Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 13th, 2008 at 12:40 pm
“No device is more in keeping with the American spirit than the automobile… they are freedome machines.”
–Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief of CNS News Service.
Terence P. Jeffrey, a columnist with the non-profit Cybercast News Service has penned an interesting article that calls Americans’ languishing love affair with the automobile a “worrisome sign for those who love liberty.”
With the mountain of positive, mainstream news stories about how people are going by bike in record numbers, I was wondering when we’d start to hear from someone with a pro-driving perspective.
Here are some excerpts from Jeffrey’s column:
“No device is more in keeping with the American spirit than the automobile. Privately owned cars and trucks allow us to go where we want, when want. They are freedom machines.
Still, some liberals would like to use government to force Americans out of their cars.
They believe in socialized transportation, not free-market transportation…”
He goes on to accuse the U.S. government of using various methods of forcing people out of their cars (including “artificially suppressing the oil supply”) and cites myriad stats pointing to a downward trend in car use brought on by high gas prices.
How can we solve this threat to our way of life? According to Jeffrey, “We should drill our own oil,” and,
“American entrepreneurs must create another fuel whose production the government cannot readily curtail, and that keeps Americans driving where they want to, when they want to, in privately owned cars.”
But even so, Jeffrey’s views are likely shared with a certain portion of the American populace and he does get his articles printed in major daily newspapers on occasion.
What I think Jeffrey misunderstands is that no one is “forcing” him (or anyone else) out of their cars. It’s simply that more people are beginning to realize that bikes, walking, and transit make more sense for certain types of trips (I drive mine for big road trips and other errands/times when a bike won’t do the trick).
Will his ideas gain any traction? Will an organized lobbying group start promoting the unmitigated use of private cars? Can technology solve the gas/Peak Oil situation? We’ll have to wait and see. One thing is for sure, declining rates of automobile use will continue to make certain people very uneasy.
In the meantime, I’ll find my freedom in the bike lane.
[Thanks to Elly Blue for the link!]