Fast Trains Will Run Over Opposition.
The high-speed rail project in California continues to slog ahead and, regardless of the obstacles, I’m convinced it will not only be completed, but it will be an immediate success. That may seem overly optimistic, but it isn’t. The California project will succeed because high-speed rail works. It’s just that simple.
Because only a very small percentage of Americans have ever been off the North American continent, only a tiny fraction of our population has ever actually traveled on a high-speed train. That doesn’t faze most Americans, however, and we continue to hear the same old tired objections to the California project from people who know nothing whatsoever about the subject:
“I’m not going to ride it, so I don’t want my tax dollars paying for it.”
“If it has to be subsidized by the taxpayers, I’m against it.”
“Nobody’s going to ride the damn thing.”
“It’s just another damn gummint boondoggle.”
“People will be afraid to travel 200 miles an hour. It’s just too dangerous.”
“It’s too expensive; we can’t afford to build it.”
Looking at all of them at the same time, what strikes me right away is that there isn’t one argument in the bunch that’s based on solid information. Not one. Each can be refuted with rational arguments and hard facts.
But trying to change the mind of anyone who believes any or all of those phony arguments is really a waste of time and energy. Those people are uninformed or misinformed, and many are willfully ignorant. Some, particularly those frauds from the libertarian “think tanks” posing as transportation experts, oppose every government supported transportation project as a matter of political or social philosophy.
While every one of those so-called arguments is wrong, arguing with the people spouting them is a waste of time, because once our first high-speed train begins running, the argument will be over. Governor Jerry Brown from California understood that long ago and he’s taken the right approach to opponents of the project. He’s said, in so many words, “Let ‘em complain all they want. We building it!”
My kinda guy!