Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Visceral Response

Visceral in the dictionary means not intellectual or dealing with crude or elemental emotions. This is the response that often comes when you talk to people about their opinions on politics and in fact transit. Some folks hold some deep seeded feelings about roads and others about transit. Right now the road folks are winning in most parts of the country because thats all that people know. They go with whats in their gut and what they know, whether its right or wrong.

So for places like San Francisco and New York, it isn't a question of does transit work or not, its how much more should we invest in to make it better than it already is. On the other side of the pale are these road oriented communities which are fighting hard to get transit off the ground such as Charlotte and Milwaukee. The road folks know they have a slight chance to kill transit in these places so they are throwing the kitchen sink because they are the last front in the road wars. The Anti's fight hard but in order to beat them back like we have for the last few decades we must not back down from their constant barrage of misinformation and misdirection.

An article in Newsweek suggests that politics is as I mentioned before, a visceral decision that leaves behind rational thought and that progressive minded folks shouldn't back down from a good fight. I see this as an ideological fight and when we get the chance we should sock it to the opposition Karl Rove style. Frame the issues in the most passionate way possible and set up decision makers with the facts they need to beat back the opposition. A mix of options and a vision for how all modes will work together. Cars are not the answer to everything. This is how we win.

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