For some reason while driving yesterday I remembered a little bit of mostly forgotten history: the seat-belt ignition interlock. This was a short-lived 1974 law that mandated that cars wouldn’t start unless all front-seat passengers were buckled up. The main thing I remember about it was my surprise when my dad, who was a pretty straight arrow, had a mechanic disable the interlock immediately after buying a new car. It interfered with my toddler brother’s desire to stand on the front seat between my mom and dad as we rocketed down the road.
This piece of socialism was signed into law by Richard Nixon, the same man who created the EPA by executive order. Can you imagine the Teabagger uproar that would ensue if anyone, Democrat or Republican, suggested an interlock law 40 years later? Of course, since Republican history begins with the election of Jimmy Carter, who ruined America so St. Ronald could save it, Nixon’s support of some pretty aggressive government interventions is almost never discussed.