“The ‘War on Cars’: A brief history of a rhetorical device

I just found an interesting piece over at grist that charts a genealogy of sorts for the phrase, “War on Cars.”  It a curious expression that’s been used to frame just about any type of regulation of cars, from congestion pricing (in London, for example) to investment in alternative transportation.

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It doesn’t take much intellectual effort to look around and realize that our urban infrastructures are hardly waging a war on cars.  But the factual absurdity of the phrase doesn’t mean it isn’t rhetorically powerful; maneuvering into a position of victimhood and defensiveness is often an effective move.