Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reborn to run

Daniel Henninger in the WSJ this morning sings a wonderful elegy to the American automobile: 'The cars and their culture were a manifestation of what made the U.S. really different. The cars, like the country, were big, fast and unfettered. Their drivers were delirious with the possibility of finding something new in life. "It's a town full of losers, and I'm pullin' out of here to win!"

'When Americans grew up, that's just what a lot of them did -- win. Now, it looks like we're being asked to throttle down to government-approved survival. They're even running the car companies, telling them what to build, and then they'll pay people to buy the product. Save the planet and lose the nation's heart.... We'll see what happens when people walk into auto showrooms (if they exist) and every car has a wheelbase of about 100 inches.

'Maybe they'll bolt', he concludes. 'Maybe the car culture will revert to where it began, when the whiskey runners in the South ran from the revenuers. This time the cars themselves will be bootlegged -- fat, fast and gas-powered -- racing through the night on off-map roads while the National Green Corps -- enacted by Congress in the second Obama term -- looks for them from ethanolic choppers overhead. Reborn to run.'

I drive a Honda Accord myself. But Henninger is right: it wasn't the Accord that made America great. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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