So last night we listened along to a very gifted man who wove both Ronald Reagen and Jack Kennedy together in the same sentence. I held it together until:
Next, we can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow. (Applause.) From the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete. There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products. Tomorrow, I’ll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act. (Applause.)
Thus HSR follows in the same political footsteps as streetcars, interstate railways, and interstate highways: other, competing countries/cities have them and we don’t, therefore we need them so we have all the symbolic trappings of modern hegemony.
link: Text – Text – Obama’s State of the Union Address – NYTimes.com