Wisdom of Mark Twain is Lost on Anderson Cooper
I came across the following quotation from Mark Twain the other day:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Following those words of wisdom, I cannot resist pointing out that only 19 percent of Americans own passports. And, since we now need passports to visit Canada or Mexico, it’s a safe assumption that a very small percentage of Americans, no doubt less than 10 percent, have ever had the opportunity to ride a high-speed train – the TGV in France, for example, or the shinkansen in Japan or the Alta Velocidad Española (AVE) in Spain.
Of course, that doesn’t stop the anti-rail people from trashing high-speed trains in the U.S. as a “boondoggle” and stating as fact that “no one will ride the damn thing”.
I suppose never having seen a real high-speed rail system in operation might be considered a half-baked excuse for Joe Six-Pack. But what’s Anderson Cooper’s excuse?
Cooper and CNN recently ran a story trashing high-speed rail. It was their second such attack on passenger rail in the past few weeks, and both were shot through with misinformation. Among other things, the latest story attacks President Obama for not delivering on his promise to build high-speed rail in the U.S. … a preposterous accusation because it’s beyond dispute that the fault lies not with the administration, but with Congress, and specifically with most of the Republicans in Congress, for refusing to appropriate so much as one dollar for high-speed rail since 2010.
Once, not so long ago, we would have expected something much, much better from CNN and from Anderson Cooper.