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View Diary: Cars Cause Republicanism (338 comments)

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  •  The driving experience is the product of gov't (4.00)
    Something I've long thought is that we are at heart a consumerist culture, and we justify all expenditures on what products or services we get in return. The more visible and immersive those are, the more willing we are to spend large sums.

    And what is the most visible product the gov't provides us? The driving experience. That's what we see coming from them, most of us (only a minority sees social security checkes, medicare payments, food stamps, etc.). And that's the product we can judge them on. If they don't provide us a good enough driving experience, we want a refund.

    What was the very first thing Ahnult did when he took over as governator? He abolished the new vehicle tax that the state desperately needed to pay for schooling. Of course he would do so. And Bloomberg set up a special 311 hotline marketed as the place to report potholes. Exactly.

    If we want to compete as a party in this consumerist country, showing we will improve the American driving experience is a great way to do it. Right now I think the rethugs could position "they want to take away your SUV" just like "they want to take away your guns." Ahnult, of course, drives a hummer.

    How to find an accomodation between the urban prius driver and the midwestern swing voter in a smog belching pickup is the key. This is why gas prices are so hot a political topic too. Consumers aren't particularly concerned with the future; what can they buy now to gratify them. This is also the power of pork, in the form of new roads and bridges and lanes.

    I think this diary takes those insights a lot farther and I appreciate that. Thanks Chris.

    The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

    by peeder on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 04:34:37 AM PST

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    •  National Health Care (4.00)
      And what is the most visible product the gov't provides us? The driving experience.
      I wonder if you haven't just hit the nail on the head there for why Europe tends to be far more liberal than the US? After all, the most visible experience of government I think we get is the quality of our healthcare.
      •  Outstanding observation (none)
        And I wonder if that dynamic is why the rethugs are so threatened by the concept of national heathcare?

        Maybe it's not money for the corporate cronies. Maybe it's actually that demonstrating that gov't can be good for you, have a worthwhile product to offer, would devastate their entire ideology.

        The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

        by peeder on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 04:16:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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