Crosswalk Liberalism And The Nanny State
August 20, 2007
By Bill Rooks
Why the title? I'd bet most conservatives would intuitively have an educated guess. Let me explain.
Back in the days when automobiles were becoming plentiful, stop lights were put on busy corners to control traffic. Just common sense, right? In their absence, confusion reigns at busy intersections. Common sense and courtesy had worked up until then, but not always. Some form of control was needed.
Pedestrian traffic also benefited. With the controlled flow of traffic through intersections, pedestrians could cross intersections with the flow of traffic.
Of course, human nature being what it is, many folks crossed whenever they wished, wherever they wished. Traffic was not always heavy, particularly late at night or other slow times. Folks with common sense could tell the difference and provide for their own decisions and safety. However, there were the occasional ignorant folks who either weren't paying attention or just seemed to lack common sense. When such people incurred the inevitable collision between flesh and automobile, they blamed it on the driver and looked for the nearest ambulance chasing, briefcase toting shark.
In order to provide for even the stupid and irresponsible, cross walks were painted on the intersections, and were added to the stop lights. This captured the attention of some of the ignorant and irresponsible, but not all. Some continued to disregard common sense and rational behavior and were still being hit by automobiles. Hence, strict ordinances and enforcement of cross walks with additional Walk/Don't Walk indicators became the rule. If you disregarded the Walk signs you could be ticketed or fined. This subliminally aggravated folks with common sense and intelligence, as over-zealous officers might ticket a person crossing against the light at 2 a.m. with nary a car in sight. The logic of the ordinance was accepted as a compromise for "safety".
Well, gee, guess what? Folks were still being hit by autos. Some folks dallied and shuffled through the intersection so slowly that the lights changed and cars either didn't see them just starting across or became impatient and tried to go around them before they'd gotten to the far curb. Often, the driver was using common sense and would wait until the joker was at least far enough across to go by him safely if the bozo didn't do anything additionally stupid or irresponsible.
Some of these bozos did compound the situation with additional irresponsible or stupid behavior and were hit. Bear in mind, the briefcase toting sharks never sleep, and there is a class of folks who just can't seem to accept that irresponsible behavior can lead to bad things happening. Besides, the automobile is much bigger than the pedestrian, and we just love to advocate for the "little guy." The strongest advocates being that certain class of people.
A new ordinance was passed to correct this final problem in safety. It became illegal for the car to proceed through the intersection as long as anybody was still in the crosswalk and had not reached the opposite curb. This should have remedied the last problem, eh?
Well, all you conservatives can guess what happened instead, right? All the ignorant, the irresponsible and the self-involved now took this new ruling as a license to cross any time they pleased, regardless the color of the light or the sign saying Don't Walk. The briefcase toting sharks shivered with glee. Common sense, careful drivers were now prosecuted because some joker jumped off the curb, or tried to run across against the light or were jacking around and stepped off the curb into the path of a lawfully proceeding automobile. While police could separate the stupid from the non, the responsible from the irresponsible, and determine the true cause of the accident in favor of the responsible driver that didn't please the briefcase toting sharks nor that certain class of people. They cried for the blood of the hapless driver. After all, the joker was in the crosswalk, and that automobile is so much bigger than the joker, and if the joker hadn't been paying attention the driver should have been.
And now the point.
Nanny States don't work. Passing laws and ordinances trying to protect the stupid, irresponsible, criminal and lazy from themselves can only result in ever more draconian laws leading to punishment of the lawful, intelligent, responsible and industrious. In the end, the problem will ultimately get worse, not better. The stupid, criminal, lazy and irresponsible will only continue in their manner, while common-sense folks driven by intelligence, lawful conduct, industrious behavior, and responsibility will be ever more oppressed to no purpose whatsoever.
Now, folks, guess which class of people is "that certain class"; liberals, or conservatives?
And there you have it.