Texas is experimenting with a controversial 85 mph speed limit on a 41-mile stretch of road between Austin and San Antonio. That's music to my ears, especially considering I just got back from a nearly 6,000 mile road trip across the western United States.
The best drive of the trip for me was through an experimental 80 mph area. No, I didn't lose control of the vehicle, fly off the road, or travel back in time to 1955. I just made good time.
The worst parts of the drive were in stretches where you had to slow down to 55 mph in construction zones--which are ALL over the country thanks to Porkulus spending. In the sparsely populated area of South Dakota where my family reunion was being held, a new highway is being built. I have limited experience in the area, but I've never encountered traffic congestion there and the population is shrinking if anything.
Almost from the time you leave California (and Nevada), and all the way thru the Midwest, there are religious signs, pro-life signs, and my favorite--a giant billboard in Kansas that called President Obama a "wanna-be Marxist dictator." That wouldn't last 10 seconds in California. We stayed with some ex-Californians in Kansas, and they showed me a video they took of a huge patriotic celebratory festival with tens of thousands of people, fireworks, and singing, in which the whole region seemed to be in attendance. I asked if that was the last Fourth of July--no, it was Memorial Day!
Paradoxically, my family from California is Republican and my relatives in Minnesota and South Dakota are Democrats. Maybe it's because we Californians see what unfettered progressivism does to a state, sort of how Cuban immigrants are among the strongest conservatives because they lived in Marxist regime. However, I couldn't disagree with anything my Democratic relatives said politically. They are tough on crime, pro-military, individualists, gun owners, and small business owners. They even have a rule to serve the taxpayers first at meals--you people are Democrats??
None of it makes sense to me, because the modern Democratic Party stands for everything they hate--free handouts, egghead theories trumping common sense, anti-police and military activism, and BS political maneuvers. But since they view the Republican Party as the party of the rich bankers and Democrats are for the little guy and the farmer, they vote Democrat.
But things have changed in the last two decades or so. The Republican Party--or at least the right-wing of the GOP--stands for the little guy in the form of the Tea Party movement, which shares many values with my Democratic relatives. In my view, the reigning faction of the Democratic Party stands for the financially, educationally, or racially elite that look down at the Midwest in disdain as "flyover country."
Thirty years ago, I'd probably be a Democrat as well, if that's when it really did stand for the little guy. But times have changed and the roles of parties have as well. Democrats abused the trust middle-class people placed in it, and it's on full display in places like California where years of progressive policies have ruined the state. I previously wrote about the palpable sense of oppression you feel when crossing back into California from Arizona, where I fired automatic weapons and off-roaded where I wanted. It was legal in Arizona and would have landed me in jail in California. Not surprisingly, the first traffic delay I encountered on my lengthy road trip was on the way back and literally at the California/Nevada border where construction was occurring. The last 4 hours of driving lasted nearly 7 hours, which didn't endear me to the Golden State.