Service of Unexpected Consequences

December 1st, 2016

Categories: Automobiles, Consequences, Noise, Politicians, Unexpected Consequences

Many of my posts have to do with the impact of decisions. A colleague mentioned some New Jersey citizens’ regret about voting for Chris Christie for Governor. They’d done so not because they thought he was the best candidate but because an opponent had made fun of his weight and they felt sorry for him. They then had to live with their choice based on irrelevant considerations.

I wonder about people who voted for the president elect and are counting on him to bring them jobs, protect them from foreign invaders and lower the cost of their health insurance. Are they braced for reality? And what about those in the UK who voted for Brexit—did they think through the potential impact of their actions on themselves?

Does anyone suffer consequences after trashing a political opponent? Not here and not these days. Neither do past candidates and other political figures flinch before dashing to shake the hand of a person they once censured and deplored.

Politicians aren’t the only ones going in one direction who must change course. Auto manufacturers have worked hard to make engines speak in whispers to quell noise pollution. But their success led to another challenge which Andrew J. Hawkins covered in “Electric Cars are now required to make noise at low speeds so they don’t sneak up and kill us.” This new US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rule applies also to hybrid-fuel cars, to “prevent these vehicles from injuring pedestrians, especially people who are blind or are visually impaired,” he wrote in The Verge.

Have you ever voted for someone for extraneous reasons—such as you both share the same religion or background—or because you fell for what the candidate promised and were misled? Do you think that auto manufacturers, who were trying to do good by reducing potential noise, are surprised that now they must ramp up engine racket? Have you made decisions only to be surprised by the subsequent repercussions?

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4 Responses to “Service of Unexpected Consequences”

  1. hb Said:

    Absolutely. I have, but more on the negative than the positive side. I did not vote for George Romney because of his religion. I am fearful of all fundamentalist politicians, whether Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Moslem or whatever. I prefer my leaders to be pragmatic and to put their loyalty to their duty to serve the people who elected them always ahead of any other loyalty.

    As to Brexit, England is about where we were 50 years ago in terms of its population mix. We adopted an immigration policy which encouraged diversity and now have a very different mix. The British looked at what had happened to us and decided to go a different direction. I don’t question their right to make that decision. Just because people don’t like where they are does not give them a right to move somewhere else.

    I found your “quiet engine” story charming and telling. I vote for reducing noise pollution. If a few people are run over as a consequence, it is their own fault. Why should we all suffer just because someone is too lazy to look both ways before he or she steps into a street?

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I apologize for not making clear the reason electric auto manufacturers are being forced to increase engine noise. It is not because people are too lazy to look where they are going, it is for those who are visually impaired or blind who depend on their hearing to stay clear of danger.

    Speaking of hearing, one of the things I’ve always loved about NYC is hearing different languages spoken on the bus, in subways and on the street, so I welcome this diversity. I am particularly fond of French accents in English as I grew up with one parent who had one and frankly, love it. My mother adored France and would have lived there in a second: World War II put an end to that dream. I don’t see why someone shouldn’t be free to move and live in another country especially if they have only good reasons to do so.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Anyone supporting a candidate for above stated reasons, dreams while totally misunderstanding the nature of American (& possibly any country’s) politics. It’s foolish to believe in a single promise unless you are a heavy and noteworthy contributor to the cause. Grass roots don’t exist. Join and be appointed to a major party county committee, and find this out for yourself.

    President-Elect Trump was right in observing the Democrats presidential nomination to be “rigged.” The process, in this case, was so blatant, it blew up in the party’s face. Whether a lesson was learned remains to be seen. The Trump victory was an exception brought about by curious circumstances enhanced by the fact the GOP is not that rigid.

    Sour comments aside, work for a candidate, become active within a party, and it’s easy to get to like politicians. Over and above that, it’s the best way to see how things work while learning to cast a much more informed vote than a hefty percentage of the population.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Sage advice. I wonder if participation is easier to do in smaller communities than in big cities, especially when it comes to support of national candidates and/or when local candidates are not your cup of tea. In NYC, for example, in so many instances only one person is on the ballot.

    Who knows if Trump observed anything other than the adulation hateful speech brought him. He may have been lucky that at the same time, the opposing party shot itself in the foot by doing precisely what it claims is abhorrent: Robbing “the people” of their vote and their say.

    I fear for the impact on citizens of this new regime led by billionaires for whom Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other such programs are of so little consequence in their lives that wiping them out is of zero consequence. My hope is that Washington continues to drag its feet and in two years, House and Senate majorities will flip and that this regime will have zero impact and will soon be no more than an unhappy memory caused by a series of quirks fomented by unsavory actions.

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