The problem is that there seems to be a growing blur between "conservative" and "stupid". In fact, I think the "stupid" have stolen the word "conservative". When Schwarzenegger was elected I was not very happy. Over time I have grown to see him as a "true conservative", hamstrung between the "stupid conservatives" and frankly some "stupid liberals".
The money quote for me that makes my point on stupidity regards electric cars - "Conservatives don’t like betting on some Candyland promise of being saved by some new technology". I want to meet those conservatives. When gas went to $4 a gallon I would point out the concept of Peak Oil and national security implications of using so much gasoline. The answer invariably was "CHEVY VOLT!". Talk about a Candyland promise, we're betting the future on General Motors. This group of "conservatives" is so dead set against changing their ways that they will grab any line from any article or talking point from Faux News and cast it as certainty.
Lind debunks the whole "The Volt will save us" argument very quickly - even if the Volt were here in 5 years, it would take many years for the national auto fleet to turn. Decades frankly, there are a lot of 80's vintage cars in heavy rotation to this day, despite a booming economy for most of the 90's and 00's. How quickly will that fleet turn when people are broke, cash for klunkerz or no? And honestly, mass production of Volts or Teslas is a lot further away. Don't tell that to Sarah Palin or Sean Hannity, who would look under any rock to keep the status quo - electric cars, ethanol, hydrogen, etc... When did "Conservatives" become allergic to smart solutions if they require the slightest hint of shared sacrifice? When you're riding alone, you're riding with Hitler, remember?
SF liberal cyclist Katherine Roberts would love this quote...
But buses over rail saves money, isn’t that the argument?
Sure, they’re trying to save money. But they’re also trying to get people to continue to drive. If you give people buses, they buy cars and drive them. That’s why General Motors and other corporations starting in the 20s began to buy up streetcar systems and convert them to buses. It was not to sell buses. It was to sell cars. They knew if you give people buses, they will say “I’ve got to get a car. I’m not going to ride this thing.”
I am not as dead set against buses as Lind but I get his point.