Roger L. Simon

Toyota and the Schizo-political

I don’t agree frequently with Tom Friedman these days, but I found myself nodding my head affirmatively at his column this morning praising Toyota at the expense of those neo-Luddites at General Motors.

Having Toyota take over General Motors – which based its business strategy on building gas-guzzling cars, including the idiot Hummer, scoffing at hybrid technology and fighting Congressional efforts to impose higher mileage standards on U.S. automakers – would not only be in America’s economic interest, it would also be in America’s geopolitical interest.

Because Toyota has pioneered the very hybrid engine technology that can help rescue not only our economy from its oil addiction (how about 500 miles per gallon of gasoline?), but also our foreign policy from dependence on Middle Eastern oil autocrats.

It’s clear to me at least that Friedman is in essence correct. But I don’t want to deal with the fine points of current hybrid technology here. His article made me think once again how partisanship so often destroys logical thinking in this country. Because these opinions came from Friedman, whom I oppose on many issues, my knee-jerk response was to reject them. But if recent years have taught us anything, it is that we should be beyond partisan politics and the blindness it engenders. (How better to explain the complete moral idiocy of someone like Senator Durbin?). The interactivity of the internet and blogs, with their abundance and specificity of information, should be a boon in that direction.

Yesterday we were having some “branding” discussions about Pajamas Media, trying to decide what the company would really be about thematically. One of the most popular themes was the ability to be free of ideological straight jackets and therefore able to see things clearly and take the best of both sides. We’re looking for a word for that. For the moment, I call it schizo-political because it makes me smile. How about metro-political?

UPDATE: Speaking of the metro-political

MORE: Tim Worstall… who works in alternative technologies and knows far more than I… has a succinct view of Friedman.