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View Diary: Cars Cause Republicanism (338 comments)

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  •  Oh, that's a great strategy! (3.16)
    Write off people who drive cars. That's brilliant! Do you really think that demonizing people because of where they live or whether (or what) they drive is the way to win elections?
    •  Don't be silly; no one is writing them off. (3.66)
      This is about public policy. It's about charging folks who drive a more realistic share of the cost pollution and road building. And it's also about providing choices, like public transport, to those who would rather not spend so much time stuck in traffic. In other words, it's about that thing so many Americans seem to have forgotten about, the public good.

      And I know we won't have subways in rural Kansas.

      Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
      Czeslaw Milosz

      by Chris Kulczycki on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 05:37:24 AM PST

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      •  Good luck with that, dude. (4.00)
        You're going to alienate a lot of people if you're going to restrict their choices in the way they live their lives in order to conform to your vision of the "public good." I am all for public transportation in places where there is the population density to support it--but not many places meet that test.
        •  more places than you think nt (4.00)

          O'BRIEN: What if Jesus got this card? Would he be angry about it? He's be OK with it, wouldn't he? DONOHUE: Well, maybe he would, but I've never met him

          by PoliMorf on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:02:34 AM PST

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        •  It's more about opening up options (4.00)
          rather than restricting - making it more convenient, and pleasant, and cheap, and easy, to use public transportation than to get in your car by your lonesome and sit in traffic every day.  That requires a lot more investment in pubic transit than a lot of local governments make at present.  But it would be an improvement in the quality of life for many.

          How can we get over it when people died for the right to vote? -- John Lewis

          by furryjester on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:32:35 AM PST

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        •  Rural/suburban bus systems (4.00)
          I live in a city with good public transportation and so am lucky enough to be able to live without a car at the moment. But I am always amazed at how relatively limited our public transportation is.  When I lived a few months in the U.K., I was thrilled that, even without a car, I could easily get to small towns and villages via the bus system.  In contrast, my parents live in a very large town (80,000 people) outside the city I live.  There is no public transportation in the town, except for the train to the city and bus to the airport.  Within the town, there are no buses.  

          This has serious consequences for many people - poor people who are forced to devote a large portion of their salaries to maintaining a car, old people who are forced into nursing homes because independent living requires the ability to drive.  

          It's not a question of restricting people's choices, but of allocating just some resources from support of the car infrastructure to support of public transportation.

        •  Restrict their choices (4.00)
          Or ask them to pay for what they consume? No one is suggesting we legislate what people can and can't own.  Chris and the article are simply pointing out yet another bad consequence of our transportationpolicy decisions of the last 50 years.  There are some questions raised by those consequences, but I don't see anyone suggesting what you're arguing about.
        •  A lot of people are going to be alienated (4.00)
          when they wake up to realize that their cheap-oil-dependent lifestyle of rural livin' is a farce based on lies about endless resources that don't exist.

          Restrict people's choices? How about the fact that I can't choose to live in a community where everyone walks and rides bikes, even though tens of thousands of people in my city would love to live that way? Who asked us about OUR preferred lifestyle choices and values? And why should I compromise MY moral values so a bunch of overweight burdens on our health care system can continue to live in a dreamland of cracker jack tract homes, soul-sucking Mal-Marts the size of Rhode Island, endless middle-east oil and encumbant wars, V6 engines and bumper-to-bumper pavement from sea to shining sea? All so we can drive endlessly, needlessly, lazily, because - hey, it's convenient?

          I am sick of having my moral values offended every stinkin' day by the American absurdist automotive obsession. And I will not apologize if my morality offends those I find to be immoral. Dude.

          I am the federal government.

          by mateosf on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 10:41:23 AM PST

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        •  In continental Europe (4.00)
          You can typically access the most remote rural areas easily by public transportation. Because public services are seen as assets.
          The US won't even put together a national rail system.

          "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

          by normal family on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:48:18 PM PST

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          •  japan too (4.00)
            hardly a "pinko socialist" nation.

            we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
            — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

            by zeke L on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 05:36:27 PM PST

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