Friday, June 7, 2013

Cycling and politics

As much as I detest partisan politics, it's almost impossible to ignore the polarization that seems to have saturated our society. A couple years ago, I commented that "some folks see everything through their political glasses. They see the people who lean the other way, politically, as the source of all the world's ills."

The recent introduction of CitiBike, the bike sharing program in New York City, has got the political talking heads all riled up. In particular, some of the conservative-leaning political minds (who have little knowledge of, or interest in, transportation cycling) have attacked the program.

An obviously-clever fella named Dan Amira has prepared a diagram that can be seen HERE, and explains "why conservatives hate CitiBike so much." I believe it's intended to be humorous - at least I found it so.

It boils down to this:
- CitiBike is embraced by Mayor Bloomberg, a well-known billionaire nanny.
- It's healthy, and while conservatives don't resent health, they hate being told to be healthy.
- It's sharing, and conservatives hate sharing.
- It's good for the environment ... if Algore is for it, conservatives are against it!
- And finally, it seems vaguely French. Hahaha!

My conservative response? (Personally, I lean pretty conservative on political matters, and view bike transportation as embracing self-reliance, which is definitely a conservative virtue.)
- Yeah, Bloomberg is a meddling nanny. But everybody has a good idea from time to time... even a broken clock is right twice a day!
- A healthy population will be less in need of Obamacare.
- Yeah, it's "sharing." But - it's not directly supported with taxpayer dollars, but rather by corporations and the people who actually use it. And that's a good, conservative thing!
- Environment? Yeah, a bike-share might have a very minor positive impact on the environment. (Rental bikes pollute less than rental cars or taxis, no?) But I'm scornful of any conservative who doesn't do his best to minimize his impact on the environment. I learned as a young Boy Scout that it's always best to "leave no trace."
- French? Sure, conservatives hate the French! But don't liberals hate the French, too? The French hate us, regardless of our political leanings! Ha!


Clancy Anderson said...

The Daily Show with John Stewart had a funny piece about it. (link is okay but youtube may be not safe for work)

I see bike shares as more worthwhile endeavor than a trolley.

Marcus said...

If anyone wants to talk conservative, bicycles are a must. I joke and tell people to name me a societal problem and I'll explain to them how bikes can solve it.

Good post.