Liberals and their Dumb Trains

I personally love trains, especially the high speed type. For a few weeks in 2018 I lived in Canterbury, England had was very appreciative of their train system. My wife and I used it heavily to get back and forth from London and we even took the Eurostar at nearly 200 mph into Paris. Trains are good in Europe, but I never had any illusions about them, they are not superior to personal automobiles and airplanes, not by a long shot. The reason I enjoyed the trains in Europe was because the roads were so small and that most of the activity is centered into their metropolitan areas. The cars in Europe as a result are too small and the personal autonomy of transportation is much neglected. So if you are in Europe and want to get somewhere, or even in the orient, trains are great. But there is nothing like transportation in the United States with big cars, big highways, and lots of things to do between cities. However, liberals have an obsession with high-speed rail. It’s no mystery as to why, being liberals, they believe in centralized control so the European setup is very appealing to them. But it will never work in America even among those with liberal sensibilities because our culture is too autonomous for them. Nobody wants to ride on a slow train and sit next to other people if they don’t have to. When given a choice, people want to do their own thing and they don’t want to share space with other people. That is the natural state of all human beings.

Way back when I first started this blog site the debate over placing a street car into downtown Cincinnati was all the rage and I predicted back then that if they did build it, that nobody would ride it. I saw it the other day operating and it was mostly empty, and it was terribly slow. I walked faster than it moved. It was very embarrassing, even though I knew people wouldn’t ride the thing, I wanted to be wrong. Several years ago before it opened I had a nice conversation with an elderly couple at The Museum Center reminiscing about the street cars that were in Cincinnati long ago and they were eager to see their return. We spoke at the exhibit in the History part of the museum where they had an old street car on display, it was part of a time during their courtship and they thought of them in romantic terms, where people dressed in fedora hats, women wore skirts that went past their knees and people treated each other respectfully while reading the paper while traveling. I could relate, I love the western expansion era and the morality of the gunslingers of the old west of 1870, but I’m not about to trade in a 400 HP car for a single horse either. Science is great. I am not looking backward except to learn from history. The trains of the past can stay there.

To many it is a mystery as to why liberals want trains instead of automobiles and airplanes and of course the easy answer is that they want to push people out of the suburbs and into cities controlled by Democrats. They want to tax gasoline and suburban lifestyles to the point where people flock into the cities to live again, where trains will make transportation easy and centralized. That is what the OTR project in Cincinnati was all about, to create a hipster paradise of communal good and culture—a liberal’s dream. But the reality is far from it, people like space if they can get it, and they want to use that space quickly. They don’t want to sit next to other people if they don’t have to and they don’t want to talk to them if it can be avoided. The push by people into the suburbs of America is essentially to get away from liberals who are always trying to stick their noses into everyone’s business and if those liberals violate private property barriers, they may get shot. People enjoy their natural autonomy, something that isn’t offered in Europe or Asia. But in America personal freedom is king, and it always will be now that people have tasted it. That genie cannot be put back into the bottle, as much as Democrats would love to.

The future of transportation is air travel clearly. Trains are too slow, transportation into space will bring continents together like never before making oversea trips take an hour instead of 12. And if something like a train is desired, it will be the Hyperloop, where 200 MPH would be considered slow. City to city travel on a Hyperloop could travel up to 1000 MPH and could largely be underground to avoid complicated zoning problems. That is the way to connect San Francisco to Los Angeles, or L.A. to Las Vegas, by Hyperloop, not high-speed rail. Like I reported, the Eurostar in France was great, and speedy. But it’s still old technology, now easily outdated. There are better and faster ways to get around and if given options, people will use them. A Hyperloop between Paris and London would take less than an hour. Sure you wouldn’t get to see the wonderful French countryside while journeying, but so what. Liberals think that they could duplicate that experience of traveling through California’s farmland but the problem is unlike in France which had just recently been conquered by Germany during World War II, farmers in the states don’t want to give up their land for a stupid train. In France they didn’t mind nearly so much, because they were essentially a conquered people, making all these trains built not so intrusive when compared to German troops in the not so distant past.

If there was ever proof that liberalism is stuck in some archaic mindset it is in their embrace of such ridiculous concepts such as mass transit trains as any kind of solution to modern transportation challenges. Their insistence on these train projects and internal city street cars demonstrates how little they know about human needs and how radical they are in changing what they do. Liberals represented in America by Democrats don’t like the way people are and they want to change them, that is all they care to do about anything. Train travel is an artificial constraint on the autonomy of people, and in the kind of managed societies that liberals crave, with them in charge of course, travel by rail is very attractive. But only for them, certainly not for the consumer. In an age where everything is getting faster, liberals are insistent on slowing down which is making them much less relevant by the day. With my firsthand experience listening to them speak so glowingly about train travel demonstrates just how vast their ignorance on the subject really is. I said it about the street car in Cincinnati many years ago and I’ll say it again about any form of high-speed rail now, the concept is dead. Only leaps in technology is something to be embraced, tech like the Hyperloop and personal space travel are even options that hold any kind of financial significance. And that reality is something that no Democrat is ready to deal with, which of course puts them on the outside looking in.

Rich Hoffman

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