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Murray Fromson Headshot

Some Inescapable Truths

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Some day, there will be a sharp awakening for the need to join those of us who have been arguing for years to launch a national railroad initiative. Unlike the dim-witted politicians in New Jersey, Wisconsin, Virginia and elsewhere, common sense dictates the need to get on the track and truly put America back to work.

The GOP should stop yapping about Paul Krugman of the New York Times by calling him "a liberal" as if that makes a difference. Here's the common sense he has reminded us of today:

We are no longer the nation that used to amaze the world with its visionary projects, We have become, instead, a nation whose politicians seem to compete over who can show the least vision, the least concern about the future and the greatest willingness to pander to short-term, narrow-minded selfishness.

Nonetheless, the initiatives to build high speed electrically-powered trains for densely populated states and even for the country at large are stubbornly opposed by Republican lawmakers at both the state and federal levels. Too costly, the neanderthals argue. Well, they ought to re-examine their history to realize that another Republican, President Dwight David Eisenhower, knew how to cope with the problem back in the 1950s. He took the necessary cash out of the bloated defense budget and with it, built the U.S. freeway system, enhancing the country's growth and prosperity for decades to come.

If only the contemporary brand of Republicans had the courage to think like Ike, who after all was the highest ranking general in the 20th century until he ran for and was elected to the presidency. President Barack Obama and his Republican torturers should hightail it out of Iraq and Afghanistan and think about America first. Dispense with the cockamamie notion that U.S. funding will help to foster democracy in those two "countries" and invest the sorely-needed capital where it belongs.

Right here at home, we need to build rail cars, lay track and install electrification, construct stations along hitherto unavailable passenger routes and with them encourage the growth of industry and provide jobs for the millions of Americans who want and need the opportunity to go back to work for their families and their dignity. In short, do what every sensible country in the world already has done by encouraging economic growth within eyesight all over the landscape. Apparently too few members of Congress possess the imagination, let alone the passports, allowing them to have traveled abroad to see for themselves. But, without a doubt, a nation rail initiative would arouse the hopes of millions of Americans who are tired of hearing about "infrastructure" and are not quite sure what that means anyway.

Get on my imaginary cross-country, whistle-stopping train, President Obama, and remind people it was the railroads that fostered the nation's economic progress a century ago. It will be 21st Century railcars, powered by electricity, that will liberate us locally, regionally and nationally from our gas-guzzling, single-passenger coffins that make our existing roads nightmares, day and night. If the public won't respond and the struggling auto manufacturers won't build small cars, then tax the hell out of them. Together, they are endangering national security, or have Americans become so dumb that they cannot imagine what will happen in the event of a major earthquake or other natural disaster when the roadways will be cluttered with cars and the immediate dispatch of ambulances, fire engines and police to the rescue is needed?

Wake up America and put our people back to work!