This is a very important book to read for anyone involved in debates over ground transportation policy in the United States.
In the discussions of transportation, the debate is typically that of the leftist perspective versus the conservative objection.
The Left favors public transit investment, for various reasons. They are good reasons, but they resonate mostly with those on the Left. The Right usually just opposes public transit, probably because those reasons just never worked for their beliefs.
Enter this book: From a strong and unashamedly Right-wing, Republican viewpoint, the authors examine public transit and conclude that it is something the Right should support, and explain why in ways that will resonate with the Conservative thinker.
Public transit, in Weyrich and Lind's analysis, is crucial for its ability to reduce government spending and intervention in the market, to reduce the need for welfare programs, to create jobs, to reduce government spending, shift control of budgets to states, and increase national security.
Furthermore, these services are heavily patronized by and beneficial to core Republican constituencies, and strategically beneficial for political leaders in traditionally conservative places to support. With just a few key negotiations, a Republican politician can fight for public transit systems that their strongly Conservative districts will love. So that Republican lawmakers can be best equipped to argue for the features of public transit systems that will best serve their constituents' needs, the book offers tips on strategy and ways to get out the conservative vote.Read more ›
I was hoping this book would contain a lot more hard policy and public opinion analysis about the potential for conservative support for mass transit. Instead, it reflects a lot of wishful thinking that Republicans will come around to the idea of public transportation. Very little public opinion data on this subject indicates that conservatives will favor mass transit unless their party elites change their minds. On just about every dimension, conservatives oppose, by large margins, public policies that are urban-oriented and collectivist. Yes, maybe conservatives should care about helping welfare recipients find jobs and reduce fossil fuel consumption, but they are on the opposite side these issues.