Americans Are Not Addicted to Oil; They’re Addicted to Cars

Another Think Progress gem (emphasis in original):

Today on Laura Ingraham’s radio show, former Virgina governor George Allen (R) scoffed at claims that Americans are addicted to oil, calling it “an elitist point of view.” Allen insisted it was freedom, not oil, that Americans were actually addicted to:

ALLEN: I love that statement, America is addicted to oil. What an elitist point of view. Americans are not addicted to oil. Americans are addicted to freedom — the freedom and liberty to move where and when we want.

Aside from the obvious first absurdity about what Allen said — that it’s a distinction without a difference — Allen’s definition of freedom is interesting to me. Freedom of thought and freedom of belief and freedom of expression are among the most meaningful aspects of freedom to me. I could live without cross-country automobile trips, and I would not feel tyrannized; but if I could not speak out and assemble in public against government policy without being arrested or beaten; or write and publish what I wish without fearing for my job; or make personal decisions about my health, my family, my spiritual beliefs, or my choice of marriage partner without government imposing on me; or be confident and secure about my privacy from government intrusion on my phone calls, e-mails, and other private communications, I certainly would feel much less free than I would like to feel.

One Response to “Americans Are Not Addicted to Oil; They’re Addicted to Cars”

  1. CC says:

    He’s not defining freedom. He’s providing some examples of freedom (in this case, ones that pertain to his point) and I think his point is valid.

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