Public Works Not Working, Mass Transit Not Moving: A Conservative Perspective

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Matt Lewis writes a must-read piece about a conservative view on public transportation. I’m not going to get into the details of it, but I urge you to read it.

Here is where conservatives and Republicans need to get with the program: the government does have a role in public life. Infrastructure and defense are the two obvious roles. The problem for conservatives, is that they haven’t given enough thought to the implementation of tax dollars for infrastructure. This void has been filled with leftist fantasies. The results haven’t been effective or pretty. That is, both form and function have stunk.

I believe that it is a thoroughly conservative notion to use public monies for public purposes in positive ways. Conservatives need to give more thought to how. When conservatives get involved, their philosophy drives beauty. Since they triumph the achievements of the individual, they are more likely to prize a unique, local, and beautiful representation rather than a bland statist ideal.

Sid Burgess wrote to me on this subject. He said:

The start is making our communities communities again. Then those INDEPENDENT and strong places will create change in the government that are needed. Our founding father got it, we just forgot the purpose of local governments.

Sid also said of public transit:

As a conservative myself, I have often lamented at the wasteful and ultimately bankrupt ideas of moving hundreds of millions of people via car and highway. Until we build roads that have lifespans much longer than a decade, we must be willing to consider most financially sustainable methods.

Conservatives need to stop ceding this ground to liberals. Conservation, integrity, efficiency, and longevity are thoroughly conservative notions. It’s time to embrace them again.