Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Red States Lead In Fatal Crashes

As families travel the highways this Thanksgiving holiday, they should keep in mind another grim difference between red and blue states: the number of fatal traffic accidents.

As they do in measures such as “takers vs. makers” and numerous social ills such as obesity, here too, red states lead blue states according to an analysis by Stuart Silverstein for FairWarning Reports this week.

“The 10 states with the highest [traffic] fatality rates were all were red, while all but one of the 10 lowest-fatality states were blue.”

According to the report, the discrepancy isn’t due as much to resistance to federal safety mandates as it is to things such as better access to medical trauma centers.

Still, apparently stubbornness has its price.

Many Americans, such as I, who credit Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower with the nation’s Interstate Highway System, are surprised to learn that its leveraging financing scheme is based on one established much earlier for freeways in California under Republican then-Governor Earl Warren.

The unanimous ruling to desegregate schools under Warren as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court should have been no surprise.

As a Republican governor he had already desegregated the California National Guard and helped repeal school segregation statutes in that state that had historically been aimed at Asian-Americans.

Warren also created a state system of 300 childcare centers for working mothers and came within an eyelash of instituting the nation’s first comprehensive, prepaid system for healthcare.

All of this is to point out that Republicans can look to their heritage to find a way forward.

Hopefully, too, in states such as my adopted North Carolina where they now hold super-majorities, Republicans will govern in humility, knowing their status is due more to politically-moderate Independents than it is to blocs of votes from their own party.

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