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View Diary: Cars Cause Republicanism (338 comments)

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  •  As (4.00)
    a libertarian who doesn't even own a car, I think his theory is ridiculous.
    •  One has to (none)
      Distinguish between intellectual libertarians, and 'I want to be left alone to do illegal and/or antisocial things' libertarians.

      All the same, I still think libertarians, whatever their stripe, are about as useful as chocolate soldiers. Where are you on public services - national healthcare, transport, fair wealth distribution? No where remotely helpful.


      A conservative understands the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

      by Mephistopheles on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 08:59:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  agreed (4.00)
      But since it provoked a relatively unique discussion I gave it a '4' anyway.

      I gave up my car too and am now a slave to public transit and the favors of others.  Fortunately, I live right outside of Boston so I have subway, commuter rail and bus line access, which makes this no-car freedom possible.

      I'd just like to point out that there is a long history of correlating driving (car ownership) with the concept of freedom.  Being able to go wherever you want, whenever you want is an amazing thing, particularly in a country this huge.  I think one of the most important developments any eco-conscious public official and citizen voter should support is the development of such a structure, using green technology.  The "car culture" as someone put it, is really about independence.  We now have families in which both parents work, which means a second car.  College is no longer the domain of the rich, and students now must work, which presses many campuses for parking space so that students can get OFF campus.  High school students are considered uncool if they ride the bus past a certain age and want the (again) freedom to get out of the house so even public school lots are being pushed to capacity to accomodate high school student parking needs.  Basic commerce - being able to go to Home Depot and bring home some lumber - or picking up a piece of furniture to bring it home requires BIG cars.  And this SUV craze is insane.  I see Hummers cruising around rural New Hampshire and wonder when we're sieging Concord.  Who knew it was such a hotbed of insurgent rebellion?  And please - where I live, winter is for REAL.  Biking in January will get you killed.

      I think we need to break the cycle of individual car ownership by showing them how REAL freedom is not being enslaved to oil and the destruction our dependency brings, not having to suck up thousands of dollars in insurance or repair costs.  Not having to choke on the emissions our cars output.

      Lots of people came up with great ideas to get mass transit going.  Raising the gas tax; contacting local and state legislators to restrict the further enlargement of highways; contacting groups like the Nature Conservancy who buy up property along highways so it can't be used for development.  How about lobbying your company's HR department to at least partially subsidize a transit pass?

      Random story - Dorchester, MA: it was proposed that the closest commuter rail line add stops in Dorchester, a poor, high-crime community.  Interestingly, many of the local poverty advocates are AGAINST adding stops in Dorchester and the surrounding area.  They say it will raise property values and force the poorest residents out of the area, essentially displacing the residents of the very community the rail was meant to help, in effect gentrifying or filtering out those persons suffering hardship.

      If I had a nickel for every president who lied the country into war.... Oh, wait....

      by deep6 on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 10:11:28 AM PST

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      •  high school driving - whassup? (4.00)
        The student drivers in my high school were the exception.  Now the local high school expects their juniors and seniors to drive, not ride the bus and has a parking lot a little smaller than a bigbox store.

        This seems completely nuts to me, but then again I grew up in the country where you needed a car to get around, not in the 'burbs where our local elementary is a mere half mile away.  Yet my kids won't walk to school unless they install sidewalks and a traffic light.  Yet my small podunk hometown the main drag had sidewalks for miles!  Why does this seem all assbackwards to me?

        We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

        by Fabian on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:39:54 PM PST

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