Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anti-Railers Just Won’t Take ’Yes’ for an Answer; When Critics Start Believing Own Press Releases, They Fool Themselves about the Majority’s Views

If the top line above looks familiar, you must have read yesterday’s post. The theme continues today because it fits current events so well.

Friday’s and yesterday’s Yes2Rail posts reviewed the major indicators of what the public thinks about the Honolulu project – landslide majorities for pro-rail politicians since 2008 and similar support to authorize creation of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

Rail opponent Jay Fidell of Think Tech Hawaii attempted to give aid and comfort to the anti-rail minority with his column in yesterday’s Star-Advertiser (subscription) under the headline The tide may be rising on rail. The headline’s speculation isn’t supported by anything he wrote other than former Governor Ben Cayetano’s itchiness to reenter politics after nearly a decade away.

Mr. Cayetano says he’s considering running for mayor on an anti-rail plank. It’s not a platform yet as he’s had little else to say about what he wants to accomplish other than kill rail, which he’s attempting to do as a plaintiff in the Gang of Four’s federal lawsuit.

Where’s the Evidence?
Mr. Fidell’s column asks: “Do you feel it? People who were on the fence are turning against rail. The silent majority waiting in the wings seems to be more engaged now and many of them are moving to anti-rail….”
No, we don't feel it. Mr. Fidell's feeling likely reflects what he's hearing in the closed loop he's in as he talks to people with similar persuasions on the issues. (We also don't feel a rising tide of enthusiasm for the industrial-scale wind farms on the neighbor islands that Mr. Fidell backs so strongly.)

Like the visiting Wall Street Journal columnist who last week was moved around in an anti-rail bubble pumped up by the usual suspects, Mr. Fidell seems to be living in his own bubble and blind to the pro-rail majorities at the polls.

Nevertheless, we’re indebted to him for giving us a heads-up on the four mainland speakers who’ll be brought here late in February to continue the anti-rail public relations campaign. At first glance, Adrian Moore, John Charles, Randal O’Toole and Wendell Cox (again) all seem to promote a Libertarian, anti-government-spending philosophy.

We’re looking forward to their suggestions on how Oahu should address our transportation issues – from their mainland perspective, of course. Maybe it's time to create a new heading at our “aggregation” site with links to what the four speakers have said about rail over the years – and more importantly, what others have said about them. The top-down, minority-supported anti-rail campaign is about to get more intense.

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