The expression “as goes California, so goes the nation” thankfully isn’t always true, much to the chagrin of sidewalk excrement aficionados and fans of dysfunction in general. When it comes to cars, though, California’s predilection for regulating the bejesus out of them does tend to ripple out through the rest of the nation. The size of the state plus the structure of the automotive industry means that rather than producing vehicles that comply with California laws just for Californians to purchase, automakers instead sell those same vehicles nationwide.
That’s why the latest nuttery from one of the commissars of California matters not just to the Golden State, but to the other 49 states, particularly the states that aren’t ruled by insane zealots. If enacted — and given how the state operates, it will most likely pass — the latest additions to Sen. Scott Wiener’s SAFER California Streets package will require all new vehicles to be equipped with a governor that prevents drivers from going faster than 10 mph above the posted speed limit.
California native son Sammy Hagar, writer and singer of “I Can’t Drive 55,” has yet to publicly comment on the act, so I’ll take it upon myself.
First, Sen. Wiener, how dare you? This country wasn’t built on such slow and foolish nonsense. California’s vaunted tech sector is all about moving fast and breaking things, for Pete’s sake.
Second, can you not foresee any situations in which this technology might contribute to deaths, particularly if someone is trying to get to an emergency room, avoid an accident, or escape one of the roving hordes of bandits your state seems to so enjoy?
Third, while excessive speeding is bad, are you unfamiliar with the fact that slow drivers are also a threat to their fellow motorists? As you are an elected official, it’s safe to assume you are unaware of that, as well as many other facts about how the world works.
I’d suggest that what you really want is to create a real-life version of those car rides one encounters at theme parks, such as Disneyland’s Radiator Springs Racers, but given California’s difficulty with high-speed rail, it’s doubtful the state can successfully install those guide rails on all its roadways. The number of switchmen (not to assume their sex) needed to give drivers the option to turn would also be prohibitive. If you really seek to make the streets safer, though, that’s really the only way to go, especially since Californians can legally go as fast as 65 mph on the interstates, which apparently scares some people, like the senator.
And making the streets safer is what yahoos like this are actually after — though they generally don’t tell you that the ultimate goal with measures like this is to stop people from driving altogether, not least of which because driving is racist and a literal roadblock to equity. Well, guess what, you un-American freaks, Americans tend to get passionate about driving, particularly in large states with scenic interstates and no high-speed rail.
This is what happens when life is too good, when it’s too easy. Idiots get the idea they can legislate immortality. Not that the crusade against driving is new, but paternalist ding-dongs like Wiener always have their next five-year plan. And as mentioned, once California goes this route, we’ll all be stuck with cars that have been handicapped and stripped of their full potential. It’s like Harrison Bergeron, but for vehicles.
There is no orthodox way to stop Wiener’s intrusion into drivers who don’t consent to his desires. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott could send a team to the California border to string razor wire along its entirety, but he’d still be free to roam within the state and come up with moronic ideas like this. As to any hopes that President Biden might rescind the waiver California has that allows it to set its own emissions standards and propose such ridiculousness, well, the United Auto Workers union has already endorsed him. You’d think a union dedicated to American cars, the type that gave us bootlegging and NASCAR, would be touchier about throttling their products’ capabilities, but, alas, they’re idiots.
As such, there aren’t a lot of viable options left for us as a supposedly free people to stop this insanity. It would be easiest if Oscar Mayer could lure Wiener from his elected role, for which he is obviously unsuited, and into the glamorous world of Wienermobile pilot. He’s got the perfect name for it, and the Wienermobile most certainly has a governor on it, which will appeal to him. The only problem is that his mental acumen is clearly far too low to handle the arduous task of being a hot dog pitchman, so that’s probably unworkable.
Which means our only hope is for the cars themselves to revolt. With advents in AI technology, there’s nothing stopping us from creating a real Optimus Prime, one that goes around freeing his lesser-evolved brethren. Failing that, prepare for Cubans, long skilled in the art of keeping vehicles running forever, to take over the DIY section of YouTube. It would be fitting, given they’ve long suffered under the type of brutal authoritarianism the People’s Republic of California seeks to impose on the rest of the nation.