Amtrak logoIts power is spreading.Photo: travisA few weeks back, as we wrote here, Newsweek columnist George Will wrote a screed against rail travel in which he made a startling suggestion about the true motivation behind the Obama administration’s support for rail transportation:

[T]he real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism….

To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they — unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted — are masters of their fates.

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Well, we’ve got some shocking news. Apparently, the dastardly progressive plot has reached a coveted target: George Will himself.

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This according to Paul Krugman, Nobel-prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist, who also made note of Will’s anti-train arguments. Krugman writes:

I think that it is my civic duty to report that yesterday, as I got off Amtrak 161 from Trenton to Washington — having spent 2 1/2 hours being made more amenable to collectivism, not to mention finishing another chapter for 3rd edition — I saw George Will leaving the business class car. (I usually prefer the coach quiet car.)

Perhaps in business class, one is allowed to retain a greater share of one’s individualism. We can only hope.

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