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“Public transportation is un-American.”

I hate it when Ben decides to go on one of his rants about public policy and the American political tradition.

I look up from my copy of the RedEye, upset that he has distracted me from the images of Heidi Montag’s bust on the back page. “What are you talking about?”

“I was just thinking that public transportation is un-American. We are slaves to the train’s schedule. Metra, a public agency–a state agency–dictates the schedules, which, in turn limits our freedom of movement. Think about it–if the state told us when we could come and go, people would be up in arms. But not so with public transportation, we don’t even question their authority, and they are doing exactly that: telling us when we can move about. It’s an insiduous threat to our liberty as freedom loving Americans. And, as you and I both know, Mussolini used public transportation to silence his critics. ‘If I make the trains run on time,’ he said, ‘people will let me do whatever I want.” DO you think it’s a coincidence that socialist countries have well-developed public transportation systems.”

I wish he was joking, but having ridden the train with Ben for several years now, I know that he is all too serious.

Placing Heidi’s face on my lap, I ask him, “So, if it such a threat to your freedom and liberty, why don’t you just be a true patriot and drive downtown?”

Ben looks at me in shock. “Seriously? And deal with traffic on the Kennedy? Besides, do you know how much parking is now? No way.” He takes a sip from his coffee mug, which I suspect is not filled with coffee.

So what do you think? Is public transportation un-American? You can find out my opinion by reading my commuter’s manifesto, Liberty and Tyranny. Post your view by clicking on the Comment button below.


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