I totally agree, Michael, but the example of attitudes about trains is just one of many where people refuse to look at the big picture or to see what the future will bring. I don’t care if your reason for voting for your own interest is personal, regional, religious, or because your cat told you to. It is still small-minded not to consider what the long term good is for the most number of people. Again, someone may never set foot on a NYC subway but should understand that if the subways in NYC fail, we will all feel the impact and the millions who live there will feel direct and devastating impacts. Knowledge and empathy are all we need to understand that.
Vote your personal issues on a local level. Let your town or county be a mirror of you and your neighbor, but let the bigger matters be decided based on the greater good. Maybe that does not work in all instances, but it will work in many.
I have a co-worker who had a very conservative opinion about healthcare, particularly mental healthcare. She was healthy, her family was healthy, they had health insurance. She believed it was every person for him/herself when it came to medical matters. That is until her son committed a crime and was diagnosed with 4 different mental illnesses. Then, she found out how little of his care was covered by insurance and what little help there was for her and her family to deal with his illness and the crime he committed because of it. Now, she votes for healthcare and is actively involved in the fight for better mental health facilities and services. It was someone else’s problem until it became hers. I am saying it should not take you being directly impacted by a problem to understand it and desire to resolve it.