Having said all this, we're way past the point where this has become a political discussion as opposed to a technical one.
I think it's fair game if it's a discussion based on intelligence, economics, design, etc. If it's just emotions than yeah it's political.
Like you say, mass transit doesn't work in a lot of American locales, we lack the density outside of the downtown of a metro area. A 15-30 minute walk(to your local rail station in Europe) won't get you very far in America. Same distance, but you probably haven't left your sub-division.
I like bikes. I just did a quick 50 minute lap of my local mountain bike trail. But it's recreation/exercise. There's no ****ing way I'm going on a main road. The local stuff is fine. And I'm in a rural area so the drivers here give you room. Usually room AND a wave.
I can't think of any scenario where I'd want to bike to/from work. But I really liked trains/subways in Europe. I reckon it was quicker than cars most of the time and you could nap/read/whatever.
My main experience with European cycling was in London. You have to be insane or a total tree hugger to want to bike there. It's *crowded*. And they have double decker buses, and proper sized trucks. No one seems to learn the lesson we all figure out on open test days. Weight has right of way. And those cycling-hire schemes? Yeah let's put tourists on heavy, poorly maintained bikes in congested traffic.
Sloooooowly pulling us back to the topic. Ish. It's accepted wisdom The Young aren't into cars. But like, they still have to travel right? Or as an age group are they overwhelmingly found in cities? But outside of the old school cities you mentioned there aren't transit options to match. If everyone born after 1985 moved to California, they still need a set of keys right? Or are they just not going to care and get that Ellio* thing.
*At the risk of being the guys I hated from the DeltaWing discussions.... that doesn't look very stable