We Must Preserve Our Right to Drive


I have to say that I’m with Andrew Stuttaford when it comes to the United States’ deciding whether the advantages of banning human-driven cars outweighs our, you know, right to independence:

For all the irritations that can come with car ownership, the essence of the automobile is the autonomy that it brings. The ability it gives, so long as there’s money for gas, to just get up and go, when you want, where you want, the way you want.

Forget all the environmentalist grumbling, it’s that individual autonomy that has long made the auto so offensive to so many on the left.

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I’m astonished that Stuttaford has to address his commentary in response to conservative thinkers.  We on the right are supposed to understand that convenience is one way the Devil buys your soul.  Give the government power over your decision to operate an automobile independently for the sake of economic (or any other kind of) gain, and you’ll find that the government will tell you where to (or not to) go, when, and how.

It must be at least 10 years ago, probably more, that I commented somewhere on a blogger’s suggestion that driving is a “grandfathered right.”  Given the progressive state of our country, the theory goes, if driving were to have been introduced now, there’s no way the powers who be would let us do it… even without the alternative of driverless cars.

As Stuttaford notes, if people opt to allow their cars to drive them around (and I might very well give such a vehicle a place in our household fleet), then that is their prerogative.  But just as your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose, your right to autonomous vehicles must accommodate my right to drive.