build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary,
Note the phrase "stops becoming necessary". This detail seems to have been (deliberately) overlooked by some contributors to this debate.
I would very much prefer it if there were real choices
between HSR and air travel for most routes.
Most of the time, it's either air travel, or walk.
There would still be plenty of instances where air travel remained the only
option, by virtue of distance (anything over 5-600 miles), high mountain ranges, or crossing difficult wet stuff (Great Lakes, Carribean island hopping, TPAC, etc, etc)
create affordable public transit available to all,
Ok, so that sounds dangerously like socialism, which according to some people is nearly communism, and we all know that is A BAD THING.
with goal to replace every combustion-engine vehicle
Every last one ? Good luck with that.
I'd happily settle for replacing just 80%, or in my personal case 100%. This is where I probably differ from some other contributors here, who would agree on the 80% figure, just as long as they could be part of the 20% who could keep their totally essential 8-liter pick up truck for totally essential journeys such as popping down to the liqor mart to pick up a six pack
It's their constitutional right ! And if it isn't, it bluddy well should be!!!
As for me - I guess being prepared to give up my own personal planet-killer makes me a "socialist". Or a communist
Nothing to see here; move along please.