Monday, January 7, 2008

Driverless cars and your presidential candidate…

I had to take a little break from the presidential primaries and this article was just the trick. GM has announced a “car that can drive itself” and if it comes to fruition the world as we know will be over. A dire prediction? You bet, but one that is steeped in the fundamental rights we enjoy today, and why this idea is just a guise of diminished freedom for all Americans.

Please read the article first or you may have trouble making the connection here. If you think about driving as we know it today, why is it so important? I would argue because the automobile for most Americans represents freedom. Oh yeah we do need it, in most areas of the country with the exceptions of some major cities. But the car represents our ability to go, at any time, where we choose. It is a part of our personality. If we like to go fast we choose a Corvette. If we like to go camping we choose a Tahoe or 4 wheel drive vehicle. If we are frugal we pick a Ford Fiesta. But we choose what car fits our lifestyle. We choose its colors and features. The excitement of a new car is still going on today at every showroom in America. Teenage kids are dreaming of their first car. Why? Because it means freedom from their parents. The car is an integral part of the American culture and this program is socialism in disguise.

But Rich, wouldn’t it be great if we could sit back and just let the car take us where we want to go? Couldn’t it reduce traffic jams, and maybe accidents? Fair enough, not having to drive is a bonus while still having the convenience of your own schedule, but what happens when the cars become “self” driven? What bureaucracy is going to determine what the “rules” will be? And when we have adopted the idea of this technology, what happens when the bureaucracy decides when and why you can drive?

What will happen is this. It will start out with a lot of enthusiasm, especially from the elites and environmentalists. They will be pushing for this for reasons I will explain soon. People will be attracted to the thought of being able to sleep on the way to work, and having their kids carted off to their activities while mom stays home to get everything else done. It will all seem fine as the transition from free driving cars to “socialist” cars (my term) takes place. We will mostly be enamored by the technology.

But here is where the elites and environmentalists come in. Once the transition is complete, the assault on freedom will begin. There will be movements to limit the amount of driving people can do because of “environmental” concerns (just look at the lunacy over global warming). Next there will be concern about the amount of fuel we are using and an effort to limit the usage. There will be recommendations, and then laws that will ration the number of miles or hour’s people can drive. You will need to get “approved” plans before going out on the roadways, similar to how air traffic controllers control planes. There will be mandates that all cars must be “socialist” (driverless cars) and all other cars on the road will be seen as outlaws.

It will be right out of a science fiction thriller but it will be real. If the cars are driverless then why do we need different types of cars? It is just a shell with seats so there is no need for choosing a style of car, just the number of seats. It will be mandated that the cars be the most fuel efficient.

So GM, Ford, Chrysler; be careful what you wish for. There will be no need for you if we only need one type of car with the number of seats being the only difference. So as you choose your presidential choice this election, you may want to consider how they feel about the “driverless” car. If they believe we don’t need a driver, they probably feel that we may not need a voter either. Just a thought…

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