum on an Obama presidency, based not on ideals but on likeability, charisma and experience. The irony is that neither party is willing to discuss the change their candidate truly represents.

McCain is the change likely to fade away in four or eight years, while Obama offers change that promises to fundamentally alter the political landscape of our country. Will the cheers that surely will go up in the streets of Europe and the Middle East on the Wednesday following the election translate to cheers in American streets down the road?

Opinion polls say Americans want change, and they’re being offered two significantly different kinds of change.

McCain represents a move away from these dominant coalitions and a more pragmatic approach to the key issues talked about above. He’s a moderate, a repudiation of the trend of polarization and the direction the two-party system has been heading. Meanwhile, an Obama presidency, coupled with super majorities in the House and Senate, promises a leftward shift to a magnitude unseen since the Great Depression.