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Old 12-12-10, 01:56 PM   #1
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I feel as if this will bring me much closer to The Weak Link

I was down at the Workers' Collective the other day in downtown Seattle, and a bunch of my comrades were huddled over the fire (organic, recycled fuels only, natch) reading the following.

I thought it would help me talk to The Weak Link more peacefully, and bring about more harmony here at 50+: it's titled, "How to Talk about Cycling to a Conservative."

http://www.commutebybike.com/2010/12...-conservative/

It's quite detailed; I especially like the list of "don'ts."

" * Over the top rhetoric. Don’t marginalize your arguments with statements, like: Everyone should ride a bike, give up their car, live green, etc.

* Conservatives don’t like other people to tell them what they should do. And when you stop and think about it, you probably don’t either—that’s why you ride a bike, right? (To be fair, conservatives have done their fair share of telling other people how to live their lives, but pointing that out will not win you their support.)

* Calling drivers “cagers.” Remember: their moms probably drive cars.

* Ranting that oil companies are evil. Maybe so, or maybe they’re just incompetent. But what the heck does that have to do with it?

* Anti-car arguments in general. Face it: cars exist and most Americans love them. You’ll get nowhere with a conservative if your explicit agenda (or suspected hidden agenda) is an attack on American “car culture.”

* Global warming, Climate Change or Climate Disruption. If it’s as bad as Al Gore says it is, it will take more than a few bike lanes to fix it. But more importantly, you don’t need to win that fight (or even engage in it) to make your point. Cycling has plenty of merit without dragging in tangential and controversial issues like Global… whatever the heck they call it this week.

* Refrain from gushing praise of European cycling culture, e.g. the Dutch, the Danes, or whoever. Conservatives are not inclined to emulate pre-colonial imperialist has-beens – at least not consciously. "


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Old 12-12-10, 02:13 PM   #2
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I thought you started using performance enhancing drugs.

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Old 12-12-10, 02:22 PM   #3
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You know you've joined the vast right wing conspiracy when:

-you hear someone talking about "morality" and you no longer instantly assume he must be a sexually repressed religious nut.

-you're actually relieved that your daughter plays with dolls and your son plays with guns.

-you sit all the way through Dead Man Walking and at the end still want the guy to be executed.

-Christmas season rolls around and it hits you there may be a religious connection.

-at your kids' back-to-school night, you are shocked to discover the only dead white male on your tenth-grader's reading list is Oscar Wilde.

-and by the end of the night you realize the only teacher who shares your values teaches phys ed.

-and as much as you'd like to, you can't get yourself to believe that screwing around on one's wife is an addiction.

Courtesy of Harry Stein.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:28 PM   #4
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The list of Don'ts is instructive, but the list of Do's betrays the author's fraudulent conservative leanings:

Key points to keep in mind, and use as needed:

  • Cycling is an exercise (literally) of a fundamental freedom – freedom of movement. Although not explicitly defined in the Constitution, it is derived from the “privileges and immunities clause” as interpreted by the Supreme Court in United States v. Wheeler, 254 U.S. 281 (1920). (You were warned: I am in fact a lawyer). This is why you don’t need a passport to enter New Jersey.
Real conservatives like TWL know that only the actual words of the constitution have any force or effect, and that if it's not "explicitly defined" in the constitution, it's all a bunch of liberal hokum.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:44 PM   #5
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and



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Old 12-12-10, 08:52 PM   #6
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^
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Old 12-12-10, 09:20 PM   #7
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Old 12-13-10, 04:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
I was down at the Workers' Collective the other day in downtown Seattle, and a bunch of my comrades were huddled over the fire (organic, recycled fuels only, natch) reading the following.

I thought it would help me talk to The Weak Link more peacefully, and bring about more harmony here at 50+: it's titled, "How to Talk about Cycling to a Conservative."

http://www.commutebybike.com/2010/12...-conservative/

It's quite detailed; I especially like the list of "don'ts."

" * Over the top rhetoric. Don’t marginalize your arguments with statements, like: Everyone should ride a bike, give up their car, live green, etc.

* Conservatives don’t like other people to tell them what they should do. And when you stop and think about it, you probably don’t either—that’s why you ride a bike, right? (To be fair, conservatives have done their fair share of telling other people how to live their lives, but pointing that out will not win you their support.)

* Calling drivers “cagers.” Remember: their moms probably drive cars.

* Ranting that oil companies are evil. Maybe so, or maybe they’re just incompetent. But what the heck does that have to do with it?

* Anti-car arguments in general. Face it: cars exist and most Americans love them. You’ll get nowhere with a conservative if your explicit agenda (or suspected hidden agenda) is an attack on American “car culture.”

* Global warming, Climate Change or Climate Disruption. If it’s as bad as Al Gore says it is, it will take more than a few bike lanes to fix it. But more importantly, you don’t need to win that fight (or even engage in it) to make your point. Cycling has plenty of merit without dragging in tangential and controversial issues like Global… whatever the heck they call it this week.

* Refrain from gushing praise of European cycling culture, e.g. the Dutch, the Danes, or whoever. Conservatives are not inclined to emulate pre-colonial imperialist has-beens – at least not consciously. "


I am someone who has worked professionally in cycling advocacy for over five years, and this list pretty well sums up how I think cycling advocates should think before they act.

Sadly, fundamentalism on all sides of politics gets the headlines, while the moderates are left to clean up the mess.

Maybe that applies here, as well.
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Old 12-13-10, 06:04 AM   #9
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If you truly wish to get closer to conservatives, (of which I am one,) it would help if your title began with "I think" rather than "I feel".
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Old 12-13-10, 07:49 AM   #10
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How a conservative talks to a liberal about cycling:

"Hey, you should try cycling. It's lots of fun, great exercise, plenty of fresh air, and if you're careful and learn a few rules, actually much safer than you might think. Would you like to join me some weekend?"

PS. The same technique seems to work with moderates and conservatives equally well.
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Old 12-13-10, 08:19 AM   #11
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I like the "cagers" thing. I used to be on some motorcycling newsgroups, and they use the term more than bicyclists. Like "cagers" are some evil race of devils. I bet 99.9% of bicyclists and motorcyclists also drive a car. I drive a truck. I spend more hours driving it than riding my bike. I'm a cager. But I'm nice. And it's a small truck. And I walk to work.
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Old 12-13-10, 09:11 AM   #12
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Figures, the movie started and I was out buying popcorn at the concession stand. What started this? (insert thread link)
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Old 12-13-10, 09:23 AM   #13
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Figures, the movie started and I was out buying popcorn at the concession stand. What started this? (insert thread link)
Yeah, I was kinda wondering the whole point too.
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Old 12-13-10, 10:57 AM   #14
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Yeah, I was kinda wondering the whole point too.
There have been some past discussions here about whether bicycle advocacy = support of liberal policies/politics in general. Although a lot of things have been said in various threads, I believe that one of the original points made by one of the Conservative members of our forum was that he was a little annoyed that there was a general perception in the public's mind that anyone who supported bike advocacy must also be a liberal (I may not be remembering this thread correctly, this is just what stuck in my head. I don't even know if TWL himself was in the thread that I remember, but I think it might have been one of the several threads around here that blew up and got closed some months ago).

Although not a conservative myself, I thought the blog I linked to above was interesting -- how *does* a bike advocate talk to a conservative officeholder about bike related issues?

Here in Seattle, the bike lobby is very closely identified with liberal, anti-business politics. The general bikers vs. autos war has turned into business interests vs. cyclists. The business community here, led by the Puget Sound Business Journal, has accused our mayor (a longtime cyclist and former president of the local Sierra Club) of declaring a "war on cars." One of our local Chamber of Commerce groups has blocked expansion of a bike path through a port/industrial area because they believe it will impede truck traffic. And so on.

In turn, this has turn into a major political war within the Cascade Cycling Club (which, with 12,000 members, claims to be the largest single local cycling group in the US) -- the board fired the longtime executive director because *he* refused to fire Cascade's longtime lobbyist, because they felt *he* was becoming too confrontational. And so now there is an internal debate at Cascade about whether the club is too closely associated w/liberal politicians, and too closely associated w/confrontational lobbying stances. Some younger members think the club is too oriented toward older, fuddy-duddy recreational cyclists. Other members of the club think its advocacy efforts need to be calmer and more professional.

Just one report from the front lines...

More importantly, because TWL and I occupy opposite poles of the political spectrum, anything that allows me to communicate w/him is a good thing, as I'm still trying to get him to supply me with PED's.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 12-13-10 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 12-13-10, 11:01 AM   #15
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LOL, do you REALLY have to have a POINT, when your on the internet or in a forum!
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Old 12-13-10, 12:00 PM   #16
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One of the biggest problems with cycling advocacy is that cyclists are such a diverse group themselves. I've been surprised at how many cyclists seem to agree with the many drivers who think we shouldn't be on the roads at all, and at how many cyclists exhibit the same aggressive attitutes and behavior toward pedestrians that so many drivers do toward cyclists.

It's no wonder that there's such disagreement about how to best advocate for cycling.
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Old 12-13-10, 09:10 PM   #17
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One of the many problems caused by today's hyper-partisan political atmosphere is that, when you identify yourself as a "liberal" or a "conservative," you are automatically presumed to possess a whole universe of positions on a large array of issues, from health care reform, to constitutional originalism, to cycling advocacy, to the President's status as an American, to Bristol Palin and her mother. One benefit of us being a bit older and wiser than some others around here is that we (or at least most of us) can appreciate the subtleties and nuances of those issues (except Bristol Palin and her mother. Those people I cannot understand or appreciate). I think most of TWL's political positions are, to put it simply, nuts. However, I think he is endlessly entertaining and a great addition to this forum. I just wish he wouldn't vote.
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Old 12-14-10, 12:18 AM   #18
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If you truly wish to get closer to conservatives, (of which I am one,) it would help if your title began with "I think" rather than "I feel".
I don't know about that. Although Paul Krugman has done a few pieces in which he makes a strong case for liberals using their brains and conservatives using their guts (that old "facts have a well known liberal bias" thing), I think Stephen Colbert put it best. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa-4E8ZDj9s
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Old 12-14-10, 04:48 AM   #19
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I don't know about that. Although Paul Krugman has done a few pieces in which he makes a strong case for liberals using their brains and conservatives using their guts (that old "facts have a well known liberal bias" thing), I think Stephen Colbert put it best. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa-4E8ZDj9s
That's right...a liberal columnist says it's so, so it must be. Now there's some intellectual thinking.
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Old 12-14-10, 05:19 AM   #20
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GugsCdLHm-Q

or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4A3e...eature=related

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Old 12-14-10, 07:58 AM   #21
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Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on this "us vs.them" mentality that is so pervasive now has allowed us to be backed into a corner as a nation. Nothing can get done. Obama (and I'm not particularly fond of him) tries a compromise (an ill-advised one at that) and he gets criticized from both sides. No one is willing to come to the table with intentions of getting something done only to further their side of any given issue. And it has seeped into our everyday affairs. It's fine to have an opposing viewpoint and doesn't make someone inherently "bad." Civilized discussion and debate has gone the way of common courtesy.

Sorry but I felt the need. And this was not about politics just societal changes observed over the past 20 years or so. yep I'm getting old.
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Old 12-14-10, 08:32 AM   #22
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^^ Well said.
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Old 12-14-10, 09:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
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One of the biggest problems with cycling advocacy is that cyclists are such a diverse group themselves. I've been surprised at how many cyclists seem to agree with the many drivers who think we shouldn't be on the roads at all, and at how many cyclists exhibit the same aggressive attitutes and behavior toward pedestrians that so many drivers do toward cyclists.

It's no wonder that there's such disagreement about how to best advocate for cycling.
How true. My wife and I attended a local cycling club's annual holiday party last Saturday. Moving around an socializing with others it was readily apparent the club represented many cycling interest. One guy was interested in providing bikes to homeless people, another rode her bike to the party (at night and 20 degrees), another wants to make war with the local metroparks over sharing the bridal trails with mtbs, and others who are in their mid-60's represented the club's 24 hour race team. The common interest was bikes and little else, but everyone does get along.
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Old 12-14-10, 10:41 AM   #24
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I count three groups, not two.

In real life, the liberals and the conservatives I hang out with tend to be rather reasonable and interesting people. In terms of BF, I'd call them the 50+ crowd even though many do not age qualify. In recent weeks we have accomplished heath care reform, balanced the federal and state budgets, tuned several bikes along with the regional transportation system, appreciated the merits of both Nikon and Canon cameras, unanimously declared ourselves ultimately clueless on the US economy and had plenty of time left for aimless conversation.

I put thoughtless and abusive ranters in a third group. It matters not whether they claim to be conservative or liberal, they are boring, unreasonable and dysfunctional, spending so much time and energy on posturing and name calling they have nothing left for listening and continued learning. Fine BF examples of this can be found in any of the longer A&S threads.

Liberals and conservatives get along just fine once rancid ranters are excluded.
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Old 12-14-10, 11:49 AM   #25
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I put thoughtless and abusive ranters in a third group. ... Fine BF examples of this can be found in any of the longer A&S threads.
I started a thread over there the other day about a news story on local TV about a young girl who fell off her bike and her head (or some part thereof) was run over by a school bus. She was fine, and thanked her helmet for saving her life. The story was clearly poppycock (no styrofoam and plastic helmet is going to save you if your head is run over by a bus), and it was presented on TV as a feel-good personal interest story. That thread is now at 5 pages with the usual rants about helmets. Lots of heat, no light, but good entertainment value.
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