Conservative Foolishness on Electric Cars

electric carLiberals can be silly; I’ve written about this recently. But conservatives are really the kings of talking out their asses. I’ve been amazed by the recent attacks on funding for solar panels (Solyndra) and electric cars. The argument seems to be that the government should only invest in sure things—like it is a very conservative venture capitalist. A big argument on Fox News has been that electric cars are not ready for prime time, so the government shouldn’t be investing in them. These kinds of arguments show a shocking ignorance of how the government has traditionally invested in science and technology.

Media Matters has an excellent article about this newest line of conservative talking asses. The arguments being used to attack electric cars are the same as the arguments that were used 15 years ago against hybrid cars:

The Prius is now the world’s third best-selling car line, but before it became a clear success story, it was the target of attacks from conservative media similar to those now being leveled against electric vehicles.

Many of the recent attacks on electric cars are coming from the same people who criticized the Prius.

I’ve thought about this a lot. In fact, it seems I am forever writing about conservative amnesia: they seem to be totally unaware of the opinions they held 20 years earlier. When reminded of past conservative opinions, it is always the same: yeah, those conservatives were wrong but this time—This time!—the liberals have gone too far and the conservatives are right. Sure, it was wrong to stop African Americans from voting before, but these new voter ID laws really need to be done! Sure, it was wrong to oppose the Clean Air Act before, but this global warming stuff in nonsense! Sure, it was wrong not to give the elderly health insurance before, but, oh, wait…

As Corey Robin argues, ’twas ever so. Conservatives always think that things are just perfect the way they are, and fight against any improvement. I know that liberals have loads of blind spots in their view of the world. I know that, as a radical, I do. What distinguishes liberal minded people from conservatives is that the liberals don’t know what their blind spots are; they at least are trying to make the world more perfect as far as they can see. It must be strange to be a conservative, knowing that not only will history prove you wrong, but you yourself may look back and wonder, “Why was I so foolish?”

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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